Ethos is the ethical appeal and convinces the audience of the authors credibility or character.


Not to be confused with the definition "a characteristic or spirit of a culture displayed in their beliefs"
The ethos appeal is used in persuasive writing to establish credibility. Ethos is split into three categories: good sense, good character, and good will. Each of these inspire confidence and induce the audience to believe what the author is saying. Word choice is extremely important, that is where ethos is created.

Analyzing Ethos

Explain how author establishes (or fails to establish) good sense, character, and will

  • Sense = smart, credible, tendency to make correct decisions

Examples: produce evidence, project confidence, project expertise, presents correct information

  • Character = good, tendency to make good decisions

Examples: generally mean well, kind, respectful, charitable reputation, responsible

  • Will = good intentions towards audience, established by "friendly feeling."

Examples: generally mean well, selfless, concerned for others well being, friendly feeling

Relationship between Audience and Ethos

Ethos is a quality of the speaker granted by the audience. The purpose of establishing ethos is to make the audience listen- logos makes them believe what is said and pathos makes them care about what was said.

Relationship between Pathos and Ethos

Pathos confirm ethos appeals and is the best way to establish good will.

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