http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/ethos-pathos-logos

The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

By Katherine Docimo and Kristy Littlehale

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Middle School ELA and High School ELA Categories!



Rhetoric Definition

Rhetoric is using language in an effective manner with the aim to persuade or motivate an audience. Rhetoric is applicable to both speaking and writing.


In high school, the ELA Common Core State Standards require students to develop formal writing skills, creating essays and arguments that are well-thought-out and syntactically varied. They also require students to effectively use persuasive writing strategies to defend a claim or point of view.

A great way to enhance students' understanding of effective arguments is to teach the Aristotelian concepts of Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. This requires a basic working knowledge of rhetoric. A key to strong persuasive writing is the ability to dissect and validate, or debunk, the rhetoric of other arguments.

The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Ethos

Ethos is the credibility of the speaker or writer. In order to engage an audience on a particular topic, the person presenting the information must first establish him or herself as someone that can be trusted, or as someone who has a lot of experience with the topic. This is also known as ethics.


Ethos appeals to:

  • Intelligence
  • Virtue
  • Morals
  • Perception of trustworthiness
Ethos Pathos Logos


Pathos

Pathos accesses the emotions and deeply held beliefs of the audience to draw them into the subject matter. Pathos often makes audiences feel like they have a personal stake in the information being provided and is often the catalyst that drives them into action.

Pathos appeals to:

  • Emotions and feelings
  • Biases and prejudices
  • Senses
  • Motivations
Ethos Pathos Logos


Logos

Logos uses logic, reasoning, evidence, and facts to support an argument. Logos appeals to the more rational side of the audience’s minds, and provides support for the subject matter. Logos strategies can often be used to strengthen the impact pathos has on the audience.

Logos utilizes:

  • Evidence
  • Testimony
  • Statistics and Data
  • Universal truths
Ethos Pathos Logos


Rhetorical Strategies and Devices

The successful implementation of ethos, pathos, and logos in writing or speech depends on the effectiveness of different rhetorical strategies. There are many different rhetorical strategies (and rhetorical fallacies!) that can strengthen or weaken an argument. A few of the more familiar strategies to students include:


Rhetorical Questionsencourages audience to think about an obvious answer
Analogyestablishes a more familiar concept to explain a more complicated or remote subject
Rebuttaldisproves or refuses an assertion
Antithesisuses strongly contrasting words, images, or ideas
Parallelismrepeats a grammatical structure to emphasize an important idea
Repetitionrepeats a specific word or phrase to ensure that the audience pays attention
Loaded Wordsuses the connotations of words in order to play on the audience’s emotions
Restatementexpresses the same idea but in different words to clarify or emphasize
Understatement or Overstatementuse to be ironic call attention to an idea, or to emphasize and idea through exaggeration


Take a look at these rhetorical strategies in use:

Start My Free Trial

By recognizing the tactics of a persuasive argument, students learn to utilize it themselves and recognize these tactics in daily life. One excellent way to teach and review the concepts of ethos, pathos, and pathos is through a storyboard.


In the following example storyboard, each concept is briefly explained and then shown in action. When students create a definition-example board like this, classroom concepts are reinforced, and students have the chance to demonstrate them creatively.

Start My Free Trial

By incorporating the visual elements of a storyboard as well as text, even students who struggle creating organized written thoughts can demonstrate mastery of the subject. Additionally, teachers can immediately see and respond to inaccuracies, allowing them to use class time to assess and correct, rather than handing back graded work a day or two later.

Using Storyboards In Your Classroom

  • Use storyboards to create advertisements for products using Ethos, Pathos, or Logos to convince potential buyers.
  • Use a storyboard to create an “argument diagram” of a famous speech. Students can break the speech up into tactics, then show an example of those tactics in each cell.
  • Ask students to create a persuasive storyboard about a topic that is important to them. Require them to use one, or all, of the tactics in the rhetorical triangle.
  • Have students collaborate and promote an unpopular school rule, consequence, homework, or even cafeteria food. Have them utilize rhetorical tactics and strategies in their promotion. Having to flip a negative idea into a positive one is also a great way to teach propaganda.
  • Give students an empty storyboard as part of an assessment and ask them to explain and give an example of each: ethos, pathos, logos.





Start My Free Trial

More Ethos Examples and Activities

Utilize the following activities in your own classroom with the examples below! Use the template with your students, and assess their progress with our Quick Rubric!






Start My Free Trial




Image Attributions


Help Share Storyboard That!

Looking for More?

Check out the rest of our Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans!


All Teacher Guides and Lesson Plans Ed Tech BlogElementary SchoolMiddle School ELAHigh School ELAForeign LanguageSpecial EdUS History and Social StudiesWorld History

Our Posters on ZazzleOur Lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers
http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/e/ethos-pathos-logos
© 2017 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.
Start My Free Trial
Explore Our Articles and Examples

Try Our Other Websites!

Photos for Class – Search for School-Safe, Creative Commons Photos! (It Even Cites for You!)
Quick Rubric – Easily Make and Share Great Looking Rubrics!
Prefer a different language?

•   (English) The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Español) El Triángulo Retórico: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Français) Le Triangle Rhétorique: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Deutsch) Das Rhetorische Dreieck: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Italiana) Le Retoriche Triangolo: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Nederlands) De Retorische Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Português) O Triângulo Retórico: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (עברית) משולש רטורית: אתוס, פאתוס, לוגואים   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) والبلاغية المثلث: ايثوس، شفقة، شعارات   •   (हिन्दी) बयानबाजी त्रिभुज: लोकाचार, करुणा, लोगो   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Риторический Треугольник: Ethos, Пафоса, Логотипы   •   (Dansk) Det Retoriske Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Svenska) Den Retoriska Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Suomi) Retorinen Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logot   •   (Norsk) Den Retoriske Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logoer   •   (Türkçe) Retorik Üçgen: Ethos, Pathos, Logolar   •   (Polski) Trójkąt Retoryczny: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Româna) The Triangle: Ethos Retorice, Pathos, Logos   •   (Ceština) Rétorická Trojúhelník: Ethos, Pathos, Loga   •   (Slovenský) Rétorický Trojuholník: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (Magyar) A Retorikai Triangle: Ethos, Pátosz, Logók   •   (Hrvatski) Retorički Trokut: Ethos, Pathos, Logos   •   (български) Реторическият Триъгълник: Етос, Патос, Логос   •   (Lietuvos) Retorinį Trikampis: Ethos, Patoso, Logotipai   •   (Slovenščina) Retoričnih Triangle: Ethos, Patos, Logos   •   (Latvijas) Retoriskās Triangle: Ētoss, Patoss, Logotipi   •   (eesti) Retooriline Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, Logod