What is Rhetoric? Rhetoric (n) - the art of speaking or writing effectively (Webster's Definition). According to Aristotle, rhetoric is "the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion." He described three main forms of rhetoric: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. In order to be a more effective writer, you must understand these three terms. You will better understand their meanings which will make your writing more persuasive.
Three Forms of Rhetoric… Ethos Logos Pathos
Ethos (Credibility) Ethos: the source's credibility, the speaker's/author's authority We tend to believe people whom we respect. One of the central problems of argumentation is to project an impression to the reader that you are someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as author into an authority on the subject of the paper, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect.
Ethos Example: Product: George Foreman and his Grilling Machine Repertoire: Boxing Champ and a Preacher Why is George Foreman credible?
Logos (Logical) Logos: the logic used to support a claim (induction and deduction); can also be the facts and statistics used to help support the argument. Persuading by the use of reasoning. An effective and persuasive reason that supports your ideas.
Logos Example: Idea: Students should be allowed to use cell phones during school hours. List three supporting facts and/or statistics that will support the aforementioned idea.
Logos Example continued… Few of our children breathe fresh air in their schools, which are being sprayed, inside and out, with millions of pounds of deadly, nervous system destroying pesticides. What are the details provided in this claim?
Pathos (Emotional) Pathos: persuading by appealing to the reader's emotions. Emotional appeals, are used to persuade. Language choice affects the audience's emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument. How? Anecdotal writing or narratives within persuasive writing
Pathos Example: How does this advertisement appeal to emotion? Why?
How do I use the appeals in writing? Make sure you add a little of each: Emotion Credibility/Authority Logic A full argument exists when you use all three of these
Pathos, Logos, Ethos skits Get in 3 small groups Each group will get an “appeal” (pathos, logos, or ethos) Pretend your group is trying to persuade an audience to purchase a new pair of shoes Use your assigned appeal to persuade the audience (the classroom) as to why they should purchase the shoes