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Rhetorical Triangle

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Audience: Fifty students who have neither seen the Classroom Materials nor read the readings for this unit

Topics: The Rhetorical Triangle, the speaker, the audience, the topic/setting

Rhetorical Triangle: The dynamic relationship among the speaker, the audience, and the topic/setting is known as the Rhetorical Triangle. The rhetorical triangle is comprised of three primary elements: the speaker, the audience, and the topic/setting. The shape and form of the rhetorical act or presentation is driven by these three primary elements.

The Speaker: The actual individual speaking
The Audience: Who will actually be attending in addition to those who may not be present but will be influenced by or have access to the content of the presentation
The Topic/Setting: Remember that the setting includes both the physical place and the social/cultural backdrop of the content of the presentation.

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Solution Preview

Please see response attached, also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

I will provide an example of several possible slides, following the information below on the Rhetorical Triangle. Please go through it and add, delete or make changes so it fits with your own understanding of what is expected of you for this assignment.

I provided three diagrams that you might want to insert - I left that up to you. See two diagrams of the Rhetorical Triangle as well as Aristotle's persuasion model diagram.

The Rhetorical Triangle

"The Rhetorical triangle has three elements to it. The writer or speaker, audience and the subject are all elements to the rhetorical triangle. "The ancient Greeks recognized that the dynamic nature of the rhetorical triangle is the key to understanding how an audience is persuaded" (The Penguin Handbook, 9). Aristotle defined rhetoric as the art of finding the best available means of persuasion in any situation. "He set out three primary tactics of persuasion: appeals based on the trustworthiness of the speaker (ethos); appeals to the emotions and deepest-held values of the audience (pathos); and appeals to logic, reasoning, and evidence (logos)" (The Penguin Handbook, 9). In any case when someone is using persuasion to get their way, they are using the rhetorical triangle to do it. When a lawyer is trying to win his case in court, or a documenter is trying to get you to believe in his opinions about a specific topic, are all cases where rhetoric is used. I never knew what rhetoric was, nor did I know how much everyone uses it on a daily basis until I read the section on it in the Penguin Handbook. It is very interesting, and I realized how many different types of communication use it all the time. I think the media taps into it a lot in movies and commercials in order to get the public to believe in what it is they are selling or saying. I think that if a person were to just keep in mind the aspects of the rhetorical triangle while they are watching television they will be amazed at how many instances of it is everywhere." (http://jenn594.blogspot.com/2005/09/rhetorical-triangle.html).

The Art of Rhetoric:

Learning How to Use the Three Main Rhetorical Styles

Rhetoric (n) - the art of speaking or writing effectively. (Webster's Definition)

According to Aristotle, rhetoric is "the ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion." He described three main forms of rhetoric: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos.

In order to be a more effective writer, you must understand these three terms. This site will help you to better understand their meanings and show you how to make your writing more persuasive.

Ethos

Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker. An ethos-driven document relies on the reputation of the author.

Go to an example of an ethos-based site, and our explanation of what it is.

Logos

Logos is appeal based on logic or reason. Documents distributed by companies or corporations are logos-driven. Scholarly documents are also often logos-driven.

Go to an example of an logos-based site, and our explanation.

Pathos

Pathos is appeal based on emotion. Advertisements tend to be pathos-driven.

Go to an example of an pathos-based site, and our explanation.

Rhetorical appeals can be achieved through:
 Visual Information Structure; this includes how the text looks on the screen. This is achieved through the appearance of such things as the titles and the headings.
 Color; this includes the color of the text, the background, and the graphics. The contrast of the colors of each of these items is also important.
 Graphic Images; this includes the other information in the document aside from the text. This is achieved through such things as icons, buttons, and photos.

Example:

A slide presentation it might look something to the effect:

Slide One: Title: Communication: Rhetorical Triangle

Slide Two: Rhetorical Triangle (Consider Diagram below)
- What is Rhetoric?
- Rhetoric (n) - the art of speaking or writing effectively. (Webster's Definition)
- Aristotle defined rhetoric as the art of finding the best available
means of persuasion in any situation.

Slide Three: Trilateral Relationship
- Speaker (e.g. teacher)
- Audience (e.g., students)
- Topic/Setting (e.g., classroom)

Slide Four: Rhetorical Triangle

- Each point of the triangle influences the others
- Each point influenced by the context
- Each point responsible for success of the communication
- Each point corresponds with one of Aristotle's three appeals (i.e., general means of persuasion).

Slide Five: Aristotle's three appeals (possibly use the Diagram below)

Slide Six: Aristotle's Three Means of Persuasion

- Logos
- The logical appeal, an appeal to the audience's reason based on such techniques as examples, inductive and deductive reasoning, definition of terms, critique of the opponent's logic, etc.
- Ethos
- The ethical appeal, an appeal based on the character, persona, and/or position of the speaker.
- Pathos
- The emotional appeal, based on evoking particular emotions such as fear, envy, patriotism, lust, etc.

Slide Seven: Conclusion (Summary Points 3-4)

The Rhetorical Triangle

Every communication is essentially a trilateral relationship. Each point of the triangle influences the others, and all are influenced by the context of the communication. Each point of the triangle bears some responsibility for the success of the communication, and each point of the triangle corresponds with one of Aristotle's three appeals (i.e., general means of persuasion).

Context

The Three Means of Persuasion
Logos = the logical appeal, an appeal to the audience's reason based on such techniques as examples, inductive and deductive reasoning, definition of terms, critique of the opponent's logic, etc.
Ethos = the ethical appeal, an appeal based on the character, persona, and/or position of the speaker.
Pathos = the emotional appeal, based on evoking particular emotions such as fear, envy, patriotism, lust, etc.

Good luck with your presentation and take care.

PLEASE SEE ATTACHED RESPONSE FOR DIAGRAMS

Extra information and reading:

The following might have some information relevant, although it applies the rhetorical triangle to the writing process:

Westfield State College Writer's Guide

The Writing Process: Getting Started

· Introduction
· The Rhetorical Situation: A Definition
· Message: Writing To Discover
· Understanding the Audience
· The Writer: Establishing Credibility
· Genres and Conventions
· Journals
· Moving On

Introduction: Why read this document? What will I find?

You have just been asked to write a lengthy research paper for your physical science class, and panic is surging through your veins. What will you write about? Where do you begin? How will your professor react to what you write? Most people, including professional writers, are acquainted with these anxious moments when encountering a new writing assignment. Even for the most practiced writers, writing is never effortless. It is a complicated process that requires both time and energy.
But you do not have to be a genius to write well. Being patient with yourself, taking time to write and revise, and believing that you do have something valuable to say will make the complicated process of writing both more meaningful and more successful. Talking with ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a point form outline and notes on the Rhetorical Triangle explaining how the shape and form of the rhetorical act or presentation is driven by these three primary elements:the speaker, the audience, the topic/setting.

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