The Rhetorical Triangle
and the ACT Test
Essentials for Effective Communication
Improving scores for the English, Reading,...
The Rhetorical Triangle
Essential components of effective communication
SPEAKER
Ethos
MESSAGE
Logos
AUDIENCE
Pathos
OCCASI...
The Rhetorical Triangle and the ACT
The Triangle graphic shows the relationship between all of the essential
components of...
Speaker/Writer/ Ethos = credibility
WHO is saying it?
• Demonstrates knowledge
• Sounds credible and trustworthy
• Uses wh...
Message / Subject / Logos = logic
WHAT is being said….
• The main idea of the passage
• The thesis statement or position
s...
Audience / Pathos = appeals to emotion
WHO is the communication
intended for?
• Understand the background and prior
knowle...
Purpose / Intent
WHY is it being said?
• To provide information?
• To educate?
• To make call for action on the part of
th...
Occasion / Context
WHERE and WHEN
is it being said?
• What is the context of the
writing? What is going on in
the world ar...
Tone / Style
What is the ATTITUDE of the
speaker toward the speaker?
• HOW does the author choose
diction, structure, and ...
Genre
What FORM does the author use to
communicate the message?
• What type of writing did the author use for
this message...
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The Rhetorical Triangle and the ACT

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The Rhetorical Triangle and the ACT

