Discussion Board Questions

Question #1: Ethos in Research and Writing; What is it? How is it useful?

Aristotle who came up with the concept of ethos alluded to it as an embodiment of good sense, moral character, and goodwill (Shanahan & Seele, 2015). Ethos is the use of different elements to depict credibility and trustworthiness in research and writing. A researcher or a writer needs to appeal to ethos to gain the trust of his/her audience by proving beyond reasonable doubt that the works on display are credible and obtained in a fashion that is acceptable, morally, and academically right. To achieve this in research and writing, one can use references to work or real life experiences that can be related to the topic at hand. Second, one can reference characters in the topic, for instance, if one is researching on students, he can reference some of them to gain credibility. The third and most common way is to reference sources written by authorities on the subject. There are seasoned researchers who have previously done work on the line of the topic one is considering. As such, they can be referenced. 

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The importance of ethos as mentioned above is to establish credibility. By drawing from ethos, a researcher or a writer prove their expertise on the topic at hand and demonstrate themselves as respectable authorities as explained by Beebeejaun et al. (2013). As such, the audience can trust the researcher or writer to provide them with reliable information. With this in mind, the researcher is able to connect with their audience since the audience has the tendency to believe those that they respect. With ethos, one is able to project themselves as authorities on the topic at hand and as such, a person worth the attention of the audience out of trust and respect. Ethos is everything to do with perception.


Beebeejaun, Y., Durose, C., Rees, J., Richardson, J., & Richardson, L. (2013). ‘Beyond text’: exploring ethos and method in co-producing research with communities. Community Development Journal, 49(1), 37-53.

Shanahan, F., & Seele, P. (2015). Shorting Ethos: exploring the relationship between Aristotle’s Ethos and Reputation Management. Corporate Reputation Review, 18(1), 37-49.

Question #2: Importance of Questioning Evidence and Own Arguments

In the absence of evidence, there is only personal opinion. To ensure that there is credibility in one’s own argument, evidence should be provided; but it raises a question, is the evidence credible? It is at this point that one examines the importance of questioning evidence and arguments they put forward. To do this, one needs to examine their evidence by checking out on the intention of the author of such evidence. How did the author of the evidence construct or develop their argument? Further, there should be an examination of how the author intends to put up as a means of demonstrating credibility and persuades their audience to their viewpoint. The organization of such evidence needs to be in a way that alludes to trust and credibility.  

Questioning evidence and one’s own arguments is a form of validation that one’s research and arguments are on track for a successful outcome. With evidence, one is able to compare their findings with what others who were there before her/him obtained and if there is a variance, one is able to identify why. With evidence and arguments, validation is necessary and this can only be through asking the right questions. Vale (2013) examined the value of asking questions and emphasizes on the need to avoid the pitfall of focusing on the end game rather than the process. On this, the cue is that evidence should not just be used to validate an outcome, it should be used to cross-check findings to authenticate them. Evidence should not be a rubber stamp, it should be a means to confirm that everything is procedural and within the realms of reality. In return, works will be authentic, credible and enough to inspire trust and confidence from our audience. 

ReferencesVale, R. D. (2013). The value of asking questions. Molecular biology of the cell, 24(6), 680-682.

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