Whenever we write, whether it’s an email, an English essay or a résumé, we face some kind of “rhetorical” situation that combines the art and science to convince or persuade the audience of the writing. The “rhetoric” related to a field of study of persuasion to the audience which is the target of the persuasion.
There are three key elements to the art of persuasion, based on the classical study of Aristotle, an influential Greek philosopher in 4th century BC, known as ethos-pathos-logos.
- ethos is related whether the story is “credible” to the audience.
- pathos is related to the emotional element of the story
- logos is related to the logical element of the story to persuade the audience
These three elements are referred as “rhetorical appeals”. The weight or balance of each element may be varied, depending on the type of writing and the audience. In academic writing, ethos and logos are given more emphasis than pathos. An essay or a noble tend to rely more on pathos, with little use of ethos or logos.