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The Rhetorical Triangle

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by

Matt Hubert

on 18 October 2017

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Transcript of The Rhetorical Triangle

Speaker/Writer
1
persona
: The character that a writer/speaker conveys to the audience
Key #1: Understanding persona
Speak or write so that audience members perceive a distinct character
educated
considerate
trustworthy
well-intentioned
Make inferences and judgments about the character and personality of another writer or speaker
tone
: The writer or speaker's attitude toward the subject matter
voice
: The textual features such as diction (word choice), syntax (the order of words in a sentence), and sentence structure that convey a writer's or speaker's persona
Thin
Skinny
Slender
Scrawny

Which word comes across as a slight insult about being underweight?
Scenario #1
Imagine over the weekend, you attended the homecoming dance and an after-party with your date. Although you personally didn't participate in anything wrong, you witnessed underage drinking and other bad behavior from friends and guests at the party. Each of the following people ask you the same question, "How was the party?"

Your classmate who hosted the party
Your best friend who was unable to attend
Your parents

How does your persona/tone/voice differ in each scenario?
Scenario #2
Cathedral Prep's principal believes you are a model student and asks you to write an essay regarding why you chose to attend Prep for high school. Your essay will be read by:

Undecided 7th and 8th grade students
Current students at Prep
Cathedral Prep alumni and parents

How would your persona/tone/voice differ based on each potential audience?

Audience/Reader
2
A text becomes rhetorical only when an audience reads or listens to it and responds to it.
Key #2: Appeals to the audience
logos
: The appeal of a text based on the logical structure of its argument or central ideas
ethos
: The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator
pathos
: The appeal of a text to the emotions or interests of the audience.
Logos
A rhetor employs
logos
by offering a clear, reasoned central idea (or ideas) and developing it (or them) with appropriate evidence to appeal to an audience's sense of logic
Ethos
Pathos
A rhetor appeals to
ethos
by offering evidence that he or she is credible—knows important and relevant information about the topic at hand and is a good, believable person who has the readers' best interests in mind,
A rhetor appeals to
pathos
by drawing on the emotions and interests of the audience so that they will be sympathetically inclined to accept and buy into central ideas and arguments.
The Rock's
in-ring persona
Dwayne Johnson's Hollywood persona
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
Mankind
Dude Love
Cactus Jack
The 3 Faces of Foley
Aristotle said rhetoric is useful because "things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over the opposite."
Rhetoric works because speakers/writers and listeners/readers engage
together
in the process of making meaning and coming to understanding.
The Rhetorical Triangle
The three appeals are often used in combination.
Subject
3
1. Choose an "open" subject (offering at least two paths of interpretation, analysis, or argument)
Key #3: Understanding subject matter and its treatment
It is vital for a successful rhetor to comprehend that
what
one decides to include in a composition is intimately connected to
why
one is speaking or writing,
whom
one is speaking or writing to, and
what kind
of text one is composing.
Treat the subject matter fairly, fully, and effectively

To develop skill with treating subjects:
2. Capitalize on what the audience already knows
3. Remember
claim-plus-support
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Babies should not smoke cigarettes.
The death penalty should be abolished because it is inhumane.
One-day fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel should be banned in all 50 states.
Speaker/Writer
1
persona
: The character that a writer/speaker conveys to the audience
Key #1: Understanding persona
Speak or write so that audience members perceive a distinct character
educated
considerate
trustworthy
well-intentioned
Make inferences and judgments about the character and personality of another writer or speaker
tone
: The writer or speaker's attitude toward the subject matter
voice
: The textual features such as diction (word choice), syntax (the order of words in a sentence), and sentence structure that convey a writer's or speaker's persona
Thin
Skinny
Slender
Scrawny

Which word comes across as a slight insult about being underweight?
Scenario #1
Imagine over the weekend, you attended the homecoming dance and an after-party with your date. Although you personally didn't participate in anything wrong, you witnessed underage drinking and other bad behavior from friends and guests at the party. Each of the following people ask you the same question, "How was the party?"

