Analysis of Rhetorical Appeals to Logos, Ethos and Pathos in ENL and ESL Research Abstracts

  • Hairul Azhar Mohamad Akademi Pengajian Bahasa (APB), Universiti Teknologi Mara, 40450, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
Keywords: Contrastive Theory of Rhetoric, Aristotelian Rhetoric, LIWC2015 model, compositionality, rhetorical devices


Based on Connor’s (1996) Contrastive Theory of Rhetoric, this study investigated the degree of the rhetorical appeals and their rhetorical devices in the English as a Native Language (ENL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) research abstract (RAs) from indexed journals. A mapping and selection table of rhetorical devices was introduced based on Aristotelian three elements in rhetoric to produce an effective discourse: i) three rhetorical appeals, ii) topoi, and iii) arrangement of text (Aristotle & Kennedy, 1991). The rhetorical model is also integrated with LIWC2015 psycholinguistic dimensions (Pennebaker, et al., 2015) and Compositionality Model (Bulté & Housen, 2018). The first Aristotelian element refers to three rhetorical appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos which were measured by three LIWC2015 summary variables of analytical thinking, clout and emotional tone respectively. Three rhetorical devices were identified at lexical-phrasal, sentential, and textual level for each rhetorical appeal which fulfilled the other two Aristotelian elements. In total, three summary domains with nine rhetorical devices were analysed in 480 RAs with LIWC2015 software and online application. It was found that there are significant correlations among three rhetorical devices identified for each rhetorical appeal to logos, ethos, and pathos. Contrastive analysis revealed that ESL RAs were more rhetorically appealing to logos and pathos than ENL RAs. However, both groups of RAs did not show any significant difference in terms of their appeal to ethos. Finally, research implications and future research directions are also discussed.


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How to Cite
Mohamad, H. (2022) “Analysis of Rhetorical Appeals to Logos, Ethos and Pathos in ENL and ESL Research Abstracts”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(3), p. e001314. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v7i3.1314.