The Three Appeals of Argument: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
The three appeals go by several names. Often times they are simply called "the three appeals." But some people call them the three appeals of argument, persuasive appeals, modes of persuasion, and three persuasive audience appeals to name a few. But some names give a clue as to the origins of the appeals, such as "The Aristotelian Appeals." The three appeals were posited by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
Ethos is known as the ethical appeal. This means the writer and/or speaker is appealing to one's ethics or beliefs and is based on one's character.
Logos is known as the logical appeal. The writer and/or speaker appeals to one's logic or reasoning. This is based on facts and other forms of evidence.
Pathos is known as the pathetic appeal. This is usually when students laugh. And I always tell them, "This does not mean you or the people in the audience are pathetic." Instead the writer and/or speaker is appealing to one's emotions. This appeal is known for trying to pull at one's heartstrings.
Which do you tend to use the most of?
There is no correct blend of the three appeals when writing a paper or speech. However, being aware of balance based on the audience and intent, one can present a much more solid argument and be more successful at convincing others.
Want to learn more about the three appeals of argument/persuasion?
You can learn more about the three appeals by visiting Purdue OWL. They offer a wealth of information.
About the Author
Stephanie Bradberry is first and foremost an educator and life-long learner. Her present work is as an herbalist, naturopath, and energy healer. She spent over a decade as a professor of English, Literature, Business and Education and high school English teacher. She is the founder and owner of Naturally Fit & Well, LLC and former owner of Crosby Educational Consulting, LLC. Stephanie loves being a freelance writer and editor on the side.