Analyze ethos, logos and pathos in an article from your field

Forum Objective: Analyze ethos, logos and pathos in an article from your field.

A persuasive argument is most convincing when it appeals to readers in the ways they would be most moved. Since readers are moved by different elements, it is important we appeal to as many readers as possible:

  • Ethos—credibility of author, credibility of sources, morality, values
  • Pathos—emotions, sympathy, empathy, relevance, personal connection
  • Logos—logic, research, data, reasoning, irrefutable proof, sound explanations

Step 1: Read these articles about types of appeals and then follow the instructions below.

Ethos This appeal to credibility is known as “ethos.” Ethos is a method of persuasion in which the speaker or writer (the “rhetor”) attempts to persuade the audience by demonstrating his own credibility or authority.

Pathos Pathos offers a way for the audience to relate to the subject through commonly held emotions. However, it is important to determine when pathos will be useful and when it will only serve to muddy the argumentative waters.

Logos Logos is the appeal to logic. Logos isn’t logic like the formal logic in math, philosophy, or even computer science; it is the consistency and clarity of an argument as well as the logic of evidence and reasons.

 

Step 2: In your chosen discipline, find an article, ideally one that is persuasive to make the task easier, but even a scholarly, informative article can still have evidence of the appeals.

  1. Go to the APUS Library.
  2. Navigate to the Articles & Databases tab of the large search box at the center of the library homepage.
  3. Search for topics in your field.
  4. Find an article related to your Week 5 Position Paper, something you might use as a source for the project.
  5. Read it for the three (3) rhetorical appeals.

 

Step 3: Decide which of the three (3) rhetorical appeals you want to focus on in this forum: ethos, pathos, or logos. Your initial post may address all three but your focus should be on one.

Step 4: Go to the thread that is marked with the appeal you are going to focus on. In your initial post, provide the link to the piece you evaluated and discuss how this appeal is used in the article. Provide examples or detailed descriptions to support your determinations.

  • Thread 1 – Ethos.  Does this article you selected have ethos? (Ethos is not the same as ethics. It has to do with author credibility.) How is the author an expert in the field?  What is your view of the author’s credibility, based on the article itself and what you know about the author? As you make these determinations, post them by responding to my post with the subject line “Ethos.”  Do not start your own thread.
  • Thread 2 – Pathos.  Does the article have pathos? How does the writer appeal to the reader’s emotions or connect to the reader? Do you feel sympathy or empathy about the issues the writer presents?  Do you feel a personal connection with the writer and/or the topic presented?  As you make these determinations, post them by responding to my post with the subject line “Pathos.”  Do not start your own thread.
  • Thread 3 – Logos.  Does this article have logos?  Do you find there is a logical presentation of facts in the article? Is there a thesis statement in the article? Is there plentiful, convincing evidence to support the thesis? As you make these determinations, post them by responding to my post with the subject line “Logos.”  Do not start your own thread.

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