Strategy #3: Analyzing for ethos

The final rhetorical appeal, ethos, draws upon the speaker's credibility and encourages the audience to put their trust in both the speaker and the message. This is most often accomplished by highlighting good will, good moral character, and expertise/experience.




Good will

includes appeals to the audience's best interests and demonstrates that there is nothing to gain from the audience's decisions or actions.

I, as a City representative, am promoting a children's clinic in my district even though my sister's private pediatric practice might lose patients.

Good moral character

includes appeals trustworthiness, honesty, and reputation.

As judge, I have a record of fairness. I strive to be a good listener and to give balanced opinions. I do not involve myself in questionable agreements with lawyers, city politicians, or law enforcement.


includes appeals to qualifications, knowledge, and experience.

The author of this new book on immigration in the United States has studied immigration patterns for over fifteen years, has interviewed immigrants and law officials, has presented at numerous conferences, and has published twelve articles on the subject.