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Rhetorical Modes: Using Appropriate Strategies in Various Writing Situations


Rhetorical Modes: Using Appropriate Strategies in Various Writing Situations Dr. Downing ... Analysis Analysis literally means to break into parts . – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rhetorical Modes: Using Appropriate Strategies in Various Writing Situations

Rhetorical Modes Using Appropriate Strategies in
Various Writing Situations
  • Dr. Downing
  • Kutztown University
  • Fall 2009

Rhetorical Modes
  • Narration
  • Description
  • Summary
  • Comparison/Contrast
  • Problem/Solution
  • Explication
  • Definition
  • Analysis
  • Argument
  • Hegelian Dialectic
  • Question and Answer
  • Journalistic

  • Narration involves telling a story.
  • It typically has a beginning, middle, and end.
  • There is usually a main character who takes some
    kind of action.
  • There are typically other characters.
  • There is often a lesson, or moral.
  • Typically, narratives require no sources.

Narration (continued)
  • Once upon a time, there was a little girl who
    lived in a village near the forest.  Whenever she
    went out, the little girl wore a red riding
    cloak, so everyone in the village called her
    Little Red Riding Hood

  • Description is a detailed snapshot (like
    describing feelings or the beauty of a flower).
  • It can be used in a narrative to provide specific
    details about a character or situation.
  • Although process descriptions can involve the
    step-by-step movement of time, literary and
    narrative descriptions usually make time stand
  • Typically, description requires no sources.

Description (continued)
  • Gregory is my gray Persian cat. He walks with
    pride and grace, performing a dance of disdain as
    he slowly lifts and lowers each paw with the
    delicacy of a ballet dancerGregory may snuggle
    up against your ankle, begging to be petted, or
    he may imitate a skunk and stain your favorite
    trousers. Gregory does not do this to establish
    his territory, as many cat experts think, but to
    humiliate me because he is jealous of my friends.
    After my guests have fled, I look at the old
    fleabag snoozing and smiling to himself in front
    of the television set, and I have to forgive him
    for his obnoxious, but endearing, habits.

  • Comparison means to identify similarities.
  • Contrast means to point out differences.
  • The organizational styles are either block
  • Or point-by-point ABABAB.
  • Comparison/contrast may or may not require
    sources, depending on the nature of the topic.

Comparison/Contrast (continued)
  • Western PA and Eastern PA
  • 1. Western PA Weather
  • Eastern PA Weather
  • 2. Western PA Sports
  • Eastern PA Sports
  • 3. Western PA Driving
  • Eastern PA Driving
  • 4. Western PA Interests
  • Eastern PA Interests
  • Western PA
  • Weather
  • Sports
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Eastern PA
  • Weather
  • Sports
  • Attitudes
  • Interests

  • Problem/Solution essays begin with a problem and
    then offers a solution.
  • These essays can spend a great deal of time
    discussing the problem and a short amount of time
    providing a solution OR
  • These essays can describe the problem briefly and
    then describe several possible solutions.
  • Problem/Solution almost always requires a works
    cited page.

Problem/Solution (continued)
  • There are numerous health problems in shanty
    towns. First, because the sites are illegal the
    government does not provide piped water. As a
    result, drinking and bathing water are usually
    dirty and this causes diseases such as dysentery,
    typhoid and hepatitis, as well as skin and eye
    diseases. Second, houses are often overcrowded
    and have poor air circulation. This makes it
    easier to catch diseases like flu, TB and
    diphtheria where infection enters through the
    throat. Thirdly, there are no drains, sewers or
    rubbish collection services. The resulting pools
    of stagnant water and heaps of household waste
    attract rats and insects, which can pass on
  • The government could do a lot to solve these
    problems. For example, they could supply clean,
    piped water to individual houses or, at least, to
    neighborhoods. This would make drinking water
    safe and reduce infections. In addition, the
    authorities could provide householders with
    building materials to improve their conditions
    and educate them about the importance of
    ventilation. Lastly, the city council could
    construct drains and provide a rubbish collection
    service to reduce the risk of infections spread
    by rats and insects.