Your classmate who hosted the party
Your best friend who was unable to attend
Your parents

How does your persona/tone/voice differ in each scenario?
Scenario #2
Cathedral Prep's principal believes you are a model student and asks you to write an essay regarding why you chose to attend Prep for high school. Your essay will be read by:

Undecided 7th and 8th grade students
Current students at Prep
Cathedral Prep alumni and parents

How would your persona/tone/voice differ based on each potential audience?

Audience/Reader
2
A text becomes rhetorical only when an audience reads or listens to it and responds to it.
Key #2: Appeals to the audience
logos
: The appeal of a text based on the logical structure of its argument or central ideas
ethos
: The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator
pathos
: The appeal of a text to the emotions or interests of the audience.
Logos
A rhetor employs
logos
by offering a clear, reasoned central idea (or ideas) and developing it (or them) with appropriate evidence to appeal to an audience's sense of logic
Ethos
Pathos
A rhetor appeals to
ethos
by offering evidence that he or she is credible—knows important and relevant information about the topic at hand and is a good, believable person who has the readers' best interests in mind,
A rhetor appeals to
pathos
by drawing on the emotions and interests of the audience so that they will be sympathetically inclined to accept and buy into central ideas and arguments.
The Rock's
in-ring persona
Dwayne Johnson's Hollywood persona
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
vs.
Mankind
Dude Love
Cactus Jack
The 3 Faces of Foley
Aristotle said rhetoric is useful because "things that are true and things that are just have a natural tendency to prevail over the opposite."
Rhetoric works because speakers/writers and listeners/readers engage
together
in the process of making meaning and coming to understanding.
The Modified Rhetorical Triangle
The three appeals are often used in combination.
Subject
3
1. Choose an "open" subject (offering at least two paths of interpretation, analysis, or argument)
Key #3: Understanding subject matter and its treatment
It is vital for a successful rhetor to comprehend that
what
one decides to include in a composition is intimately connected to
why
one is speaking or writing,
whom
one is speaking or writing to, and
what kind
of text one is composing.
Treat the subject matter fairly, fully, and effectively

To develop skill with treating subjects:
2. Capitalize on what the audience already knows
3. Remember
claim-plus-support
Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee.
Babies should not smoke cigarettes.
The death penalty should be abolished because it is inhumane.
One-day fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel should be banned in all 50 states.
Context
4
Rhetorical transactions always take place in a
context
—a convergence of time, place, people, events, and motivating forces—that influences how the rhetor understands, analyzes, and generates the persona, the appeals, and the subject matter material.
No text is an island, separate unto itself. All of these factors influence the text:
The persona and identity of the rhetor
The knowledge and beliefs of the audience
Any pertinent historical background information about the topic
Date of publication
Publication location
The immediate situation calling forth the text
Context can be immediate and bound by current events.
Or context can be distant and bound by historical patterns.
Effective rhetors use context to help an audience
understand
and
respond positively
to the text's message.
Intention/Aim/Purpose
5
Key #4 Understanding context
A rhetor's
intention
(also called
aim
or
purpose
) is what he or she wants to
happen
as a result of the text, what he or she wants the audience to
believe
or
do
after hearing or reading the text.
In some rhetorical situations, the rhetor knows his or her intention right from the start.
In other situations, the intention becomes clear as the text evolves.
As a reader, you discover intention in the process of reading much as a writer discovers intention in the process of writing.
Genre
6
Genre
6
Genre
6
Key #5: Understanding intention
Because every act of writing and reading is embedded in a context, and because every writer writes with a purpose in mind and every reader reads to discover that intention, every rhetor chooses to produce a certain type of text—a genre appropriate for the intention and in the particular context.
Key #6: Understanding genre
genre
is a text classified by its type—for example: letter, email, essay, eulogy, editorial, advertisement, tweet, text message
Context

+

intention

genre
What is the context for this writing?
Who needs to know what I intend to write about?

Therefore, what is the best, most appropriate genre to produce?
Three Main Purposes in Speaking/Writing
To inform
To persuade
To entertain
Full transcript