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ENG 1301 - REVISED Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Transcript of ENG 1301 - REVISED Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Ethos: The Writer's Image
Pathos: The Emotions of the Audience
Logos: Logical Arguments
To appeal to logic and evoke a cognitive, rational response, the writer often uses more theoretical or abstract language that includes literal or historical analogies, definitions, factual data and statistics, quotations and citations from experts and authorities, and informed opinions.
Persuasion, to a large extent, involves convincing people to accept our assumptions as probably true.
Similarly, exposing questionable assumptions in someone else's argument is an effective means for preparing the audience to accept your own contrary position.
While we might also define ethos in terms of appropriate expertise or authority, the key is for the writer to establish and project credibility to the audience.
As such, a writer's ethos is created largely by word choice and style, which can be a problem for novices who may be asked to create texts as if they have authority to speak persuasively, when in fact they may be relative newcomers to the subject matter and the larger field.
To develop ethos, you need to use language that is suitable to the rhetorical situation—including an appropriate vocabulary and correct grammar—and offer a sincere and fair-minded presentation of the information. In doing so, you will demonstrate your reliability, competence, and respect for the audience's ideas and values.
Although the pathetic appeal can be manipulative, it is the cornerstone of moving people to action. Many arguments are able to persuade people logically, but the apathetic audience may not follow through on the call to action.
Appeals to pathos touch a nerve and compel people to not only listen, but to also take the next step and act in the world.
To appeal to the emotions of the audience and evoke an emotional response, the writer should use vivid, concrete, and figurative language.
In the Rhetorica , Aristotle identifies the three canonical modes of artistic proof: ethos, pathos and logos. He states that in order to persuade, one must exude good character, move the audience by appealing to emotions, and advance good reasons. Whenever you read an argument you must ask yourself, “Is this persuasive?” Rhetorical appeals are prevalent in almost all arguments and can provide the tools for analyzing and understanding effective argument practices.
Ethos can be roughly translated as ethics or ethical practice, but a more accurate use of the term would be the “image” of the writer. Aristotle uses ethos to refer to the speaker's character as it appears to the audience, for he believes that if the audience accepts that a speaker has “good sense, good moral character, and goodwill,” they are more inclined to believe what that speaker says.
Pathos is the appeal to emotion, for the writer must also stir the emotions in order to move the audience to action. They may be any emotions: love, fear, patriotism, guilt, hate, joy, etc. The more people react without full consideration for the why of an argument, the more effective that argument might be.
Logos is the appeal to reason and refers primarily to any attempt to appeal to the intellect. Since logic and rationality are highly valued in our society, logos is usually privileged over ethos or pathos. But as a rhetorical appeal, logos is most often based on probabilities rather than certain truth, for we often cannot know a thing with absolute certainty, yet we must act anyway.
Here is a video that uses ETHOS to persuade its audience
Here is a video that uses PATHOS to persuade its audience
In order to effectively persuade/argue, a writer must balance these three rhetorical devices:
An effective argument will use all three of these, rather than relying solely on one device.
Here is a video that uses LOGOS to persuade its audience.
Introduce Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Introduce Persuasive Essay
Review Keep it Simple Outline
Persuasive Essay Assignment Sheet
Read: Textbook Chapter 8