Simply put, pathos is the use of emotional appeals in argument. The reasons for using pathos include putting your audience into a favorable state of mind for accepting your message, to provide motivational warrants for your arguments, to provide a catalyst for action, to create a balance or working relationship between ethos, logos, and pathos, and to ensure that your participation in IPDA debate teaches you real-world argumentation skills. Guidelines for using pathos include carefully choosing your words, telling compelling stories, picking your motivations carefully by determining what is at the top of your judge’s value hierarchy, avoiding the logical fallacy of emotive language, using a variety of motivational appeals, using pathos ethically, and considering the risks involved in using personal appeals.
This document was originally published in Journal of the International Public Debate Association by International Public Debate Association. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Atrribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 license. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/.
Hobbs, Jeffrey and Arellano, Amy. (2017). "The Use of Pathos in IPDA Debate: Justifications and Guidelines". Journal of the International Public Debate Association, 8(1), 1-9.