Modes of Influencing a Research paper Reader : Ethos, Logos and Pathos

A Research paper must convince its readers to change their mindset about the research domain in question, to look at a problem differently, or to consider a new solution.  Some times it is really challenging to convince your readers to read your paper and takeup the work in your field and cite your paper in their research work. More than two thousand years back   ancient Greek philosopher and scientist  Aristotle  suggested  three simple techniques  Ethos,Pathos and Logos (also  called rhetorical appeals )   that writers and speakers  must use to make their audience to hook to their  writing or speeches. These same techniques can be applied  to  research paper writing also.  Let us look at  these techniques  and few examples to show how you can  convince your reader to read your paper.

1. Ethos

Ethos means “character” in Greek terminology and the word “ethics” is derived fom “ethos”. As a paper writer you should use ethos to show to your audience that  you have some credible information  and you have carried out work with credible tools and technologies.  You have to  showcase  your depth of understanding and knowledge  by citing

i) Papers of  reliable authors (Domain Experts)– Who have carried out work previously and their works are published in reputed journals or patented.

ii)Tools and Technologies– Which you have used are state of the art and many researchers are  currently using same tools and technologies.

iii) Data sets used—  Data sets considered  are already used in some previous works  or you have built them on your own under the supervision of some domain expert or Research Lab.

Example 1:The following project is part of AICTE -funded Digital India project aimed at developing and integrating new ICT tools for improved government services.

Example 2The quality grading of Gauva fruit  is developed to measure its effectiveness in developing medicines with the support of the faculty  of  All India Medical Board.

Example 3 : Our  project uses ABC Dataset [4] provided by Indian Space Organization and  XYZ image datasets[5] provided by NASA website for all the experiments.

Example 4 : We have used the datasets of all human motions provided by RED Labs[8]for the country of Portugal.

Example 5: The use of the MNR for training neural networks has been developed by Darren [9] one of the most popular researcher in Neural Network.

Example 6: In  1997, Alpen [2] senior scientist CGHN Labs France, demonstrated the first successful application of  Back Propagation Neural Network method to the problem of  user behavior analysis.

2. Logos

” Logos” means “logic” in Greek terminology. As a writer you should support the selection of your Research topic and methodology of implementation  by citing  facts and statistics and other undeniable figures from reputed authorities in the concerned domain.

Example 1: According to the ICRC (International Cancer Research Centre) of the World Cancer Society (WSC), 12 million deaths were  witnessed  due to  lung Cancer  in 2015 and 40 million of new cases of this hazardous disease are expected before 2020.

Example 2: As per International  Agriculture Institute data , the agriculture produce loss is increasing every  year which is  more than 38% worldwide  that includes a loss of around 20% diseases , 12%  due  to insects and 14% due to weeds.

Example 3:  As per the statistics  given by the International Disability Council, around 15% of world population has one or the other type of disability.

Example 4:  As per the estimates of  International Information Technology Association,  the  rapid growth in Platform as a Service (PaaS)  in Cloud Computing is inevitable and  it is estimated that nearly one third of the worldwide enterprise application market will be PaaS-based by 2020, driving annual PaaS revenue to $800 million, from 300 million in 2012.”

Example 5: The Indian  cloud services market is projected to grow  30 percent in 2015 to total  $40 billion, up from $20 billion in 2014, according to ABC Market Research.


In Greek terminology “suffering” and “experience” are referred as Pathos. Sympathy, Empathy and Pathetic are derived from Pathos. A reader when goes through your paper and finds “Pathos”, he will be more sympathetic towards the current issue in hand.  Being a research paper writer, you need to identify current burning issue that has necessitated the research you have undertaken and use pathos to  make audience to feel pity and anguish about the issue  and continue research in the same field.

Example 1 : Pathological issues in plant  can increase the cost of  agriculture production and can severely affect the economical condition of the producer if  not detected in the early stage of disease development.

Example 2:It is already an established fact that lung cancer is the major cause of death in men and women across the Globe.

Example 3: Diabetic  Retinopathy (DR) is one of the major eye diseases which can harm the diabetic patients severely. Many diabetic patients are affected by  blindness and long term vision defects  due to DR.

However, while using these statements care should be taken regarding the statements you make for their authenticity and relevance to your research article.

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