Ethos, Pathos, and Logos - Structure, Usage & Examples
Argumentative writing is that essential part of academics that is assigned to every student of every level. This rhetorical analysis essay reflects the writer’s skills to form an opinion and how well the audience understands it.
The core element that makes your argumentative paper successful is the persuasion of the readers. If you successfully persuade the audience to your point, the purpose of drafting the content is served.
Persuading the audience requires a writer to use different strategies. These strategies include three major appeals; ethos, pathos, and logos. Continue reading the article to understand the correct usage of rhetorical appeals.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Definition
Persuading people from your point of view may sound simple, but in reality, it can be really challenging. This is because convincing the targeted audience requires the writers to use different persuasive appeals keeping in view the writing theme.
All persuasive and argumentative writings, including rhetorical analysis, speech writing, and advertising, convince the audience using different strategies. Aristotle came up with the ‘modes of persuasion that included three major techniques to convince the readers of your argument.
Following are the three appeals. Continue reading to understand the basic definition and purpose of Aristotle’s modes of persuasion.
An ethos sometimes called an appeal to ethics is a mode of persuasion that a writer uses to convince the audience. This appeal uses credibility, authority, and the character of the speaker to make people believe in the specific concept or idea.
The writer uses the strength of his character to put forward his idea and make people understand and believe it. When drafting any sort of persuasive or argumentative content, this appeal can be really helpful.
Throughout history, writers from every field have been using this approach to persuade their readers. From Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to John Steinbeck’s ‘East of Eden’, the use of ethos can be seen.
Pathos is a rhetorical appeal that triggers and aims at the emotions of the people. Writers believe that the best way to persuade people from their writings and speeches is through emotions. People will listen and read anything that will be emotionally charged.
According to this strategy, the creator of the content forms an argument and defends it using convincing stories and experiences. William Shakespeare used pathos in a lot of work, including Romeo and Juliet.
Other literary works, like Pride and Prejudice, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer also used pathos to persuade the audience.
As the name suggests, logos is a logical appeal that convinces the audience through facts and other reliable information. In this, the writer forms his standpoint and proves it using a logical fallacy, reasoning, and facts.
Logos is a Greek word that means ‘reason’ or ‘plan.’ When using this approach to write your essays and papers, keep in mind that strong supporting evidence will be required.
Many famous works of literature used the logos approach and attempted to convince the audience. These works include:
- 1984 by George Orwell
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Usage of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
Using rhetorical appeals correctly can be difficult, but everything can be learned through practice. If you are assigned an argumentative paper, choose ethos, or pathos to get an emotional response. You can also use logos to present your point logically.
Picking the strategy depends on the theme of the assignment. Not every topic allows a writer to engage the audience’s emotions. Some subjects only require to be discussed logically and factually.
Although appeals depend on the writer’s preference, you still need to learn their usage. In the following passage, examine how writers used different rhetorical approaches to prove their points.
Usage of Ethos
The following examples of the usage of ethos in the content will help you understand the concept better.
- "My three decades of experience in public service, my tireless commitment to the people of this community, and my willingness to reach across the aisle and cooperate with the opposition make me the ideal candidate for your mayor."
- "Our expertise in roofing contracting is evidenced not only by our 50 years in the business and our staff of qualified technicians. But in the decades of satisfied customers who have come to expect nothing but the best."
- "Based on the dozens of archaeological expeditions I've made all over the world, I am confident that those potsherds are Mesopotamian in origin."
Usage of Pathos
Not sure how to use pathos to appeal and emotionally persuade the audience through your content. Go through the examples provided below:
- "They've worked against everything we've worked so hard to build, and they don't care who gets hurt in the process. Make no mistake, they're the enemy, and they won't stop until we're all destroyed."
- "You will never be satisfied in life if you don't seize this opportunity. Do you want to live the rest of your year’s yearning to know what would have happened if you just jumped when you had the chance?"
- "After years of this type of disrespect from your boss, countless hours wasted, birthdays missed, it's time that you took a stand."
Usage of Logos
As logos use logic to defend the writer’s point, it should strike the common sense of the reader. Using logos can be a bit hard compared to the other two devices, but the following examples can help you understand.
- "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: we have not only the fingerprints, the lack of an alibi, a clear motive, and an expressed desire to commit the robbery. We also have video of the suspect breaking in. The case could not be more open and shut."
- "More than one hundred peer-reviewed studies have been conducted over the past decade. None of them suggests that this is an effective treatment for hair loss."
- "Research compiled by analysts from NASA, as well as organizations from five other nations with space programs, suggests that a moon colony is viable with international support."
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Examples
Still uncertain about making a try on your argumentative or analysis paper? Here are some additional ethos, pathos, and logos examples to help you make your content convincing and persuasive.
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Advertising
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos Worksheet
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Movies
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Speeches
Using ethos, pathos, and logos is essential to strengthen your point and to persuade the audience. Without using these rhetorical devices, the readers will not understand the frame of mind of the writer.
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