All of rhetoric can be encapsulated by the three rhetorical appeals, described by Aristotle in The Art of Rhetoric. When placed in relation to each other, the appeals take a triangular shape, useful for planning and analyzing written and spoken acts of persuasion. 

The three corners that make up the triangle is a categorical point of consideration: ethos, logos, and pathos. With each occasion, these three points set the boundaries of what is judicious for a given speaker, message, and audience.  

For Writing or Speaking:

Use the rhetorical triangle to help plan your essay. You generally spend the most time on logos, thinking of the structure of your claim, your reasons, and what evidence you can bring to bear. But considering ethos and pathos can make the difference between a powerful persuasive act and a simple recounting of platitudes. 

For Reading or Listening: 

Consider the occasion and audience prior to analyzing the appeals. If not provided, infer from what is stated in the text or performance. Draw the triangle and jot down any word, phrase, or detail that categorically fits with the appeal. Scan the text or listen to the media twice if possible. Once you have your notes, search for a pattern, a preponderance of words, syntactical structures, devices, or writing modes. 

No earphones or sound? No problem. View the prezi without audio.

Terms to remember: 

Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Occasion, Kairos



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