Logos, Ethos and Pathos

Three appeals of a document or text—for example, a political speech, a Web page, a novel, etc.—first articulated by Aristotle.

  • Logos is the appeal to reason, based especially on the text itself and the evidence it provides
  • Ethos is the appeal based on the character of the speaker or writer. Ethos calls upon the prior reputation of the speaker/writer, or can be an implied image created in the text itself.
  • Pathos is the appeal based on the audience as implied by the text, especially as defined by their emotions or sense of identity. In essence, a document creates its readers.

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