Ethos “appeals to the credibility, reputation, and trustworthiness of the speaker or writer (most closely associated with the voice).
An ethical appeal relies on the credibility of the author. For example, a college professor who places a college logo on a website gains some immediate credibility from being associated with the college. An advertisement for tennis shoes using a well-known athlete gains some credibility. You might create an ethical appeal in an essay on solving a campus problem by noting that you are serving in student government. Ethical appeals can add an important component to your argument, but keep in mind that ethical appeals are only as strong as the credibility of the association being made.”
Chapter 26: “Recognizing the Rhetorical Situation”
English 1101 and 1102 College and Analytic Writing compiled by Jennifer Schaller and Tammy Wolf
(CC BY-SA 3.0)