Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

Laura Childers
Santa Rosa District Schools


After teaching ethos, logos, and pathos, students read -Letter From a Birmingham Jail- and -Civil Disobedience- to identify these appeals and write a comparison/contrast paper connecting these two essays, which were written a hundred years apart.


The student determines the main idea and identifies relevant details, methods of development, and their effectiveness in a variety of types of written material.

The student identifies universal themes prevalent in the literature of all cultures.

The student understands the different stylistic, thematic, and technical qualities present in the literature of different cultures and historical periods.


-Copy of -Letter in a Birmingham Jail- (website attached) by Martin Luther King, Jr.
-Writing utensil
-Copy of :Thoreau, Henry David. -Civil Disobedience.-(Can be found in [The American Experience]. Prentice-Hall, Inc. New Jersey.1991.)


1. Students should be familiar with ethos, logos, pathos.
2. Get copies of handout made for each student.
3. Pick dates when items are due.


1. Review appeals of ethos, logos, and pathos.

2. Ask students to read -[Civil Disobedience]- by Thoreau and -[Letter From a Birmingham Jail]- by King.

3. Pass out the handout. (See file.)

4. Tell students to find the answers to the questions on the handout.

5. Tell students to find two examples from both texts of each appeal.

6. Go over the handout with the students.


Excellent...............................................Needs Improvement
-Correct MLA documentation is used throughout the paper.
-The main idea of each paragraph is stated in a strong topic sentence.
-There are enough specific details and examples to support the ideas presented in the assignment.
-The details are accurate and directly relate to the main idea.
-The conclusion is strong and relates to the main idea.
-The paper states the appeals used and with examples relates to the definition of either pathos, logos, or ethos.
-The discussion of the appeals are used in reference to the benefits of using particular appeals in the essay.
-Pre-writing activity, such as clustering and questions answered from handout.
-Structure of paper is logical and is organized throughout in the same manner.
-Connects both essays as important, regardless of date written or circumstances.

Web Links

Web supplement for Ethos, Logos, and Pathos
Martin Luther King

Attached Files

Attached document.     File Extension: pdf

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