How do essay types: compare/contrast, cause/effect, narrative, descriptive, division/classification, evaluation, and definition fit in with what I know as rhetorical modes: narrative, descriptive, expository, and narrative?
Does each essay type belong in one of the rhetorical mode categories, or are essay types and rhetorical modes completely unrelated concepts?
12 Answers | Add Yours
I forgot to add something...
How do rhetorical appeals pathos, logos, and ethos fit in with essay types and rhetorical modes? Can any type of essay be written in any mode using any appeal?
Can someone explain the ways essay type, rhetorical mode, and rhetorical appeal fit together?
I think they are interrelated. I do not try to separate them because they normally blend quite nicely. There is some separation, of course, but quite often, students in my Expository Writing class are writing combination essays (descriptive and narrative, comparison/contrast and illustration, etc.). The focus might be on one over the other, but they are still combinations for me.
I would like to understand how the following terms fit together (or not):
- Essay Types: compare/contrast, cause/effect, narrative, descriptive, division/classification, evaluation, and definition
- Rhetorical Modes: narrative, descriptive, expository, and argumentative
- Rhetorical Appeals: pathos, logos, and ethos
Can category 1, 2, and 3 be mixed and matched?
Does each component of category 1 fit into a component of category 2?
How does category 3 fit in with categories 1 and 2?I understand 1, 2, and three by themselves, but I'm confused as to how they all piece together.Thank you,Donna
Argumentative or persuasive would be your cause/effect, classification, evaluation.
Narrative is narrative--story telling, either creative or personal. This can also include descriptive.
Expository is "how to" and can include cause/effect and division/classification.
They are not unrelated...all writing is interrelated.
Pathos--dealing with emotions of pity, sorrow, and sympathy.
Logos--logical appeal. Used in debates and persuasive writing.
Ethos--dealing with ethics. The conduct and moral judgement. Includes debate, persuasion, cause and effect and perhaps other types of papers.
Thank you for your answer.
I think I'm looking for the type of answer that backs up to give me the big picture on essays, then zooms in a little bit in order to explain exactly how categories #1, #2, and #3 fit together.
Maybe I should read a book on rhetoric? Or composition? Or....? (I'm open to suggestions.)
Right now I'm reading a book by D'Agata called The Next American Essay, and he introduces each essay with a small bit of (thus far) chronological history on the form, but I think I need a book that deals explicitly with the subject itself, its techniques and requirements, in order to see how all these components puzzle together or don't puzzle together.
There is an excellent book Classical Rhetorical Theory by Poulakos and Poulakos which gives the historical background. However, for the purposes of understanding how these all fit together there are many excellent books. One I've found useful is The Rinehart Reader - copies can be purchased on half.com - It's broken up into the catagories you mention above. I usually go over the last chapter on argumentation and persuasion first, as that's the one they are least familiar with. The introduction to the sections show how each type is recognized. None of the types stand on their own, although there may be one dominate method. Even an essay of definition may contain stories or narratives.
I would recommend a book called Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student by Corbett and Connors. Its great at addressing all of the elements of rhetoric, while explaining their relationships. I definitely want to echo what others have stated about the interrelated nature of all three elements which have you confused. You can start by selecting a piece of writing and then identifying the modes contained within it, and identifying ethos, logos and pathos. You will quickly see that there may be paragraphs dedicated to a mode, but they fit within a larger type of essay such as argumentative, narrative, etc. Good Luck!
A mnemonic device for memorizing each mode is "END PACCCEDDCAP". Pronounced (and. pass-id-kap). E, Example; N, Narration; D, Description; PA, Process Analysis; CC, Compare and contrast; CE, Cause and effect; D, Definition; DC, Division and classification; AP, Argument and persuasive.
I try not to break writing down so much into categories. Hey, it's all persuasive to me. I think good writing should be a mixture of all the modes and appeals, depending on the topic.
I think it's more important for students to write for a real audience, someone who's going to read and respond--and not a class member. If students know exactly who they are writing for, then the complexity and variety of the rhetorical modes and appeals become much more developed.
Speeches are the best way I've found. Good old stump speeches. Pick a topic; take on an issue; choose a persona. Sell it. It most often turns narrative / pathos, which is the mode and appeal that works best with kids and worst with adults.
Generally speaking, the "essay types" you mention all fit within the expository rhetorical mode. The exceptions would be narrative and descriptive which are modes in and of themselves.
Pathos, ethos, logos are terms that apply to persuasive (or argumentative) writing. Pathos are generally referred to as appeals to emotion, ethos are appeals to ethics or judgement, and logos are appeals to logic. Effective persuasive writing may use one or more than one of these three types of appeals to convince the reader.
However, it is important to remember that good writing often will shift among modes. For example, an essay might begin with a personal anecdote written in the narrative mode to catch the reader's attention, might then shift into expository mode to provide background on the topic, and then shift again into the persuasive mode to convince the reader of a possible solution. Good writing can rarely be pigeon-holed into one and only one mode. Much more effective is to consider the audience, purpose, and context of a piece of writing.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes