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Aristotle’s Triangle: A pictorial analysis of the speaking
or writing situation.
Purpose or
 Rhetoric is a fancy word for using persuasive techniques in
writing or speaking.
Basically: using language effectively or persuasively
 In rhetoric, a rhetorical device is a technique that an author
or speaker uses to convey to the listener or reader a
meaning with the goal of persuading him or her towards
considering a topic from a different perspective.
 Examples:
 Irony
 Metaphor
 List of 3
 Repetition
In order for a speaker or writer to speak or
write, he or she MUST consider both the
audience and purpose.
 For example: If you are talking to an elementary school
class, your topic, diction, and tone will be different
than if you were speaking to a high school class.
 Another example: When you talk to your friends, your
topic, diction, and tone are different than when you
talk to your parents or teachers.
 The speaker uses different approaches to influence
the audience’s attitude toward the subject. These are
the three ways you can appeal to an audience.
Logos (logic)
 Logos refers to any attempt to appeal to the intellect.
Everyday arguments rely heavily on ethos and pathos,
but academic arguments rely more on logos.
 Use clear and reasonable ideas with proof (any
 Effect of appeal: Evokes a cognitive, rational response
 For example:
Nine out of ten dentists prefer Crest toothpaste.
If you have a good education, you are more likely to find a
good job.
Ethos (ethical or credibility)
 Related to the English word “ethics” and refers to the
trustworthiness of the speaker/writer. Effective persuasive
strategy because when we believe that the speaker does not
intend to do us harm, we will more likely listen.
 The person must be qualified to give this speech.
 You must be credible and knowledgeable about the content
about the speech or piece of writing
 Effect of appeal: Demonstrates author's reliability,
competence, and respect for the audience's ideas and values
For example:
 If you walk in to your calculus class, and I am the teacher, I have
no ethos in that class.
 A high school football player gives speech about the time and
discipline required to be a successful football player.
 If you are sick, you are not going to go to your mechanic for help.
Pathos (Emotions)
 Pathos is related to the words pathetic, sympathy and
empathy. Whenever you accept a claim based on how it
makes you feel without fully analyzing the rationale
behind the claim, you are acting on pathos.
 As the writer or speaker, you try to appeal to their
 You may want them to feel sympathy or joy
 Effect of appeal: Evokes a personal, emotional response
For example:
 The commercials about the starving children or dogs use
pathos to appeal to your emotions hoping to persuade you to
believe in their purpose.