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- Computer Science Teacher
- Springfield, IL
- I live life with my mind wide open. Writing and teaching are two of my tools to share what I discover.
Logos, Ethos, and Pathos: Persuasive Writing Techniques
Writing a persuasive essay can be very hard, but ethos, pathos, and logos are persuasive writing techniques that can make it much easier.
Over 2000 years ago, the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle taught persuasive techniques to politicians so that they could convince people to vote for them in upcoming elections. His three main techniques, ethos, pathos, and logos, are still used today and can be applied to writing when you wish to persuade the reader that a viewpoint or opinion is correct. Looking for writing essay help? Keep reading.
Ethos refers to the credibility of who is trying to persuade you. For example, if you are a dentist, then people will trust your opinion on mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a variety of other things related to dental hygiene. However, they won’t your opinion on computer programming as high as a video game designer, because you don’t have the same amount of credibility as the programmer does. When applied to writing, this means that you have some sort of experience or history with the subject that convinces the reader that your opinion is educated and sound. Alternatively, finding proofs for your thesis from people or sources that are respected and have some sort of history with the subject is a good way to utilize ethos when you do not have the credibility necessary to persuade the reader. For example, the source for this article is a .edu site, which is a credible education site that people trust for information.
Pathos refers to the emotional appeal that someone or something has on you. Being scared at a movie, crying after a book, or feeling sad during a TV show are all examples of pathos. Using pathos to persuade people to your point of view in your writing requires you to make an emotional bond through your writing. Good persuasive writing rouses the emotions of the reader, making them feel angry about the opposing side, compassionate to the viewpoint you are trying to prove, or make the opposite side ridiculous and comical. A good piece of writing, persuasive or not, uses the emotion of the reader to form a deeper bond and have a greater effect on the audience.
Logos refers to using logical reasoning that is used to convince the audience to your side of the argument. This can be done through facts, quotations, or examples included in your writing. For example, if a politician says: “During my term in office, I have lowered taxes. If I am re-elected, I will lower them again.” He is using logos because the first part of his statement is a fact, while the next part is the persuasion that he will do it again. Of course, it would be more persuasive if he said how he would do so, but that is still a basic example of what logos is.
These three persuasive techniques for essay writing help will make it much easier to present your thesis and points to your audience while writing, and convince them that your side of the argument is the right side.