Ethos, Pathos, and Logos are three types of persuasion that an author or speaker can use to convince the audience. Ethos is the appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader. Pathos is the appeal to emotion, and it’s a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response. Logos is the appeal to logic, and it uses logical reasoning as its main tool for persuasion.
This article will discuss using these three modes when writing your essay. The difference between ethos, pathos, and logos will be elaborated by ethos, pathos, and logos examples.
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What Is Logos?
The third and final aspect of ethos, logos, is an appeal to logic. It attempts to persuade readers by using reason, rationality, and facts. You can use logos to present evidence for your thesis statement—using statistics or examples from the world around you—or it can be used as a standalone approach. Either way, logos are best when backed up by evidence from the real world.
Logos makes sense because it appeals to our rational minds: we use logic every day to make decisions (or not). We ask ourselves, “Is this a good idea?” or “Will this benefit me?” We weigh the pros and cons before acting on impulse; we think about consequences before making purchases; we run through a cost-benefit analysis before investing our time or money into something new. Logos tries its hardest not just because it makes sense but because it works!
Examples of Logos
Logos are often used in essays to support a claim, explain why something is true, or give an example. For example:
- “I can’t wait for our next meeting because it will be fun.” (explanation)
- “That’s not fair! You’re supposed to let me go first.” (reasoning)
Logos are especially useful when persuading someone or making your point clear. They’re also good for showing that you understand how things work or what makes them important. For example:
- “I know that many people think they need a degree to get a job in this field, but I think most employers value experience over education anyway.” (logical reasoning)
What Is Ethos
Ethos is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader. Ethos is the Greek word for “character.” The rhetoric must establish trust with an audience to persuade them effectively. Effective ethos will make your audience feel more comfortable with you and more likely to believe what you say.
To establish ethos, you can refer to other people who have similar credentials, experience, or knowledge as yourself or else provide evidence that shows how your expertise has been beneficial in similar situations before (this makes it easier for others to accept your knowledge because they know how much experience you have).
Examples of Ethos
Examples of Ethos:
- Speeches (e.g., Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech)
- Advertisements (e.g., Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign)
- Literature and poetry (e.g., Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven“)
- Journalism (e.g., the New York Times’ coverage of Hurricane Harvey)
- Politics (e.g., Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration speech)
In daily life, you can use examples of ethos to persuade people to get what you want or do what you ask them to do.
What Is Pathos?
Pathos is all about the emotional connection between the speaker and the audience. It’s an appeal to the senses and feelings of an audience, often through pity or sympathy.
Essentially, pathos is all about persuasion through emotion: it’s how you can use pathos in your writing (and in life) to influence people—and get them on your side.
Because when we’re moved by something, whether it be a person’s suffering or a cause we believe in, we are more likely to act on that feeling than if there were no emotion.
So, what emotions does pathos evoke? There are many ways for writers and speakers alike to use pathos in their work—but these three methods of persuasion will probably come up most often: empathy, fear, guilt/shame.
Examples of Pathos
Here are some examples of how you can use pathos in various forms of writing:
- In advertising, an emotional appeal is often used to persuade viewers that a product will improve their lives. For example, one advertisement might portray a family enjoying time together using their new vacuum cleaner. Another advertisement might show a man alone at home watching TV and eating potato chips—but he could be happy if only he had this new brand of hot sauce!
- In speeches or debates, an emotional appeal is often used to encourage people to take action on something important to them or others. An activist might speak about how many animals have died yearly because they were trapped in animal testing labs—and ask everyone listening what they will do. A politician might talk about how his opponent’s policies won’t truly help people who need jobs; instead, he’ll ensure everyone has health insurance and gets paid more money for working full-time than if they were unemployed!
- Legal cases can include stories from witnesses or victims who experienced suffering because someone else committed wrongdoings against them (or even themselves). If you want someone else punished for stealing your car stereo system when all you did was walk outside your house one day and then come back later when there was nothing left where it should’ve been…then tell us why we should care!
Bonus: What Is Kairos?
Kairos is the right time to deliver your message.
It’s used in persuasive writing to take advantage of your audience’s current state of mind so they’re more likely to listen and act on whatever you’re trying to get across.
The best way to use kairos is by connecting with your reader emotionally—you want them to relate what you have written with their own experiences so that they can connect with what you are saying, whether it be about a product or an idea.
Examples of Kairos
Kairos is a Greek word meaning “the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment).” When the time is right, you do the right thing.
One of the most classic uses of kairos was in ancient Greece, when people would use it before speaking to kings and royalty. If someone had something important to say, they waited for a kairotic moment where both parties were available and in an appropriate mood to hear their speech.
You can use Kairos when you need to take advantage of an opportunity as soon as it arises. It’s similar to timeliness, but rather than just being on time, it’s more like jumping into action before anyone else has thought about doing so themselves! This can be useful when trying out new ideas or coming up with innovative solutions because you can come up with them before anyone else does, which means that other people will start thinking about them (which could give them ideas).
Final Thoughts on Ethos Pathos and Logos
Ethos, pathos, and logos are three important elements to consider when writing your essay.
- Ethos is the writer’s credibility, which you can establish by using facts and figures that are credible and relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Pathos is an appeal to emotion to create a connection with the reader, who will feel compelled to agree with your argument. Opening paragraphs of essays often use pathos because they set expectations for what will come later in the essay.
- Logos refers to appeals based on logic or reason rather than emotions or feelings—and, as such, relies on strong arguments supported by evidence (facts). You can use logos in any part of your essay, but especially at the end, where you want readers who did not initially agree with your point of view to change their minds after reading your supporting evidence.
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