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The very essence of logos ethos pathos

The first acquaintance with logos ethos pathos

Have you ever thought of finding your place in life? Most probably, you’ve got an issue about which you’re passionate. Perhaps, you’d like to get a new promising job or get a good raise in the position you’re currently occupying. Well, to reach any of these goals you require winning an argument. You can do this by simply making the most of persuasion.

Each time you make an attempt to convince somebody, you’re simply trying to do one of the following things. First, you may be trying to persuade people that your personal truth is the only truth in the world. Perhaps, in this case you imagine staying in a courtroom, where the prosecutor is doing his best to persuade the jury that your defender is guilty and deserves severe punishment. Secondly, you may try to urge a person to act: to ride to school, find a job, change a policy and so on.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to write or speak, anyway when it comes to convincing someone, you’re bound to make use of rhetoric. That’s an ancient art of effective speaking and writing. Since the glorious time of Aristotle, three major elements of persuasion have been being used. These are logos, ethos and pathos. So, if you’re eager to become skilled in the art of persuading anybody, you can’t overlook logos ethos pathos. Let’s start with ethos.


The unique persuasive technique of ethos traditionally deals with ethics. With the help of the ethical appeal speakers and writers try to persuade their audience they’re a fully credible source. People listen to and believe the personalities who they believe are absolutely ethical. Just being an expert in a particular topic is often enough to enjoy sufficient credibility. For the rest of us, we need to do our best to persuade the audience. Let’s cycle through typical examples of ethos.

A CEO speaks to his employees regarding topics relevant to the company.

  • The CEO boasts authority in his topic, as he spent a great deal of time getting to his position.

A student is arguing against the audience. In this introduction, he gives an emphasis to the fact that he’s a straight A-student and his mom is a teacher.

  • The fact that this student has gained straight A’s and has a parent specializing in the field, lends him a certain level of credibility.

Luther King quoted Lincoln, standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Furthermore, he quoted the United States Constitution.

  • Undoubtedly, quoting Lincoln lends authority and gravity to his speech. Everybody knows that Lincoln was a true emancipator of the slaves, so the King was pointing out to equal rights for African-American. Besides this, he referred to the highest law of the country – the Constitution.

Now, let’s see how to make the most of ethos for your persuasion:

  • If you don’t have expertise regarding your topic, it makes sense to research those who do. Keep to classical rules of grammar.
  • Your require building your reputation. At least, at the very beginning of your speech you should demonstrate that it’s not a problem for you to greet people, when they come in. It’s up to you to project confidence. Moreover, you’re expected to use appropriate language to fit your audience.
  • You should build solid rapport with your listeners. From the very beginning, you need to utilize inclusive language just to make all of them think on your side. Don’t neglect the use of rhetorical questions.
  • You should acknowledge the counter-argument. That’s a good way to make the most of ethos.
  • Ethical appeals really work. It’s because when people really believe the speaker doesn’t intend to do harm. As a result, they’re paying more attention to his or her words.
  • Just establish your ethos in the beginning and then maintain your credibility throughout.


The given persuasive technique mostly deals with reasoning and logic. This appeal suggests citing statistics and facts. Furthermore, you’re expected to cite authorities on the subject and make logical analogies.

Let’s look through some good examples of logical reasoning or in other words – logos.

An anti-smoking paper unveils that cigarette smoke features up to 4,800 chemicals, and 69 of them provoke cancer.»

  • The statistics states smoking is unhealthy.

Two key studies from military intelligence experts have already warned our chiefs as for the dangerous national security issues of the climate crisis. Hundreds of millions of climate refugees might destabilize nations across the globe. Several days ago, 27 senior statesmen as well as retired military readers warned of the approaching national security threat, we can call energy tsunami. The loss of access to foreign oil would trigger that threat. Meanwhile, the Iraqi war keeps going, and the war in Afghanistan is getting worse.

  • An analyst has paraphrased military intelligence experts, retired military leaders, and senior statesmen. These are credible sources to support his point of view. Additionally, he draws a clear connection between his protest of the war and their findings.

Of course, you’re eager to derive huge benefits from your logos. The tips here below should help you:

  • Whenever relevant utilize statistics. It’s because the vast majority of people believe in the whole power of math.
  • You require conducting extensive research of credible sources and employ solid facts in order to support your exclusive claim.
  • It makes sense to employ so-called if-then statements with substantial supporting evidence. For instance, you could argue that if a state dares to raise the legal driving age to 18, there will be fewer teen-related accidents, not to mention deaths.
  • You should actually begin with your claim, your personal truth you’re going to persuade the audience of. You should brainstorm the solid reason you really believe this claim of yours to be true. You require supplying evidence literally at every step of your way. By the way, make sure the evidence provided really supports your claim.
  • It’s apparent that your logical reasoning should provide a solid foundation to your argument. Many people believe in evidence and facts. Just give them enough reasoning, and they’re going to be convinced.
  • You’re expected to utilize logos throughout the body of your paper or speech.


The convincing technique of pathos makes the most of the emotional appeal. Writers and speakers make use of pathos in order to gain sympathy from their audience.

It’s time to cycle through persuasive examples of pathos.

Hilary Clinton told in 2008: «Though we failed to shatter that extremely hard glass ceiling, thanks you for making 18 million cracks there.»

  • Undoubtedly, that’s an emotional appeal for Hilary’s feminist voters. She simply alludes to the glass ceiling, which is supposed to prevent representatives of the fair sex from reaching the highest levels of power and business. Hilary stressed that 18 million votes had made enough cracks in that structure. Her voters would feel quite emotional regarding her attempt and inability to cope with the glass ceiling.

From an ad for the Pedigree Adoption Drive: Let’s introduce Otis. He’s used to living in a shelter, where he sleeps almost all the time. Otis starts wagging his tail each time people walk by. They leave, but he waits persistently and also recalls the smell of his former home and a squirrel he was chasing. Having thought enough, Otis gets tired and gets back to his sleep.

  • Of course, for animal lovers, the given ad offers an extremely emotional appeal. We learn how that poor dog was used to have a good life, and now he misses it. We see how depressed he’s. The ad is backed up with a picture of a sad dog, sitting in a cage. It definitely urges people to act.

If you’re interested in making your persuasion more powerful, make use of these techniques:

  • You should utilize anecdotes as well as other stories supporting your claim and calling folks to action.
  • You require appealing to people’s feelings and beliefs. Play with their pity, love, fairness, not to mention their revenge, lust and greed.
  • Make use of figurative language.
  • You should carefully consider your word choice. Sure, your persuasion boasts a certain tone: excitement, humor, sarcasm and so on. Choose appropriate words relating to this particular tone.
  • Perhaps, you’ve already noticed that most arguments in the popular press relate to exactly emotional appeals. Pathos easily moves anyone to action, because it appeals right to the heart. As a result, people just react, though they don’t understand why they’re doing this way.
  • Ideally, you should utilize pathos close to the end of your essay or speech. It’s because exactly the end of your reasoning would be the last thing the audience has in their minds. If you manage to catch their emotions, they will most likely follow your call to action.

As you see, to become a true persuader, you should make the most of logos ethos pathos. In the beginning, use ethos for setting up your credibility. Employ logos to prove your idea, and end up with pathos, charging your audience with the right emotions.

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