What is Ethos?
The use of ethos is called an “ethical appeal.” Note that this is very different from our usual understanding of the word “ethical.” “Ethos” is used to describe the audience’s perception of the rhetor’s credibility or authority. The audience asks themselves, “What does this person know about this topic?” and “Why should I trust this person?” There are two kinds of ethos: extrinsic (the character, expertise, education, and experience of the rhetor), and instrinsic (how the rhetor writes or speaks).
When we discuss the ethos of the rhetor, we decide whether it is strong or weak. We might use a phrase like, “His extrinsic ethos is strong because…” or “His intrinsic ethos is strong, but his extrinsic ethos is weak…”
In this week’s discussion, you will choose an ad (print or video) and discuss whether the ad’s speaker(s) demonstrated strong ethos or weak ethos overall. Political ads are often a good place to start if you are having trouble finding one.
Find a print or video advertisement that demonstrates strong or weak ethos. Write 150 words on whether the ad’s speaker(s) demonstrated strong or weak ethos, with specific examples. Here are some questions you may want to answer (you do not need to answer them all).
What authority does the ad’s speaker have on the subject? How can you tell that the speaker has experience with the subject?
What is the speaker’s tone (attitude) toward the subject and/or the audience? Serious? Sincere? Indifferent? Sarcastic? Playful?
What voice do you hear in the speaker—the sound of his/her personality? How
does that voice suggest the writer’s moral character?
Is the writer’s language appropriate to the subject and audience? Is the grammar correct?
Remember to ultimately talk about whether you feel the audience would be persuaded by the speaker’s ethos, not whether you personally would be persuaded.
Write two replies of 50 words each to your peers. (5 points, due Sunday at 11:59pm)
This ad demonstrates a strong ethos in its ethical appeal to its audience. The tone of the speaker in the ad is serious and affectively worded toward its audience. With the ads against smoking and more ads focusing on vaping is better than smoking. In recent years vaping has become very common amongst teens. This ad is geared toward teen girls and shows how vaping can affect their skin, not just their lungs as stated on the ad. Girls that age are very self-conscious and being able to physically see the side effects is a lot more effective than saying that vaping will not only damage ‘internal organs’. The language is appropriate to its audience, yet they may need to google what the word ‘diacetyl’ means. Other than that the grammar is correct. I think the speaker’s ethos would ultimately persuade its audience to stop the use of vapes.
This ad expresses a strong logo and ethos appeal in expressing why you should drink Pepsi- Cola. The tone of the speaker in the ad is persuasive in getting people to buy a bottle of Pepsi. They express that :”Pepsi-Cola is more than Refreshing”. The writer’s language is appropriate to the audience. The speaker is expressing why a bottle of Pepsi is so good and worth buying. The grammar on the ad is correct. They also emphasize that Pepsi gives you strength and makes you feel good. Their main goal is persuasion to try and get their audience to go to a store or diner and buy a Pepsi. The speakers show some pathos by having a smile on their faces and showing that drinking a Pepsi makes them feel excited and happy. Many people might not agree a Pepsi will make them feel good but according to this ad it will.
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The use of ethos is called an “ethical appeal.” Note that this is appeared first on Course Hero.