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Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

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Micki Clark

on 14 April 2014

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Transcript of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

From Calvin and Hobbes, by Bill Watterson
Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
What is argument?
What is an argument?
A strong verbal opposition
A discussion involving different points of view (a debate)
A statement, reason, or fact for or against a point
An attempt to persuade someone to adopt a specific course of action
Were either of the argument clips you watched examples of EFFECTIVE arguments? Based on just the parts you saw, who (if anyone) won?
Effective arguments use specific techniques to convince an audience to see things a certain way. There are three categories we can organize these techniques into: logos, ethos, pathos.

By the way, it's important that you understand these appeals are NOT techniques. You create the appeal BY USING the techniques. More on that later.
appeals to your sense of
(you should accept the argument because it is a sensible one).
Be careful with logos; just because an appeal seems logical (or true) doesn't make it so.
Ethos = Ethical Appeals
Ethos deals with credibility--either the credibility of the person speaking or of their source material.
Who would you trust to tell you what to do to heal a broken bone?
What about each of these potential sources makes them credible/not credible?
Pathos = Emotional Appeal
We use pathos, or emotional appeals, to tug on the heartstrings of our viewers/listeners. We want them to think with their heart and not their head, so to speak.

Persuasive rhetoric is often heavy on the pathos. When writing for on-demand, you should focus on logos and ethos, NOT pathos. Establish your argument as a clear and supported one!
Does this GM ad from the 1970s appeal to your

- sense of reason?
- sense of ethics?
- emotions?
What about this US army ad, also from the 1970s?
Full transcript