Pathos “appeals to the emotions and cultural beliefs of the listeners or readers (most closely associated with the audience).
The goal of an emotional appeal is to garner sympathy, develop anger, instill pride, inspire happiness, encourage a call to action, or trigger other emotions. When you choose this method, your goal is for your audience to react emotionally regardless of what they might think logically. In some situations, invoking an emotional appeal is a reasonable choice. For example, if you were trying to convince your audience that a certain drug is dangerous to take, you might choose to show a harrowing image of a person who has had a bad reaction to the drug. In this case, the image draws an emotional appeal and helps convince the audience that the drug is dangerous. Unfortunately, emotional appeals are also often used unethically to sway opinions without solid reasoning.”
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)