How to Apply Ethos, Pathos, and Logos in Essay Writing

Last Updated: 22 December 2022

A comprehensive essay is persuasive. In other words, it makes the reader believe the writer’s thesis / central argument. The best and easiest way to make your essay persuasive is to use pathos, ethos, and/or logos. These three are Aristotle’s modes of persuasion or rhetorical appeals.

Our essay writing experts will reveal the meaning of these rhetorical appeals and how to use them in your essay to make it persuasive through this post.

Let’s commence.

Definition and Examples of Logos, Ethos, And Pathos

Let’s begin by defining each term and giving a few examples, so you know everything in this guide from now on.

1. Logos

Logos, aka logical appeal, use logic or facts to persuade. You can use logos in your speech or writing to persuade your audience to believe you or do something. In its purest form, a logical appeal involves using graphs, charts, facts, data, and statistics. When done right, logical appeal makes speeches or writings more believable and makes the author's appeal more credible and trustworthy.

Logos (logical appeal) can be used in several ways:

Logos (logical appeal) examples

2. Ethos

Ethos, aka character appeal, entails using your credibility to persuade. You can use ethos in your speech or writing to convince your audience about what you are saying. It is best to use ethos when the audience trusts you because of your position, authority, experience, reputation, and so on. If the audience doesn’t trust you for any reason, then your use of ethos will not be very effective.

Ethos (character appeal) can be used in several ways:

Ethos (character appeal) examples

3. Pathos

Pathos, aka emotional appeal, is the use of emotion to persuade. You can use different emotions, including fear, wants, needs, feelings, imagination, and empathy, to convince/persuade. Whether used alone or with the other two modes of persuasion, pathos can be very effective. Politicians often use it to convince the masses to believe in following their political direction.

Pathos (emotional appeal) can be used in several ways:

Pathos (emotional appeal) examples

Sample Paragraph That Combines Logos, Ethos, And Pathos

Imagine entering a large warehouse, and all you see are dirty and thin puppies in cramped little cages. They all look scrawny, feeble, and as if they have been abandoned for weeks, if not months. Among the few that can gather the will and the strength to bark, you cannot hear them over the hum of the facility’s ancient wall exhaust fan. This might seem like a situation in a faraway place on the opposite end of the world, but it isn’t. It is a situation right here in the United States. There are around 7,000 illegal puppy mills in the USA as of 2021. Many are usually discovered with puppies in bad condition, just as described in the imagined scenario. As an animal rights activist with 15 years of experience, I have personally witnessed this imagined scenario many times. This is why I think, as a society, we should work harder to ensure puppies and other animals are not mistreated in our midst.

How to Use Logos, Ethos, And Pathos in Your Writing

If you have been given the assignment to write and want to ensure your instructor gives you a top grade, you need to make it as persuasive as possible. The best way to do it is to use rhetorical appeals or modes of persuasion (logos, ethos, and pathos) to make your essay as convincing as possible. In this section, you will use the three most common modes of persuasion.

1. How to Use Logos in Writing

Follow the tips below to apply logos in writing

2. Applying Ethos in Your Writing

Follow the tips below to apply ethos in the writing

3. Using Pathos in Your Writing

Follow the tips below to apply pathos in writing

Before you Part with this Piece …

Ethos, pathos, and logos are commonly used strategies for persuading others to a specific point of view. They’re mostly applied in advertising and writing to win the trust of the audience. Collectively, they are referred to as Aristotle’s modes of persuasion or rhetorical appeals. We have explained each rhetorical appeal, given relevant examples, and included tips.

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