Meet the Rhetorical Triangle

Meet the Rhetorical Triangle

Lesson Overview: Introduction to the different parts that make up the rhetorical triangle.

The Rhetorical Triangle is a visual way to organize an argument.


Each argument is made up of different parts. Let’s take a closer look at the Rhetorical Triangle.


When we are at the start of writing an argument,

When we are at the start of writing an argument, we typically have a single statement– this is the point we are trying to prove.  We don’t have a lot of fleshed out ideas to analyze as it has not been written yet. 

At this stage of writing your argument,

At this stage of writing your argument, we use the rhetorical triangle as a way to make sure our argument is well structured before we even begin writing. This helps to save time as you write as well as to make sure your argument has all of the important parts for it to make sense. 


When an  argument is completely written out, you can approach it differently. This is because you will have a lot more information to analyze.  


We will look at how to break down a fully written argument in a later lesson. For today, let’s just focus on preparing a new argument. 


We will look at an example argument and identify the different pieces alongside the rhetorical triangle. Let’s begin with the speaker, audience, and topic of the argument.