Aristotle was the first to break the art of rhetoric (speaking or writing effectively) into the categories of ethos, pathos, and logos. Each of these means of persuasion, in one form or another, is still used to persuade audiences today.
Ethos is an appeal to authority. For example, if I were to cite a fact as coming from Newsweek, then I would be using Newsweek as a form of ethos. Whether or not you feel that Newsweek is a reliable source (and why) could be part of your response.
Pathos is an appeal to emotion. For example, if I were to tell you that using less energy will, in the long run, possibly help save hundreds of cute baby seals, then I would be using pathos. Whether or not you feel my appeal is fair (and why) could be part of your response.
Logos is an appeal to logic. For example, if I were to tell you that you should wear a seat belt because you are statistically much less likely to die in a car accident, then I would be using logos. Whether or not you find this statement to be rational (and why) could be part of your response.
Group activity instructions: For each of the following videos, please identify the forms of ethos, the forms of pathos, and the forms of logos. In many cases, more than one can be used at the same time.
We will do the first example together, then you will do the rest in groups of three or four
1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvWu1qwz0ac – “More Doctors Smoke Camels”
Ethos: the doctor, the attractive woman
Pathos: “pleasure,” “mild and good-tasting,” “agrees with your throat”
Logos: the repeated, nationwide survey that asked doctors from all branches of medicine, “What brand do you smoke, Doctor?”
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vfSFXKlnO0 – Zoloft
3) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wq_Bj-av3g0 – “Global Warming”
4) http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1996 – this website is a collection of every single presidential political ad from 1952 to present, and this is filled with examples of ethos, pathos, and logos