Ethos - appeal to sense of character (i.e. being a good, reliable person)

- Language appropriate to audience and subject
Restrained, sincere, fair minded presentation
- Appropriate level of vocabulary
- Correct grammar
- appeal to audience's sense of right and wrong
- reference morality

EFFECT = Demonstrates author's reliability, competence, and respect for the audience's ideas and values through reliable and appropriate use of support and general accuracy


Ethos is related to the English word ethics and refers to the trustworthiness of the speaker/writer.  Ethos is an effective persuasive strategy because when we believe that the speaker does not intend to do us harm, we are more willing to listen to what s/he has to say.  For example, when a trusted doctor gives you advice, you may not understand all of the medical reasoning behind the advice, but you nonetheless follow the directions because you believe that the doctor knows what s/he is talking about.  Likewise, when a judge comments on legal precedent audiences tend to listen because it is the job of a judge to know the nature of past legal cases.