Welcome to Rhetorical Styles!
(formerly The Essay Zone)
In the Rhetorical Styles area of the Excelsior College Online Writing Lab, you’ll learn about different rhetorical styles or, essentially, different strategies for developing your essays and other writing assignments. These basic strategies are not all encompassing but will provide you with a foundation and a flexibility to help you as you engage in writing assignments in your introductory writing classes and beyond.
In the following pages, you’ll find support for nine major styles of development, including narrative, process, definition, and compare and contrast. For each style, you’ll find visual instruction, an interactive outline, a sample paper, and a sample paper from across the disciplines, showing you how each style works outside of your writing classes. Each sample paper includes tips and instructions, making this learning area one you will want to visit for support for most major types of assignments you’ll encounter in college.
It’s also important to remember that there are certain features that all of these styles or methods have in common:
- A clear thesis statement usually provided at the beginning of the essay
- Clear and logical transitions
- Focused body paragraphs with evidence and support
- Appropriate format and style if you use source material
- A conclusion that expands upon your thesis and summarizes evidence
- Clear writing that follows standard conventions for things like grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
As you explore Rhetorical Styles, think about the key features of each type of essay as well as the features that all effective essays have in common.