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  • Writer's pictureFeasibility Plus

Ethos, Pathos and Logos

Ethos, pathos and logos are strategies that are the heart of communication and can be practised by organisations to appeal to the audience or readers on many different levels and persuade them into trying their products and services.

Ethos usually appeals to the reputation and credibility of the writer or speaker. It conveys the character of the one communicating and is crucial when. It comes to gaining the trust of the readers/ audience.

When it comes to ethos for writers, it gets a little more challenging than the ethos for public speakers or advertisers due to the lack of visual cues such as body language and gestures. When it comes to writers, readers face more difficulty in creating a sense of ethos for the writer because of which writers tend to strategise by drawing attention directly to their credentials to give a sense of authority. To be more subtle, writers also fill in the blank canvas for readers by their writing style, structure and tone of the sentence- these give readers/users an insight into the personality and character of the writer/ the one communicating, thereby making ethos for them a little less difficult.

The purpose of ethos is to convince the audience that the seller can be trusted and is ethical and when an esteemed public figure endorses a product it makes it easier for the end customer to validate that product.

Pathos essentially revolves around convincing the audience by provoking emotions in them by appealing to their senses, nostalgia, shared experiences or memories. Pathos can be instigated via humour, love, patriotism, kindness or any emotional response which at the end of the day helps wrap the logical argument of promoting an organisation’s service/ product with a healthy dose of emotional connection. However, to be able to successfully make the emotional connection, the writer/ organisation needs to know what they are offering, who they are targeting or offering the product/ service to and the greater societal context in order to manipulate people into feeling joy, empathy or any emotion that could help promote the product.

Logo, in simple words, appeals to logic and comes from the Greek term for “word”. It primarily relies on the strength of the argument and the tools of logic supporting it such as facts, figures, data and common sense.


Ethos can be implemented by talking about past experiences and qualifications. The audience should trust the source and this happens when the organisation or the writer asks the customer to trust in what they are offering based on their expertise and to give them a chance.

One needs to keep in mind what the users need to hear in order to believe what is being offered. Providing a background usually helps has does remembering the target audience that is being talked to. Organisations need to remember the characteristics such as flexibility ambition et cetera that might align with the morals and beliefs of the audience and make you more trustworthy and reliable.

While implementing pathos the organisation of the writer needs to be aware of the kind of emotion that is being targeted as well as the truth or fact being drawn upon to trigger that emotion. Essentially it encapsulates building a narrative around the truth And this is done in a generous, genuine and effective way while also using analogies surprise body language and all possible visual cues.

There are a few tools that can help make pathos more effective, and these include jokes, paromologia and aposiopesis. Jokes tend to form a relatable image and can help gain more attention from the audience and is a great technique for pathos. Paromologia creates a sense of empathy while making the person/ organisation look honest and logical by conceding part of the opponent’s/ competitor’s point. Aposiopesis is when the writer/speaker takes a sudden pause because of getting overwhelmed by emotions, and this is great at narrative building for products or services by attaching a story to it and inducing empathy amongst the audience.

Logo sustains reasoning and logic and is best delivered when tempered with a common speech that is understandable by everyone along with a warn charisma of the person delivering those facts. It is essential to not beat around the bush and keep it concise and to the point, while delivering logos and one of the most effective ways is to derive a logical conclusion with the help of examples and stories.

All in all, the three strategies are not something that needs to necessarily be mutually exclusive while being implemented. A good and balanced blend of the three is potentially to give the most efficient and beneficial results


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