Rhetoric is the art of effective writing. Rhetorical strategies are the foundation of effective writing.
Narration, a story, is a strategy to relate a series of events that are linked in an orderly progression of time. However, narrative time is not always chronological time. The writer determines the progression and organization of time that most effectively conveys the purpose of the narrative.
Causal analysis is a strategy to analyze and explain the relationship between causes and effects. Causes and effects often occur in a logical sequence, called a causal chain. As a result, causal analysis frequently explains why one link of the causal chain is connected to a following link to analyze and explain these relationships.
Comparison is a strategy to explain the similarities between two or more subjects. Contrast is a strategy to explain the differences between two or more subjects. The purpose of comparison and/or contrast is to reveal information about the subjects that explains the subjects more clearly or evaluates the subjects to establish advantages and disadvantages. Effective comparison/contrast explains similarities and/or differences in a parallel form.
Classification and division are similar strategies of writing. They both organize complex subjects to analyze and explain these complex subjects. Division separates a complex subject into sub-units. The subject is usually singular. The division of the subject results from the writer’s “principle of analysis.” (Aaron, Repetto, 142). The complex subject is clarified when the audience understands its sub-units and the relationship between the sub-units. Classification groups multiple subjects
An argument attempts to convince or persuade the audience to accept the validity of the writer’s thesis. The development of an argument may involve one specific rhetorical strategy or multiple rhetorical strategies. Argument may appeal both to the audience’s reason and emotion.
Components of Essay Writing
The thesis must restrict and unify the subject of your essay. The thesis must use precise vocabulary to clarify your meaning.
The topic sentence unifies the paragraph with the thesis. It also organizes the information in the paragraph.
The paragraph is a sub-unit of the development and organization of the thesis. Typically, it is a group of sentences that are indented to develop a single idea. A topic sentence unifies and organizes the paragraph. However, depending on the writer’s purpose, paragraph organization and development may vary.
The introduction is not necessarily restricted to one paragraph. However, whether it is one paragraph or more, the introduction has essential functions. It clarifies the thesis or controlling idea of the writing. It provides a “map” for the organization of the writing. It establishes the audience for the writing.
The essential function of a conclusion is to convey a sense of completeness for the writing.
Writing is unified when all elements are related. Words relate the idea(s) in a sentence; sentences relate to the topic sentence of the paragraph; paragraphs relate to the thesis.
Coherence creates the “flow” between sentences and paragraphs that reinforce the unity of ideas in the writing.There are four basic methods to create this “flow”: transitional expressions, repetition of key words and phrases, pronoun reference, and parallelism.
Paragraph transitions clarify the relationship of one paragraph to the other.
An audience is the intended group of readers for your writing. To write effectively you should estimate your audience’s knowledge of your subject, their interest in it, and their biases toward it.
Sentence fluency establishes the “flow” or continuity of the ideas in sentences that develop the purpose of your writing. Sentence fluency consists of syntax and coherence. See the following definitions.
Sentence syntax is the order in which words are arranged in a sentence to convey the meaning of the sentence.
Sentence coherence is the continuity between sentences created by transitions. There are four basic methods to create sentence coherence: transitional words, repetition of key words and phrases from sentence to sentence, pronoun reference, and parallelism.
Diction is the precise choice and use of words appropriate to your purpose and audience.
Voice is the element of writing that conveys your unique understanding of the subject of your writing. Your voice “speaks” to your audience. It is the “personality” of your writing.
Conventions of Language:
Conventions of English are the standard rules of grammar, punctuation and mechanics. Conventions are crucial to effective writing.
Revision is “re-seeing” your draft. It occurs during the entire writing process. Reading to revise improves the meaning and organization of the drafts of your writing. Revision “...occurs beneath the line...” (Aaron, Repetto, 47)
Editing is reading your draft to correct errors in grammar, punctuation or mechanics.