S - Speaker Who is the writer/speaker/author? What are his credentials/his authority? What is his stance (position)? Curious? Opinioned? Passionate? Indifferent? Something else? Knowing all of this about the speaker affects how you understand the text, whether you agree or disagree take it seriously, etc.
O - Occasion When? Where? What caused the writing to happen? What’s the broader issue, the big picture? The immediate situation? Atmosphere Attitudes Events
A - Audience Who is the intended audience? Are you a member of that group? If not, you should plan to look up unfamiliar terms/concepts Might you run into ideas/assumptions/ philosophies that you DON’T agree with?
P - Purpose WHY does the text exist? What is the writer’s goal? What does he want to achieve? Entertain? Inform? Persuade? What does he want you to think or to do now? Why are YOU reading this text?
S - Subject What is the text about? Specific / general? Current / timeless?
Genre What is the genre? Fiction? Nonfiction? Analysis? Essay? Something else? Knowing the genre can help you anticipate key features.
G - Genre Continued What is the medium the text is written in? Speech? Essay? Letter? Book – fiction/nonfiction? Web? Publisher / Sponsor? Date of publication? Reputable? Credible?
Your Reaction to the Text What is your initial reaction? 1. Emotional 2. Intellectual Why do you think you had this reaction? Agree / disagree? Personal experiences / background? Personal beliefs / philosophies? As much as possible, don’t let your own opinions color your analysis of the situation. That’s why you have to identify your opinions up front!
ETHOS To demonstrate Credibility Trustworthiness Consider the speaker’s: Reputation Expertise / experience Knowledge Sincerity Any combination of the above The speaker’s ethos gives the audience a reason for listening to this person on this subject.
PATHOS Appeals to Emotions Values Desires Hopes/fears/prejudices There is great power in evoking an audience’s emotions. TOOLS: Figurative language Personal anecdotes Vivid imagery
LOGOS Appeal to reason Uses clear, rational ideas TOOLS: Specific details Examples Facts Statistics Charts Graphs Expert testimon y