Understanding Persuasive Strategies to Create Strong Appeals

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13672

Persuasive writing is a large part of any writing curriculum; it requires skill and practice. This lesson will explain the three most basic types of appeals in argumentation: ethos, pathos, and logos.



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Are you familiar with these words:





You have probably heard these words, and maybe even used them.

  • But do you know their roots?

Read on to learn more!

Ethics is a system of moral values for an institution or society.

Pathology is the study of disease.

Logical means characterized by clear, sound reasoning.

All of these words share roots with the three basic appeals in argumentation:




  • Based on the words above, can you guess what these roots mean?

thinking socrates

These are Greek root words, and all three have to do with constructing a persuasive appeal.

Ethos means character.

Logos means logic.

Pathos literally means suffering, experience, or reason.

When you appeal to ethos, you are establishing your character. This is where credibility is established in an argument.

When you appeal to logos, you are using evidence and sound reason to support your argument.

When you appeal to pathos, you are drawing on the audience's emotions to make them feel something about your argument.

Read through the Ethos, Pathos, & Logos overview below, courtesy of Prezi. Take notes and record your answers to the appeals at the end of the presentation, but skip the writing assignment. (You'll have plenty of opportunity to write later!)

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  • Now, can you identify the appeals made at the end of the presentation?

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If you're feeling confident about your understanding so far, click through to the Got It? section to see examples of these appeals in action and analyze their effectiveness.

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