College Essay Examples

Logos, Ethos and Pathos


As a reader, it is essential to recognize how various writers and speakers use logos, ethos, and pathos as they communicate. For writers and communicators, it is important to understand how others are using logos, ethos, and pathos so that it can be easier to adapt the same when speaking and writing. When evaluating logos, you consider logic and how well the arguments are supported, mostly in terms of evidence. In essence, logos involves the use of logic and reasoning when crafting any writing to elevate the material and level of engagement with the readers.  When evaluating ethos, you examine both authority and credibility and how they are established by the writer or the speaker (Lumen, 2020). On the other hand, pathos regards how the communicator enables the audience to find a personal connection. This is mostly achieved through evoking emotions. The story “That Time the Internet Sent a SWAT Team to My Mom’s House” by Caroline Sinders makes use of these elements to communicate with the audience and bring about the main message. This paper evaluates how logos, ethos, and pathos have been used in the story to communicate with the audience.

Throughout the story, the author has structured the arguments logically with support in terms of evidence. As a result, she builds logos which is why the audience tends to believe the opinions. Most of her arguments in the story are founded on a strong background in research (Lumen, 2020). The main concern for the author of the story is to understand online harassment as witnessed on social media platforms. She, for example, joints Twitter hashtags to understand and be closer to the source of online harassment. She retweets the anti-Gamergate tweets, most of which featured hashtags bearing the name Gamergate. By doing so, the author of the story understood, watched and documented what was going on with such hashtags. According to her, it is at this point that she began to notice some of her friends being harassed to a level enough to push them to a private corner within the Twitter social platform (Sinders, 2015). By “moving close to the sun,” the author was able to support her arguments regarding online harassment and other issues that may regard privacy. According to her online engagements, online harassment is not likely to end any time soon. Based on the extensive research on aspects that result in online harassment, it becomes easier for the author to communicate through logos. She gives evidence obtained from the study mostly to back her arguments.

The story’s first sentence indicates that the author had received an email from a reporter for a New Orleans newspaper. According to the author, the reporter had just come across the author’s name while researching an article. Although the author was not the main subject of the reporter’s research objective, coming across her name indicates her position and recognizability as a report. She even recognizes herself as “a budding researcher” on matters regarding online harassment (Sinders, 2015). This is part of her status that enables Sinders to build ethos and communicate to the audience. The fact that a report from a New Orleans newspaper had reached out gives Sinders the authority to get in touch with the audience. Although it was easier for the author to mention that she is a budding researcher on online harassment, she also says that she spent more than six months researching the area to understand how it works (Lumen, 2020). This is what Sinders uses to build credibility, which most audiences look after, especially when it is not easy to distinguish the truth from fake information due to the reporters’ objectivity. This is how the author builds ethos while communicating with the audience. 

At the beginning of the story, and after reading the email, the author mentions how she had received an email about her mother being “swatted.” In many ways, Sinders appears to be sorry about the incident. Using a remorseful tone, she initially acknowledges that it was her fault that her mother was pranked – “swatted.” She says, “My mom had been swatted, and it was my fault (Sinders, 2015).” In response to that, and as a demonstration of how sorry she was, she stopped reading the email and immediately reached out to her mother through a call. She interrupts her mother as she tries to catch up with her on matters relating to their family and proceeds straight to her main concern – swatting. This is how the author builds pathos and creates a personal connection with the audience. Generally, people may not be interested in an issue until they find a way to connect to it (Lumen, 2020). To achieve this, Sinders evokes several emotions such as empathy, making it easy to communicate with the audience. After researching, the author then discovers that swatting can be attributed to gaming, which is another way of expressing its negative side. This argument is based on research allowing the author to gain more audience since her arguments are based on evidence. 


Lumen. (2020). English Composition I: Evaluating Appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. Retrieved from Lumen:

Sinders, C. (2015, 07 17). That Time the Internet Sent a SWAT Team to my Mom’s House. Retrieved from Narratively:

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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