Appeal to fairness

Also referred to as an appeal to sense of fairness. Please note that this appeal is sometimes used interchangeably with an appeal to rights or sense of justice.


How is it fair that a man makes $1 to the 75c a woman would earn in the same job?”

Definition and effect on reader

Appeals to fairness rely on the reader reacting to situations that are inherently unbalanced, or in some way unfair. In the above example, the effect of the inconsistency in salaries is enhanced by the rhetorical question, which provokes a response of “it’s not” in the mind of the reader. This technique can serve to evoke an emotional response of anger, frustration or sympathy in the reader, and act as a motivation to change or protest the situation.