  • Explication means explanation.
  • For example, I might write an explication essay
    explaining the work of August Wilson.
  • Such essays provide background, cite certain
    sections of the primary and secondary texts to
    demonstrate points, and provide detailed
    summaries of people or situations.
  • Explication almost always requires a works cited

Explication (continued)
  • August Wilson's playwrighting, a marriage of
    drama and poetrycombined with his keen
    intuitionserves to transport the audience into a
    realm where thoughts, experiences, and
    conversations serve to re-establish cultural
    identity by restoring elements of a lost
    mythology. By persistently converting
    stereotypical concepts and character types into
    mythological archetypes which over write cultural
    clichés, Wilson elevates his subject matter into
    the realm of a shared cultural consciousnessa
    mythologyand restores a substantial degree of
    cultural identity through this artistic process.

  • According to Merriam Websters Online Dictionary,
    definition is a statement expressing the
    essential nature of something.
  • Provides the specific meaning of a term or idea.
  • Provides outlines or limits.

Definition (continued)
  • Example Define alternative energy
  • Introduction paragraph What is alternative
    energy? What is good about it as a resource? Why
    is it important to have alternative energy? How
    many types of alternative energy are there? How
    can you define this form of energy?
  • Paragraphs The number of paragraphs would vary
    depending on the length of the paper. Each of
    these should discuss one category of alternative
    energy, explain it along with their advantages
    and disadvantages, and substantiate with
  • Conclusion Summarize the main points of your
    discussion. Reemphasize the definition.

  • Analysis literally means to break into parts.
  • This kind of essay begins with a complex
    situation, argument, or text and breaks down the
    idea into separate parts.
  • Sometimes opinion is included and sometimes not.
  • Analysis almost always requires a cited source.

  • Landmines make the recovery process for
    countries that have suffered a war in their own
    land extremely difficult. Landmines put a
    tremendous economic burden along with
    psychological effects in the morale of the
    population they may even perpetuate the
    conditions for a future conflict. The United
    States should sign the Mine Ban Treaty now, not
    in the year 2006. And also, the U. S. should put
    pressure on other countries to do the same. As it
    is, the advances made during this century in
    weapon technology are already impressive the
    world does not need to wait for more new
    developments in order to ban the use of
    landmines. Human civilization should not begin a
    new millennium with the knowledge that new
    landmines are being produced and planted. The ban
    of the use of antipersonnel landmines should be
    in our "warrior ethic" for the next millennium
    let us hope that the human race can achieve more
    than that in the next century.

  • Argument means a coherent series of statements
    leading to a logical conclusion.
  • Arguments begin by summarizing a situation,
    referring to an author, or citing a particular
  • Then it offers numerous reasons for or against
    the situation.
  • As you provide your rationale, you will continue
    to cite sources.
  • Arguments definitely require a works cited page.

  • Violence against women is a synonymy of any act
    of discrimination and physical abuse aimed to
    hurt a girl or a woman. One of the most spread
    acts of violence against women is domestic
    violence, rape and others. As all the children,
    including boys, tend to copy the behavior of
    adults and their parent(s) in the first place,
    they become very sensitive to violence in terms
    of copying it, too. Sometimes school-education
    becomes the only source of showing children the
    ways of recognizing the responding to violence
    and if the process of education is harmonious and
    professionally then it empowers all children and
    particularly boys to become active participants
    and not just observers of violence-prevention.

Hegelian Dialectic
  • Thesis

Question and Answer
  • Also known as the Socratic Method
  • The Socratic Method is a conversation, a
    discussion, wherein two or more people assist one
    another in finding the answers to difficult
    questions. Why did Socrates proceed in this
    manner?  Despite his many claims of ignorance
    Socrates understood better than those with whom
    he spoke that it was not enough simply to "learn"
    facts, to memorize lessons, or to parrot
  • To know truly, to seek wisdom, one must work
    toward understanding. 

Journalistic Style
  • 5 Ws and H
  • Who?
  • What?
  • When?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • How?

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tml http//www.masterpapers.com/blog/essay-writin
g-tips/definition-essays/31 http//www.geocities.
com/frankie_meehan/ProblemSolution.htm http//gra
rs.htm http//www.dltk-teach.com/rhymes/littlered
/1.htm http//www.greatbooksacademy.org/html/what
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