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Posted by on Dec 2, 2017

Q&A: Can a single example be used as both logos and ethos?

Great question:

Can a single example be used as both logos and ethos? Can citing an authority provide both fact-based information while appealing to that person’s credibility?

We think YES – and doing so comes with a little extra benefit.

Of course success depends on the details – what is the example? Is it compelling? Is the source of the example highly credible?

Assuming you’ve got those bases covered, then yes.

The little extra benefit, from our point of view, is that in order to do BOTH logos and ethos you’ll need to really dig into the example. You’ll have to analyze it from multiple perspectives…which means you’ll have thought more deeply about the issues. Many students will use multiple examples but treat each one superficially…so by settling in on one source you’ll be raising the chances that you achieve true analysis vs. summary.

One additional note (our lawyers made us add it): we assume, for a standard high school or college paper, that there is at least one additional example/source used to make the case. Relying on one source is not a good idea.