Ethos is the quality of the speaker granted by the audience; Ethos is credibility, authority, and good reputation as a speaker. Ethos is often developed through tone and style of the messages the speaker is trying to convey.

Components of Ethos

Components of Ethos

Good Sense

Good sense is the tendency to make correct decisions and/or demonstrates sound judgment. Examples of good sense would be producing evidence, projecting confidence, expertise and true information.

Good Character

Good character is the tendency to make good decisions (in the perspective of the audience) and demonstrates good moral behavior and attitude. Examples would be appearing as a respectful person, generally benevolent, having a charitable reputation, and being responsible.

Good Will

Good will is having good intentions towards the audience; the speaker wants what is best for the audience. Examples would be appearing selfless, taking part in generally benevolent acts, being concerned for well being of others, and creating a friendly feeling.


Ethos is what makes the audience listen to the speaker's rhetoric and retain the knowledge because the speakers makes his or herself appear as a credible, quality source. When evaluating ethos, justify your opinion of the speaker and why or why not their ethos was effective.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License