Ethos, logos, and pathos are rhetorical devices which were also called “models for persuasion” by Aristotle. These are methods that allow you to persuade others and to make them accept your point of view. Quite often, they are used in advertising and speech writing.
What Do These Terms Mean?
Aristotle used these terms when talking about rhetorics. He pointed out that ethos depends on the speaker’s personal character, logos focuses on the proof, and pathos is aimed to put the audience in a certain state of mind.
- Ethos is often described as an appeal to ethics. In this case, the audience is expected to agree with a certain point because it’s supported by a credible or famous person.
- Pathos appeals to emotions. When using pathos, the speaker wants to get a certain emotional response from the audience.
- Logos is aimed to persuade the audience using actual facts and figures.
How to Use Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
Here are some examples that will help you use logos, pathos, and ethos in sentences.
Ethos is usually aimed to demonstrate your expertise:
- “I have 30 years of experience in public service, I’ve helped many people in this community, and it makes me a great candidate for your mayor.”
- “I am a doctor so I can recommend the best treatment.”
- “When I was a marine, I learned that caution is what you really need in situations like this”
- “We have 50 years of experience, we have the best-qualified staff, and hundreds of satisfied customers.”
- “You know me so you know what I’m capable of.”
- “If anyone is qualified to determine the murder weapon, it’s a ballistics expert from the federal government.”
- “My experience and advanced degree speak for themselves.”
- “I’m your grandfather and I’m 50 years older than you so please listen to me, I want the best for you.”
Logos should reason your audience, providing them with statistics and facts or making analogies:
- “Not only do we have the lack of an alibi, fingerprints, and a clear motive, but we also have video of the suspect committing the crime.”
- “The data demonstrates that that investment has brought a stable profit year after year.”
- “The fact that people deserve to be treated equally is common sense. The constitution calls it self-evident.”
- “History has demonstrated many examples of corruption caused by absolute power.”
- “We’ve run these algorithms a thousand times, and the math is right.”
- “I’ve analyzed more than one hundred studies conducted during the last few years, and none of them suggests that this treatment can be effective.”
- “I haven’t seen a single bear in this area for 25 years.”
- “The success of our company is a reason why we have won “Company of the Year” five times in a row.”
- “Research conducted by NASA proves that a moon colony can exist with international support.”
- “Veterinarians say that people who prefer an active lifestyle will certainly appreciate a German Shepherd.”
Pathos is aimed to make an audience feel something. For example, you can use it to make the audience angry or uplifted.
- “I don’t just invest in this community — I love every building and everyone who lives in this town.”
- “If we don’t change our defense tactics, we are all going to die.”
- “Nothing is more important than the safety of your family, that’s why you should choose our reliable security systems.”
- “They don’t care who gets hurt and they hate everything we stand for. They are the enemy, and they won’t stop until they destroy our civilization.”
- “That street is very dangerous at night so I recommend that you take another route.”
- “Don’t let your neighbors have a better lawn than yours!”
- “You can make the right decision because I know that you have a heart.”
- “Our people have fought for this country for many years, and we won’t stop.”
- “After years of disrespect from our bosses, it’s time to take a stand.”
- “If you don’t seize this opportunity, you’ll regret it your whole life. Do you want to think about what would have happened if you took a chance for the rest of your life?”
The better you understand the different aspects of rhetoric, the easier it gets for you to come up with a persuasive argument. We hope that our examples of logos, pathos, and ethos will help you develop your own effective arguments.