Enhanced Annotation with the Aristotelian Triangle

Ethos pathos Logos


The Rhetorical Transaction :

According to Aristotle, the rhetorical transaction consists of three basic components:

Ethos (Author/Point of View)

representing the author’s ability to reveal his or her credibility in the text, demonstrates ethics

  • Note how the author establishes a persona
  • Note how the author establishes credibility

· Note any revelation of the author’s credentials or personal history

Pathos (Intended Audience)

representing the author’s ability to appeal to the audience through the text through the use of emotions and other methods

  • Note the primary audience for the text
  • Note the emotional appeals the author makes
  • Note the author’s expectations of the audience


Logos (Text/Language)

representing the author’s ability to reveal logic and reason in the text;

  • Note the claims the author makes, the exigency.

· Note the data the author provides in support of the claims.

  • Note the conclusions the author draws.

When reading nonfiction, note the language the author uses to establish logos, ethos, and pathos.Annotating everything you read for the Rhetorical Appeals, also called modes of persuasion, will reveal information about the author, the author’s purpose, and the author’s methods of persuasion and argumentation.


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