Rhetoric - Montgomery County Schools



What is rhetoric?

Rhetoric is:

 Speaking or writing effectively

 Using words for a purpose; often this purpose is to persuade.

Aristotle: “the power to see the possible ways of persuading people about a given subject.”

What is the Purpose and


• Purpose of Rhetoric

• To analyze arguments of others

• To learn how to write your own arguments

• Goal of Persuasion

• To change the points of view of others

• To motivate others to take action

Ethos, Pathos, and


 Aristotle taught there are 3 main strategies in an argument





The core of the rhetorical chart is purpose —

What does the author/speaker cartoonist/filmmaker/advertiser want the reader/listener/viewer to

Feel? Think? Do?



Logos Ethos Pathos

Rhetoric Triangle

Each appeal is equally important and potentially affects the others.


Logical Argument

 Involves facts

 Statistics

 Research

 Quoted experts

 Cause and Effect information

 Analogies or comparisons

 Common sense information

 Shared values


 Appeals to the heart

 Emotions

 Sympathy

 Passions

 Sentimentality

 Uses imagery, figurative language

 Carefully constructed sentences

 Personal anecdotes


Anaphora repetition of a word or group of words at the beginning of items in a series

This repetition emphasizes the point and expresses passion and emotion. Moreover, the repetition affects the audience emotionally.

Anaphora and Pathos used together

We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

—Winston Churchill, speech to the

House of Commons, June 4, 1940



 Appeals to the conscience, ethics, morals, standards, values, and principles.

 Author or speaker tries to convince you he is of good character.

 Qualified to make his claims.

 Cites relevant authorities.

 Quotes others accurately and fairly.

What type of rhetoric?

Former President George W. Bush’s address to a joint session of Congress following the 9/11 attacks http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/gwbush911jointsessionspeech.htm

Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4690930823859519656#

Maya Angelou’s remarks at the funeral service for Coretta Scott

Kin g http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otGXTryeY6w&feature=related


President Bush uses pathos to acknowledge the courageous act of

Todd Beamer when “[he] rushed terrorists to save others on the ground….” In addition, President Bush points out the feelings of the American people toward their fellow Americans when he discusses the “unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles….” to show that

America is united and will not let

“terrorists” destroy the “strong…union.”


Complete the graph

“lighting of the candles”

Using the word

“candles” creates brings up a feeling of …

The word

“lighting” suggests a feeling of ….

 How do you feel about being an American when you read this passage?

 How does the phrase “lighting of candles” express emotions?


Circle the logical appeal on your worksheet


“ Svante Arrhenius calculated…” “ my teacher,

Roger Revelle, and… Dave Keeling…”

What do the experts bring to the article? What does the scientific research do for Gore’s Conclusion?


Angelou emphasizes her relationship with

Mrs. King, and therefore her qualifications to speak, by referring to herself and King as “we” and also as “ a sister-of-a-sister.”

Through Angelou’s first person reference and reference to racial affiliation, Angelou makes it clear that she is qualified to speak to others that cared about Mrs. King because they were friends.


Complete the graph


“all the other families in the world who would want to be here”

Angelou emphasizes her relationship with Mrs. King, and therefore qualifies her to speak by referring to herself and King as “we”

Angelou includes the audience in her statements, creating a feeling that she is connected to and speaks for all who cared for

Mrs. King.

 How did reference to Dr. Martin Luther King provide credibility to Maya Angelou’s remarks?

 If you didn’t know Maya Angelou was a world renowned speaker, how did her speech make it seem as such?



Appeal based on the character of the speaker


Appeal based on emotion


Appeal based on the character of the speaker