1A Audience and Ethos

Quick Write

What is an argument?


Many ways to argue. Different ways to argue. No one way is correct. It changes depending on region, audience, and message. It even changes by gender. Circular logic and linear logic. 


Ethos is about values. In rhetoric we connect ethos to character, credibility, and trustworthiness. At their core, these concepts have to do with values. We tend to believe and trust those individuals who exemplify the values we cherish, who live the sort of life that we would want to live.

 Ethos Handout from University of Maryland

5 Ways to Persuade with Character (Ethos) | How to Craft an Argument

 Ethos is inferred, NOT possessed. Five strategies for persuading through character from the video.
  1. Personal info
  2. Sources
  3. Identification with Audience
  4. Point of View
  5. Balanced Presentation

Presidential Hats

Trump in Cowboy Hat
Obama in Cowboy Hat

Bush in Cowboy Hat

Ethics and Rhetoric

The Nation of Immigrants Myth

A very persuasive article that doesn’t argue ethically, fairly, and uses fallacies.

The lesson here is you should be ethical and fair. You should seek to argue for the truth, not an agenda you might have.

Understanding Audience

Audience is quite possibly the most important thing to consider when writing an argument. You need to appeal to them, understand their problems, values, and beliefs, in order to convince them of your point of view.

  • Who your audience is should influence how you present your argument.
  • Who your audience is should influence how you present yourself.
  • Determine what is important to your audience. What do they really care about? What do they value?
  • Are your argument claims in line with those values?

“I Have a Dream” Speech

Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the best speeches in history. How does he develop his ethos? How does he use appeals to emotion and logic to get us to see his perspective. How does he persuade us to see the truth he knows? 

Write down some examples of ethos, logos, and pathos from the speech. 

Casso “Worth the Lie”

What argument is Casso responding to? What is Casso’s argument?

How does Casso support the argument they are making? Find examples of ethos, pathos, and logos. 


  1. Sort of cost-benefit analysis
  2. Measuring praise and blame
  3. Making the weaker argument the stronger one, playing devil’s advocate
  1. Irene Parra 3 months ago

    casso’s argument is that even though people saw Lance Armstrong as a bad person , he shows how much he is helping people now. Casso uses ethos in his first couple paragraphs to establish credibility . Also throughout the essay Casso gives credit to Lance Armstrong. Casso also use pathos in his first couple paragraphs by sharing Barbara’s story along with many others.

  2. Violet Biang 3 months ago

    Casso wrote about Louis Armstrong’s coming out story with a different view point. Casso did a good job at establishing ethos, logos, and pathos for his overall credibility of his essay. I enjoyed this essay because Casso had to use Aristotle’s style of rhetoric to convince such a controversial topic. It is very hard to persuade someone to see the good in Armstrong’s situation. But with evidence and support Casso showed us how he used Armstrong’s big white lie for the better instead of a lie’s usual affect. Casso gave us a problem with an answer along with a real life example of the points he was making. His paragraphs were focused and to the point.

  3. Matthew Williams 3 months ago

    What is an argument?
    An argument is a conversation, idea, or motive that acts to persuade an audience to believe their ideas and conclusions with evidence and facts.

  4. Brianna Esquivel 3 months ago

    The Casso argument was something that connected to the reading emotionally. It talked about how the woman in the story was diagnosed with bone morrow cancer and she had noone there to support her in a time when you need some support from people. One of the was that she ws able to find support through Lance Armstrong’s story.

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