Identifying the Rhetorical Tools of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos<br />ENG 112<br />Instructor: Mona Marshall<br />
What is Ethos?<br />Ethos refers to the expertise and trustworthiness of the source. <br />Does the author or the person talking to you in the advertisement sound credible?<br />Does he or she sound like an expert? <br />How can you tell? <br />Often, you can tell because the person uses lots of Logos (facts and information), to back up his or her point.<br /> <br />
Examples of Ethos:<br /> <br /><ul><li>The speaker describes actual firsthand experience with the topic
The speaker knows someone who has experienced the topic
The speaker is able to cite experts in the field
The speaker is able to provide historical background
The speaker knows the latest facts and statistics available
The speaker knows the most current thinking on the topic
The speaker is able to predict new angles , approaches, modes of thinking, or trends on the topic</li></li></ul><li>What is Logos?<br />Logos refers to the actual facts, statistics, and examples an author or a person in an ad uses to back up his point and make himself sound credible, or full of Ethos.<br />
Examples of Logos:<br /> <br /><ul><li>The actual quotes from experts and others who have experienced the topic firsthand or information he gives you about his own experience
The actual historical or background information on the topic
The current trends or modes of thinking on the topic
The actual predictions</li></li></ul><li>I hope you can see by now how Ethos and Logos overlap and how you really almost can’t<br />have one without the other. <br />If you use Logos, that makes you look like you have Ethos<br />(expertise and credibility). <br />If you are an expert and you are credible, you are most likely going to demonstrate that by sharing the facts and solid information you have on the topic (Logos).<br />
What is Pathos?<br />Pathos refers to the author’s or ad’s ability to pull at your heartstrings and/or entertain you. <br />It is the tool we use to<br />make people feel warm and fuzzy inside, <br />remind them of fond memories, <br />titillate them, <br />bring them to tears, <br />and even simply to make them laugh. <br />Most of the best ads, speeches and writings out there have pathos in them. <br />
Examples of Pathos:<br /> <br /><ul><li> an ad for a wedding boutique that is done through the father’s eyes as he remembers his daughter as a little girl, as a teenager, and now he sees her before him as a fully grown woman, dressed in her white gown
a beer commercial that takes place at a party on a beach with dozens of girls in hot bikinis
a speech given by a mother who lost her son to a drunk driving accident
an ad that shows hamsters going for a joyride in a car
a politician who tells you a story about a real woman who died of cancer because she had no health care </li></li></ul><li>There are rhetorical devices all around you :<br />You can have a blend of all three, just two, or even just one rhetorical device. <br />Typically, the one that can stand on its own independent of the other two is Pathos: <br />Think of all the ads on television that are simply there to entertain. No important factual information is given. All three ads described previously in the pathos section fall into this category. <br />Everything you read, every speech you hear, and every advertisement you see is using one or more of these rhetorical tools. <br />Take a look at the world around you – even within your own home – you are surrounded by persuasion. <br />People want you to believe their product, their answer, or their opinion is the right one, and these are the tools they will use to get you to believe them. <br />
Examples of Rhetorical Tools Being Used in the World Around You:<br /> <br /><ul><li>Look at your cereal box when you eat breakfast in the morning. What images and words on it are trying to persuade you that you are, in fact eating the very best cereal you could possibly be eating this morning?
Read your shampoo bottle in the shower. Does it claim it has everything you could ever desire in a shampoo?
Listen to the news on your way in to work and school. What slant on the news are they taking? What do they want you to believe?
What is your instructor trying to make you believe?
What words of incentive does your boss give you to try to get you to do your best work?
What restaurant is that billboard on the way home trying to get you to pull off the road and sample?</li></li></ul><li>In Conclusion:<br />Rhetorical devices are all around you, all day long. <br />Try, over the next few days, keeping your eyes and ears open for it, and try labeling what you hear as Ethos, Logos, or Pathos. <br />And see if you can figure out which one you hear the most of and think about what that says about us and our society!<br />