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University of Winnipeg/Rhetoric & the WWW - Rhetoriki/Ethos

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Ethos Edit

Appeal to Ethics/Character

Kinney defines ethos as “how we appear to ourselves and to others”. Silva Rhetoricae Web Site emphasizes that it is “how . . . character is established by means of the speech or discourse.” The rhetor can develop ethos by surveying the audience and adjusting their rhetoric to them. The methods to establish ethos are invented ethos and situated ethos.

Invented ethos focuses on people with limited personal knowledge of each other. Another way is to focus on one interest, thus creating trust in the audience. Being knowledgeable and well-informed is the quickest and easiest way to create trust.

Situated ethos has to do with the (relational) social context. Rhetors should acknowledge the rhetorical situation in a way that is non-threatening and non-combative. For example, power-issues are a concern with relationships. If you are honest and open with the audience, then the audience will listen. It is a first step to building ethos. Kevin


Examples of Ethos:

Groupe Danone

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

The Body Shop, Canada


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