The Psychiatric Arm of the Federal Government - Rhetorical Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1014 Words
Date:  2022-08-12


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a federal agency with many areas of responsibility. One such area they concern themselves with is tracking and investigating of public health trends including, but not limited to, diagnosis and awareness of mental health conditions. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is categorized as a neurodevelopmental disorder of which there are many causes. Treatments are available, but there is no known cure for the disorder. The CDC publishes literature on ADHD on its website in an attempt to increase awareness and inform the masses more about the disorder. In following with this attempt, the CDC employs emotional scare tactics and forms conclusions based on inductive reasoning to appeal to various parts of the human psyche of the reader such as ethos, pathos, and logos. This appeal is itself an attempt to persuade the reader to take action if they have a child suffering from the symptoms outlined on the web page. However, it is always best to approach such topics with a skeptical eye, especially when the data is presented by a private entity and as governmental authority.

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Ethos is an appeal to the audience to establish credibility. The CDC does an excellent job of providing links to numerous resources and studies to make the reader consider the webpage a credible source of information. In that case, the CDC is an official government health facility and therefore any information provided on their website is regarded as credible information. On the same note, most of the signs and symptoms listed in the CDC website on ADHD can be easily observed in children who have ADHD. The CDC being a government agency has laid proper channels of communication in their website where after observing these signs one can contact them about the credibility and relevance of the information in their website and the signs and symptoms observed in his or her child. If for instance, a parent observes that his or her child has signs as listed in the CDC website he or she is bound to take actions and contact the CDC or go for the diagnosis since these signs are easily observable. In the site, the CDC has also given factual statistics about the ADHD. These statistics can easily be proven therefore showing the credibility of the information provided on the website. All this is done to bring credibility or convince the masses.

Pathos is an appeal to emotions and nothing concerns parents more than the safety of their child. The CDC outlines the increased risk of injuries in children with ADHD compared to those without ADHD while performing innocuous tasks such as bike riding or walking. This scare tactic seeks to alarm parents and force them to take immediate action in getting their child assessed. Furthermore, the CDC draws a bleak picture for sufferers of the disorder regarding social acceptance and interaction. By appealing to the emotions of parents in this manner, one can conclude that the CDC is eliciting an emotional response or fearful compliance. The statistics given about ADHD on their website are also meant to enlighten the parent that; this disease is there, and it is not only your child who is suffering from it. So as a parent this should encourage you to take action and go for diagnosis as soon as possible. The way the information is elaborately listed on the website, more so the signs and symptoms may also bring out some feelings from the parent and convince them to observe their children and seek a diagnosis if need be.

Logos is the attempt to persuade the audience that the arguments presented are logical. The CDC uses inductive reasoning by providing many examples, traits, and subtypes of people living with ADHD in an attempt to force the reader to conclude that its position is logical. From the website, the CDC first gives basic information about ADHD to the readers who act as the basis for understanding more about the infection. It also outlines the common signs and systems which are scientifically proven together with the causes, types, diagnosis, treatment and the statistics and research done about the disorder over the years. Such information which is supported by scientific facts is meant to convince the readers that the information provide is logical. An example of the logical fallacy presented is that children who have difficulty in school and maintaining positive social interactions exhibit certain symptoms; therefore, all children who exhibit said symptoms will have difficulty in school and maintaining positive social interactions.


The CDC wrote this article for people seeking a greater understanding of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The article is not overly complicated and avoids using complicated medical jargon which would undoubtedly push away non-medical professionals. The CDC has mastered the Aristotle Appeals and has incorporated the three artistic appeals on their website. This is to try and appeal or convince the readers and the population at large to be keen and observe their children well and in case of any signs and symptoms which may indicate that they may have ADHD they should go for diagnosis or get help as soon as possible.


Akinbami, L. J., Liu, X., Pastor, P. N., & Reuben, C. A. (2011). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder among Children Aged 5-17 Years in the United States, 1998-2009. NCHS Data Brief. Number 70. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Conrad, P., & Bergey, M. R. (2014). The impending globalization of ADHD: Notes on the expansion and growth of a medicalized disorder. Social science & medicine, 122, 31-43.

Grosswald, S. J., Stixrud, W. R., Travis, F., & Bateh, M. A. (2008). Use of the transcendental meditation technique to reduce symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) by reducing stress and anxiety: an exploratory study. Current Issues in Education, 10.

Self, L. S. (1979). Rhetoric and phronesis: The Aristotelian ideal. Philosophy & Rhetoric, 130-145.Coghill, D. & Seth, S. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2011) 20: 75. Daresh, J. C. (2004). Beginning the assistant principalship: A practical guide for new school administrators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

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