1A Pathos and Word Choice

Quick Write

Take a couple minutes and analyze this image.

4 Ways to Persuade with Emotion (Pathos)

Four Strategies

  1. Concrete Examples
  2. Connotative Diction
  3. Metaphors and Similes
  4. Tone

Appeals to pathos target the link between audience members and their values.

When we act on our values, we experience emotions like happiness, pride, satisfaction, etc. When we do not, we often feel shame, fear, or anger. The same goes for the actions of people around us: we are often pleased when the actions of people around us align with our values and angry when they don’t.

Persuasion: Emotion Handout

Appeals to Emotion

Images can be used to instill an emotional response in the audience. Even implied images in text can be very emotionally powerful. A description of blood stained clothes draws certain emotions in a reader.

Lawyers know how important visuals can be. They dress their defendants in suits and ties to make them seem more credible.

Types of emotional appeals:

  • appeal to pity
  • appeal to fear
  • appeal to self-interest
  • Sexual
  • bandwagon
  • humor
  • celebrity
  • testimonials
  • identity prejudice
  • lifestyle
  • stereotypes
  • patriotic

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not Reason. – Benjamin Franklin

Using Pathos

For the problem solution, figure out how to use pathos to get the audience interested. 

Who is the audience?

What appeals will work with them?

What images will help make your argument? 

1 Comment
  1. Emmanuel Guerra 3 months ago

    The picture of above represents the American Dream that people were living in around the 1950’s. Racism was a big issue at that time and African Americans wanted to have equal rights just as any other American. I believe this picture may be some type of employment opportunities that African Americans wanted to have a chance to live thy American Dream.

    Important, priority, significant
    cheap vs. inexpensive

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