Critical Essay Evaluation

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Szilard's motion successfully employs pathos, logos, and ethos to persuade both the president of the United States of America and the government of Japan to reconsider their decisions to use atomic bombs by addressing the negative consequences from a scientific standpoint.

Szilard delivers a letter to the president of the United States on behalf of the physicists who produced the atomic bomb.

Since the physicists realize the risks of using atomic explosives, they consider an alternative plan of action. Szilard urges the president to pass the same information to the Japanese government so that they can surrender or leave the United States with no option but utilize the bombs to end the war.

In the petition, Szilard uses the logos, pathos, and ethos to influence the decision of the commander-in-chief of the United States and the Japanese government regarding the utilization of the atomic bombs.


Szilard uses logos through showing evidence-based research by the scientists manufacturing the atomic bombs, and how its use can cause devastating effects that can result in a continuous crisis, to persuade the relevant parties to stop using them.

Szilard uses pathos to make an emotional appeal to Japan through putting them in a position to decide whether to surrender or force the U.S. to use the bomb to end the war.

The petition uses ethos to persuade the president on their credibility through using the scientists who successful manufactured, and are aware of the composition of the atomic bombs.


Szilard petition is guided by the ethos of the science profession, morality through effects of using the bombs, and logos through providing a reason by showing past experiences hence the president should consider his proposal.


The essay uses the author of the petition to the president (Szilard) to discuss the use of logos, pathos, and ethos. The writer will draw examples of logic for using or not using the atomic bombs and the effects of each choice to persuade the parties to stop war as logic. Pathos is in use to initiate an emotional reaction from the two sides through making them aware of the power of the atomic bomb. Ethos is in use through the credibility of the petitioner by using scientists involved in the manufacturing of the bombs themselves. Lastly, a critical evaluation of another author's work can help for future courses in APUS through equipping the students to draw the meaning and possible inferences for application in other areas to enhance better understanding of the subject.

Work cited

Szilard, Leo and cosigners. A Petition to the President of the United States. 2011. Web. 18th July 2017.

October 20, 2022
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