Published on February 17, 2014
Ethos, Pathos, and Logos The Rhetorical Appeals
What is rhetoric? We often associate rhetoric with politicians; for example, “He uses empty rhetoric.” Rhetoric However, we will be working with rhetoric as the study and practice of strategic communication: “The strategic use of the various modes of language (spoken, written, body, visual, etc.) to create meaning and/or argument” (GFC, 2013, 747).
Other Definitions of Rhetoric “Rhetoric is the use of words—either spoken or written—as well as visuals to achieve some goal” (Roen, Glau, & Maid,2012, p. 1). “The faculty of observing, in a given case, the available means of persuasion.” Aristotle
Acts of persuasion can be classified into the following three rhetorical appeals: Rhetorical Appeals Ethos: Appeal to credibility Pathos: Appeal to emotions Logos: Appeal to logic
Ethos appeals to credibility using: Authority Reputation Values Ethos Ethos represents the overall persona of the speaker/writer and his/her attempt to be authoritative. The following Nike commercial employs ethos by fitting its message to the celebrity (a form of authority) who endorses it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmc8Slg 1VIQ
Pathos appeals to the emotions, values, and beliefs of the audience. Pathos In this clip from Mad Men, Dom Draper evokes a nostalgic emotion of longing through a combination of images and words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s uRDUFpsHus
Logos appeals to reasoning and numbers. It is also represented by wellorganized argumentation and internal consistency. Logos This anti-tobacco PSA is based on a single powerful statistic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_56BQmY_e8
Rhetorical Appeals Note that, although the rhetorical appeals have different focuses, they can work together, sometimes simultaneously, to create an effective message. For example, the creation of a logical, well-organized argument is most clearly an example of logos, but it can also promote the writer’s ethos by making him/her look well-informed and professional.
The Rhetorical and Visual Analysis is worth 100 points, or 10% of your overall grade. Rhetorical/ Visual Analysis 3-5 pages APA format Should following academic writing conventions Examine the instructions and rubric on Blackboard for more information.
For the Rhetorical and Visual Analysis, you are supposed to do the following: 1. Assignment Checklist Choose a persuasive document with visual and textual characteristics to analyze. 2. Analyze its audience. 3. Analyze the writer/artist’s use of the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos). 4. Examine whether or not the rhetorical appeals are effective for the intended audience.
The document you are going to analyze needs to meet certain criteria: 1. Rhetorical/ Visual Analysis The speaker/writer must be trying to persuade his/her audience. 2. You need to pick a text with a visual (that is, it needs to have both words and a visual such as pictures or a video). 3. The text and visual need to have enough substance to carry you through a 3-5 page analysis.
Rhetorical/ Visual Analysis You need to choose an object of analysis that has both written/spoken text and visuals. For example: Lyrics and a professional/official music video A political cartoon An opinion piece with a visual An advertisement or poster with a substantial amount of text A commercial (analyze the visuals separate from the spoken text)
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