The Vehicle for your Argument

Lesson Overview: This is the Lesson Overview. Here's what you'll learn in this lesson.

The rhetorical triangle is challenging to make sense of. An easy way to think about the rhetorical triangle and how it works for an argument is to think of a car. 

Each piece of a car is needed for it to run. It has a body, tires, a steering wheel, an engine, and many other parts that make it work. Just like a car, the rhetorical triangle has a lot of different pieces that are needed to make an argument work. 

Just like a car, the pieces of an argument can be changed out. You may want to put discount tires on your car or an expensive, high-end engine. Depending on the quality of the parts you use in your car will determine how smoothly it will run and if it will get you to your final destination without any problems or getting stuck on the side of the road.

The rhetorical triangle is the same. You can change the intended audience, present different pieces of evidence to persuade your listener or even change the tone or purpose to suit the argument. But depending on how high quality these parts are and how well they work together will determine if you will be able to get to your final destination of effectively persuading your audience of your argument. 

Depending on the quality of the pieces and if they are compatible with the type of car, it will run smoothly or will break down.

As with an argument, you will want to use idea that work together and make sense and that are high quality by selecting credible sources, evidence that can be taken seriously, and creating a listening environment that invites the audience to see the validity in your argument. By using lower quality pieces of evidence or ideas that work together, it can make your argument weak and less effective.