Rhetorical Modes (Modes of Discourse)

What are rhetorical modes?

Good writing depends on factors such as purpose, type of writing and audience. That's why, knowledge of the major categories of the rhetorical modes is important.

Rhetorical modes (also called modes of discourse) refer to the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of writing. In fact, there are four major categories of rhetorical modes. They are the following:

  1. exposition,
  2. argumentation,
  3. description,
  4. and narration

Although the above modes account for the variety that one finds in texts, it is worthwhile noticing that they are not monolithic. For example, in narrative modes, there is a group of events and states in sequence that are bound by a unifying theme. Narrative mode, however, rarely consists only of sequence of events. There are also descriptive and sometimes argumentative passages.

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