Styles of Development

Rhetorical Styles

You probably have some experience with rhetorical styles. Maybe you have had to write a compare and contrast essay, or perhaps you learned about using a descriptive style in a narrative essay.

Most essays contain more than one rhetorical style (method of development), but some essay assignments will follow one particular style more than others.

For example, an essay that discusses the various means of taking courses may give examples of how each student would manage his or her time while taking a specific course. The writer may use the illustration rhetorical style to give examples of time management techniques in one of the paragraphs in a classification and division essay. In this case, since the essay categorizes the various means of taking courses, the essay may be called a classification and division essay—even though the illustration rhetorical style is present.

Once you learn the various rhetorical styles, you’ll have a variety of tools to help you as you develop your writing assignments.

The following pages will provide you with an overview of some of the major rhetorical styles. You may read through the entire menu, which will provide you with a wide variety of tools and options that will help you develop flexibility as a writer, or you may click on the menu to learn more about the rhetorical style you are using for a particular assignment.

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