Ethos appeals to an audience by creating an
atmosphere of trust.
Ethos highlights the character of its source. We
look less to the message than to the person
who’s delivering it.
Ethos is all about CREDIBILITY:
The source strikes us as authoritative.
The source strikes us as worthy of respect.
The source strikes us as likeable.
The source strikes us as honest.
A doctor endorsing a diet plan.
A sports figure endorsing athletic shoes.
A celebrity endorsing just about anything.
An “everyman” figure endorsing a product
who strikes us as honest and likeable and a
lot like us.
Buy this book because
Oprah says to! (She’s
honest and level-headed
and knows a good read
when she sees one—plus
she’s rich and famous!)
Pathos appeals to an audience through
emotionally charged language and
Pathos appeals to both positive emotions
like love and sympathy and to negative
emotions like anger and insecurity.
Pathos is all about gut reactions that we
don’t analyze. It has the greatest potential
to spur the audience to act.
Ads that feature adorable kids.
Ads that feature shocking or violent images.
Ads that show embarrassing situations that
prey on insecurities.
Ads that feature sexy actors that arouse
sexual desire.
If you don’t
buy me
making me
Look how
happy I am
Logos appeals to the audience through
logical argument.
Logos provides reasons and points to
cause and effect.
Logos is the main method of persuasion
in academic writing and speaking.
Ads that quote statistics.
Ads that argue for superior performance
or durability.
Ads that claim health benefits.
Ads that use deductive reasoning (X is
good, Y is an example of X, so Y is good).
Research shows
there are good
reasons to drink
fluids when you
exercise, and
Gatorade is a
fluid !
Rhetoric usually involves a mixture of all
three types of persuasion.
Even in academic writing, where logos is
predominant, authors attempt to earn their
readers’ trust by appearing authoritative
and credible (ethos), and may also bring in
emotional anecdotes or case studies as
supporting evidence or employ subtly
charged language (pathos).
Name of
gives credibility.
Shocking image of
bloody body
creates sense of
Text makes argument
that reporters need to
inform public about
what goes on in
combat zones.
 ETHOS = appeal to character (TRUST ME!)
 PATHOS = appeal to emotion (GUT RESPONSE!)
 LOGOS = appeal to reason (LOGIC’S ON MY