Logos, ethos, and pathos

To try to convince readers of the validity of their arguments, writers can appeal to their emotions (pathos), reason (logos), or to credibility (ethos).

Most of “The Declaration of Independence” is constructed using logos. However, there are also important instances when the writers appeal to ethos and pat…

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Table of contents

Logos

The whole Declaration is a logical argumentation used to prove that declaring independence is legitimate, given the oppressiveness of the British rule.

The twenty-seven crimes of King George III and the British rule listed in the text are meant to represent factual evidence that the American colonies are entitled to declare independence. Here are a few exam…

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Ethos

The authors of the text appeal to trust and authority to make their declaration more credible and give it further legitimacy.

For example, the text refers to natural God-given rights that nobody can deny: “…to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…” ; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created…

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Pathos

“The Declaration of Independence” includes appeals to readers’ emotions in an attempt to persuade them to empathize with American colonies and view them as victims of an oppressive regime: “He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.”; “…large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to c…

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