Rhetoric is the art of language where effective persuasion rests in catering to the three appeals of the audience: Logos, Pathos, and Ethos. Popular with Aristotle and Plato, its primary goal is not to discover truth (like Socrates’ Dialectical Method), but to persuade people.
Logos is the logic and reason of the information. This is prevalent in the academic environment such as school papers, journal articles, and so forth. This would include inductive and deductive reasoning, research and citations, definitions, statistics, expert opinion, analogies, and relevance of facts.
Pathos is the emotion of the information. Advertisers use this method primarily because logic is intended for argument whereas no one really argues emotion. Imagine a mother scolding her child for breaking into the cookie jar. If the child responds with logic, “but mom, you said I wasn’t allowed a cookie yesterday, but you didn’t say anything about today,” generally the mom is going to argue back. However if the child responds with emotion, “sorry mom, I wanted a cookie to try to cheer me up,” mom most likely is going to feel a little sorry for and be a little easier on said child whether she gives in to the cookie wish or not. Ways to achieve pathos include emotional stories or examples, vivid descriptions, figurative language such as similes and metaphors, and tone. Pathos pushes people to not only read and comprehend, but to take action.
Ethos is the credibility of the writer. Examples of ethos include doctors recommending a health product or a politician trying to destroy the credibility of an opponent. Students find it particularly difficult to achieve credibility when writing persuasive papers because their reputation isn’t always predefined at that moment, but you can still achieve ethos in other ways like using credible sources within research, properly using grammar and vocabulary, writing to the level of the intended audience, and removing bias.