Types of Logical Appeals: Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
Exploring Different Types of Appeals
Emotional (pathos) - appeals to feelingsEthical (ethos) – appeals to valuesLogical (logos) – appeals to reason/logicEach different rhetorical situation you find yourself in will call for you to use a different balance of these three types of appeals.
Types of Appeals: Logos
One type of appeal appeals to your readers’ rational sides usingfactsandlogical explanations.This is calledlogos,which is related to the word "logic.“By making sure that your facts are relevant and well-documented, you will increase your credibility as a writer.If an appeal uses scientific research, data, or other “cold, hard facts” to make its point, it is usinglogos.
Types of Appeals: Ethos
You may be appealing toyour readers’sense ofwhat is ethical (in this context “ethical” means “the right thing to do”)by asserting that you share commonvalueswith them.An appeal to values/ethics is an appeal toethos,which shared a root with the word “ethical.”If an argument is appealing to ideals or values that are important to the reader (for example, equality and fairness, “The American Dream,” etc.) and areshared by the writer,it is appealing toethos.
Types of Appeals: Pathos
You may also be making an appeal toemotion.Thisis calledpathos.Itshares a root withthe word "pathetic,"which originally mean “inspiring pity.”It originally meant appealing to the emotionswithoutthe negative connotationof weakness that modernEnglish gives it.Youare trying to get your audience to reallyfeelfor whatever cause you are arguing for.If an argument “tugs at the heart strings” or causes the reader to emotionally engage with the topic, it is usingpathos.
Balancing Logos, Ethos, and Pathos
It is your job as a writer to balance facts, values, and emotions. Too much of one and not enough of the others can make for an unbalanced argument. Be especially aware of overusing emotional appeals. People are smart, and they don't like being jerked around by their emotions. This is especially true when writing for a mixed audience… people who disagree with you will be on the lookout for emotional manipulation.
How can I use claims and appeals in my own writing?
Identifywhat’s at stake.Take some timeright nowto ask yourself,who might be affected by my issue?Also, be on the lookout for sources who can give you more info on what’s at stake. A lot of times, we don’tknowexactly what’s at stake until wedo the research.What types of appeals might be useful for you? How might you use emotion? How might you use logic? Values?Be on the lookout for all types of appeals, or the building blocks of all types of appeals, in your sources as you read.
What is an annotated bibliography?
An annotated bibliography has two parts:First, it is a list of Works Cited entries sourcesyou have already read.Second, each source is followed by two paragraphs:One paragraph thatsummarizesthe source'sclaim(s)A second paragraphs thattells why the source is trustworthyandrelevantto your question, andexplains why you have chosen to use itin your research paper.What unique perspective does this source offer? Why would a quote, paraphrase, or summary from this source a valuable addition to your own writing about the topic?
Format of Annotated Bibliography
See the handout I gave youfor general information about annotated bibliographies and an example annotated bibliography with three sources (remember, you will need SEVEN). There is also an example with one source on the class website.Your annotated bibliography will need…Seven sourcesEach source put into MLA works cited format (as in example)Sources alphabetizedTwo paragraphs following each source discussing requirements on previous slide.Please skip a line between MLA works cited entries and paragraphs. (See example.)