Ethos, Logos, Pathos

by Ben Lieu, Matt Baloy, and Alex Lam


Ethos is the greek word meaning "Character". People tend to trust people with certain characteristics or titles. Someone claiming a scientific breakthrough will seem more credible if they are a scientist instead of a politician.

ex) Martin Luther King JR. addressed his readers in his letter from Birmingham Prison as "My dear fellow Clergymen", which let the readers understand him as a religious leader.


Meaning "suffering" or "experience", pathos appeals to the reader's emotions. Using sensory-based details and vivid language, pathos touches the heart of the reader.

ex) Animal abuse commercials for SPCA and the commercials for underprivileged children in Africa.

"… When you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky …"


Logos in Greek is "word". It uses facts and knowledge to interact with the audience.

Ex) Dr. King used logos to explain how to create a nonviolent campaign.

"In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self-purification; and direct action."

Question 2

What are some ways you can think of to make ethos, pathos, and logos easy to remember?

Question 3

Personally, do you think persuasive writing with the three rhetorical appeals is ineffective compared to the power of money?


With all ethos, pathos, and logos, your persuasive writing can become just as powerful of a weapon as money. Ethos makes the reader understand your character, logos gives the reader information of a problem, and pathos seals the deal by reminding the reader of the pain and suffering caused.

Ethos = Entry

Logos = Logical

Pathos = Path

We are Epalo

1B - Baker

January 7, 2014

E for extreme! ~ly ethos

Pa for partners... On the path to persuasion

Lo for loco! ~motives because we're always on the move

Question 1

Based on your previous knowledge, what do you think ethos, pathos, and logos are?

Example 2

"My children, heaven smiles down upon our kingdom. China will sleep safely tonight, thanks to our brave warriors." - Emperor from Mulan