Both our writing and thinking often come back to common methods of expression: these ways of exploring objects and experiences are given in the following list. Keep in mind that, while any one of these modes may dominate an essay, any or all of these modes may be used in a piece of writing (depending on your purpose and needs in the writing situation in which you are engaged). See your handbook for more specifics on each mode. The hyperlinked modes are covered in this document.
Two key elements for handling any one of the rhetorical modes are (1) a topic sentence that gives the logic of the paragraph and (2) transitional words and phrases relating to the rhetorical mode you are using. (See the index of your English Handbook for extended lists of transitional phrases used with each mode.) In this web page, topic sentences appear in italics and transitional elements appear in boldface.
~ Off-site links are noted in parentheses. Use your Back button to return from them. ~
Cause and Effect
Division and Classification
Narration / Description
|Also refer to the good advice from Capital Community Technical
about mixing the rhetorical modes.
Last updated Thursday, June 01, 2006.