Rhetorical Modes (Modes of Discourse)
What are rhetorical modes?
Great writing relies on aspects such as: the purpose, the type of writing and audience. That’s why knowing the main categories of rhetorical modes is important.
Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse or discourse modes) are defined as the conventions and the purposes of the major kinds of writing. Basically, there are four main categories of discourse modes. They are as follows:
- Expository mode
- Narrative mode
- Argumentative mode
- Descriptive mode
The purpose of narrations is to tell a story, which consists of a set of events. Details and information are put in a logical and chronological order. A narrative essay accounts for something that happened either in real life or hypothetically. A narrative mode is different from other modes, because it emphasizes on time and sequence.
Expository essay aims at explaining, informing, clarifying and illustrating something. It is very common. Information is analyzed, discussed in depth.
An argument is a discussion between people representing two different ideas or perspectives. It is conducted through a debate. The purpose of arguing is to prove that something is true and valid, and to convince the other person or the audience.
The purpose of description is to invent and visually represent something, place or someone in order to help the reader have a clear picture. Descriptive mode is also common among the four types. The purpose of a descriptive essay is to give a certain impression about a place, a thing or a person.
Even though that each of the above modes has its specificities, a text usually combines more than one mode. So, you will notice that a text would include a narrative and a descriptive mode.