What is Rhetoric?What is saidWho is saying itWho is listeningWhere / when it is being saidWhy it is being saidHow it is being said
What is the Rhetorical Triangle?Shows the relationship between speaker, audience, message, style, purpose, toneUnderstanding these rhetorical elements makes both writing and analysis much clearer
The Rhetorical Triangle Message Tone Style PurposeSpeaker Audience
The Author / SpeakerGender / racial / geographical orientation of authorAuthor Bias / hidden agendaOther important biographical information may affect text
The AudienceAre they friend or foe? (hostile or sympathetic)How will they receive the message?How will they affect tone / style?Who is the intentional audience?Who is the unintentional audience?
The MessageWhat is the main point being made? In other words, what is the writer’s / speaker’s thesis?Look at the message as an argument / position being sold to the audience. What is the author trying to convince the audience of?
The ToneWhat is the author’s attitude about his / her subject / message?What words in the message let you know the tone?How does the selection of the tone affect the audience’s reception of the message?
The StyleWhat strategies does the author employ in order to get his / her message across?These strategies may include: ethos, logos, pathos; organization; diction; syntax; figurative language; grammatical structure; selection of details; imagery
The Rhetorical PurposeUnder what circumstances is the author addressing his/her audience?In other words, what is going on in the world at the time this text was composed, and how do those events affect the text?
SummaryRemember – it is not one of these elements of the rhetorical triangle that can be used to analyze a text; it is the relationships between these rhetorical elements that composes the meaning we get from a text!True analysis is not only the what, but also the why and the how!
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