  1. 1. The Rhetorical Triangle and the ACT Test Essentials for Effective Communication Improving scores for the English, Reading, and Writing sections of the ACT
  2. 2. The Rhetorical Triangle Essential components of effective communication SPEAKER Ethos MESSAGE Logos AUDIENCE Pathos OCCASION PURPOSE GENRE TONE & STYLE
  3. 3. The Rhetorical Triangle and the ACT The Triangle graphic shows the relationship between all of the essential components of communication. The ACT English, Reading, and Writing Tests all test your understanding of theses components and their relationships to each other. • Rhetoric = the art of using language effectively. • Audience, Speaker, Message – these 3 elements make up the core of communication • Occasion/context, genre, purpose – all communication takes place within this framework
  4. 4. Speaker/Writer/ Ethos = credibility WHO is saying it? • Demonstrates knowledge • Sounds credible and trustworthy • Uses who they are and how they feel about a subject to INFORM or PERSUADE the audience • Has a “voice” • Has a point of view or position on the issue • Uses a narrator (first person, third person, omniscient, objective) On the ACT Test … The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, Sentence Structure – uses an educated voice and diction; has a clear message with no ambiguity; establishes clear relationships between ideas • Rhetorical skills - chooses expressions appropriate to an essay's audience and purpose; judges the effect of adding, revising, or deleting supporting material; judges the relevance of statements in context, organizes ideas and chooses effective opening, transitional, and closing sentences. • Style – chooses precise words and expresses appropriate to the purpose; maintains a consistent tone and voice; avoids redundancy and wordiness The READING TEST: • Determine the point of view or position of a speaker • Determine the credibility and tone / attitude of the speaker toward the subject/message • Determine the characteristics of the narrator and his or her relationship to the subject and other characters (fiction) The WRITING TEST: • Use Standard English for grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling • Vary the structure of your sentences, and use varied and precise word choices • Use evidence and cite authority to establish credibility; organize evidence and reasoning into a well-formed argument
  5. 5. Message / Subject / Logos = logic WHAT is being said…. • The main idea of the passage • The thesis statement or position statement • The logic of the message – inductive or deductive, citing authority, avoiding fallacies • The examples and reasoning to prove the thesis/position statement • The organization of the details, example, and evidence (cause-effect, problem-solution, importance) • The relationships between different parts of the passage On the ACT Test … The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, usage, punctuation, and sentence structure – determine how it effectively communicates the message • Rhetorical Skills -- judge the effect of adding, revising, or deleting supporting material; and judge the relevance of statements in context. • Style/Tone: select precise words and phrases to effectively convey the message and maintain a consistent style and tone. The READING TEST: • Determine the main points, main idea, position of the passage • Determine and analyze he structure/organization of the passage • Determine the relationships between parts of the passage • Determine a summary of information or an inference based on the reading The WRITING TEST: • Write a thesis statement / position statement • Cite authority, avoiding fallacies or errors in reasoning • Use an appropriate structure/organization for the argument; stay focused on the topic • Develop appropriate and effective reasoning and evidence to argue the position • Vary sentence structure and use appropriate diction/word choice • Discuss the issue in a broader context or evaluate the implications or complications of the issue.
  6. 6. Audience / Pathos = appeals to emotion WHO is the communication intended for? • Understand the background and prior knowledge of the audience • Understand the use of concrete and descriptive language to appeal to audience’s emotion • Understand the use of figurative language to effectively communicate the message to the designated audience (metaphor, hyperbole, paradox, irony, • Understand shaping the appeal to the audience for desired purpose • Understand using rhetoric and emotional appeals to persuade and inform audience On the ACT Test … THE ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, usage, punctuation, and sentence structure -- determine if it is appropriate for the audience to clearly communicate the message; no ambiguity • Rhetorical Skills - choose expressions appropriate to an essay's audience ; judge the effect of adding, revising, or deleting supporting material; and judge the relevance of statements in context. • Style – assess how well the speaker chooses precise words and expresses appropriate for the audience and message THE READING TEST: • Determine the effect and use of phrases and placement of details • Determine the meaning and use of a particular word or phrase in the passage • Determine the style and structure/organization of a passage The WRITING TEST: • At the beginning of your essay, make sure readers will see that you understand the issue. Explain your point of view in a clear and logical way. • Address what others might say to refute your point of view and present a counterargument. • Discuss the issue in a broader context or evaluate the implications or complications of the issue. • Use diction and a style appropriate for the audience and occasion
  7. 7. Purpose / Intent WHY is it being said? • To provide information? • To educate? • To make call for action on the part of the audience? • To persuade others to change a perspective or firmly-held belief? • To present ideas for problem solving or analysis? • To communicate a theme or idea about life (fiction) On the ACT Test . . . The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, usage, punctuation, and sentence structure – is it used effectively to achieve the intent or purpose? No ambiguity. • Rhetorical Skills – use of appropriate words and phrases to achieve the desired purpose; judging the effect of adding, revising, or deleting supporting material; and judging the relevance of statements in context. • Style – use of precise phrases and diction to achieve the desired tone an purpose; correct to avoid redundancy and wordiness The READING TEST: • Determine the primary purpose of all of parts of the passage • Determine the relationship between different parts of the passage in achieving the purpose • Determine the rhetorical strategies and style of the passage in achieving the purpose • Determine the meaning, effectiveness, and use of diction, precise words and phrases to achieve the purpose The WRITING TEST: • Analyze and answer the prompt • Persuade the audience to change a perspective or make a call for action • Communicate your ideas in a style and tone appropriate for the purpose.
  8. 8. Occasion / Context WHERE and WHEN is it being said? • What is the context of the writing? What is going on in the world around this topic at the time of the writing? • What events prompted the writer to write this? • What is the writing in response to? On the ACT Test . . . The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, and Sentence Structure – consider how the standard or non-standard use of mechanics, grammar, and sentence structure reflect the context of the message • Rhetorical Skills: determine the appropriateness of diction and phrases for the occasion • Style and Tone: choose answers that maintain a consistent style and tone for the occasion. The READING TEST: • Determine the context and occasion of the passage • Determine the main point, main idea, summary, inferences of the passage in terms of the occasion and context. The WRITING TEST: • Analyze the prompt in terms of the context and occasion for writing. • Connect the context (what events inspired the prompt) to your thesis and evidence
  9. 9. Tone / Style What is the ATTITUDE of the speaker toward the speaker? • HOW does the author choose diction, structure, and style to communicate the message? • How does the author use diction to communication the tone? • How does the author maintain a consistent voice and style throughout the passage? On the ACT Test . . . The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, and Sentence Structure – consider how the standard or non-standard use of mechanics, grammar, and sentence structure reflection the context of the message • Rhetorical Skills: determine the appropriateness and preciseness of diction for the occasion • Style and Tone: choose answers that maintain a consistent style and tone for the occasion. The READING TEST: • Determine the context and occasion of the passage • Determine the main point, main idea, summary, inferences of the passage in terms of the occasion and context. The WRITING TEST: • Analyze the prompt in terms of the context and occasion for writing. • Connect the context (what events inspired the prompt) to your thesis and evidence
  10. 10. Genre What FORM does the author use to communicate the message? • What type of writing did the author use for this message? • Prose Fiction (a story with characters and events; excerpt from a short story, biography, novel, etc.) • Humanities (about thought and art; excerpt from philosophy, arts, literary criticism from scholarly journals, newspapers, magazines ; memoirs, personal essays) • Social Sciences (fact and research- based, excerpt from history, psychology, sociology, anthropology -- from textbooks, scholarly journals, articles) • Natural Sciences (a scientific topic and the significance of the topic, excerpt from biology, chemistry, physics, and other experimental sciences -- from textbooks, scholarly journals, articles) On the ACT Test . . . The ENGLISH TEST: • Grammar, Usage, Punctuation, and Sentence Structure – consider how the standard or non-standard use of mechanics, grammar, and sentence structure fit the type and form (genre) of the communication. • Rhetorical Skills: determine the appropriateness of diction and phrases for the genre; is it formal or informal or colloquial? • Style and Tone: how does it maintain a consistent style and tone for the genre. The READING TEST: • Determine the genre and characteristics associated with each genre • Determine the main point, main idea, summary, inferences of the passage in terms based on the genre • Determine the purpose and tone based on the genre. The WRITING TEST: • Analyze the prompt in terms of the type of essay you will construct • Determine the type of diction and style appropriate for this type of essay • Use argumentative essay structure to organize the evidence and counter- argument • Use transitions and conjunctions to establish unity and coherence in the argument

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