There is more content in existence than any one person could read in their entire lifetime. The written word is inherently competitive. Writers must make their work relevant to readers who have a multitude of other options available to them. You must curate your writing to appeal to your audience. Impactful writing appeals to the humanity of the reader in different factions. There are three common appeals to help guide the writing for your business: pathos, logos and ethos. Employing one or more of these in every piece of content you create will help you make a more succinct point and deliver your message in an effective way.
Pathos originates from Greek and is today the prefix to words such as pathetic or pathologic. Pathos translates loosely to emotions, the human condition. Writing for pathos is to appeal to the emotions of the reader. Hinging an argument on an emotional pull is very effective. This is an apt way to anchor persuasive writing. Pose questions that have emotional implications and force the audience towards your reasoning by way of their heart.
Ethos is the peer pressure of the appeals. Also a Greek derived word, this time meaning community or culture. An ethos appeal is playing on human’s desperate need to fit in. People need a place and they need other people. This style of writing exploits our most basic desire to belong. Writing your piece with community in mind employs ethos, presenting a situation where the reader is faced with a choice. They choose to educate themselves. They become part of the group or they do not conform and are left out entirely. This style is effective for calls to action operating on the almost juvenile way we can’t stand to be on the outside looking in.
Logos means logic. Perhaps the most obvious, also Grecian word forms arguments on cold hard facts. The mathematics, the proof of the matters are presented through logos. This is one of the easiest ways to excel at persuasive writing. People can’t argue the truth, especially well supported. The logical side of human nature will appreciate the information. It must be well backed and sources should be readily available to counter any argument from the reader. The logical appeal must be well supported to be effective. Citing the facts and the resources cements the success of this writing style.
While each of these appeals work on their own, the subject matter will help you decide what fits most appropriately. Multiple appeals can and should be used. A logical appeal with an emotional pull that alienates adversaries from culture itself is about as persuasive as persuasive writing can be. Mix and match to strengthen the arguments of your writing as well as to engage the readers. Utilize these tactics in all of your writing from captions to blog posts. Combinations of these appeals will help elevate your social media presence as well as the published content positioning your business as thought leaders in your industry.