Rhetorical Strategy Options:
- classification and division
- exemplification (illustration)
Classification and division: Do not use existing categories. Create your own. For example, if you were classifying physicians you would not want to classify them according to their field of study. That is how doctors are often classified. Instead, you could classify doctors according to where they work: private practice office, office in a hospital, office in a clinic, or doctors without an office (doctors without borders). Consider other unique ways to classify doctors. Think about the classification learning activity.
Write an essay classifying the teachers or bosses you have had. Use distinct categories and give each a name. Be sure your essay has a thesis that makes an assertion about why people would want to put the teachers or bosses in these categories. Think about what can be accomplished by considering the categories (classes).
What fashion styles have you observed lately? Write an essay classifying people based on how they dress. Each body paragraph could address a different class/category, so you would need enough distinct categories to construct your essay. Be sure to name each category. Do not be disrespectful when choosing your categories.
Other choices include classifying drivers, pets, hairstyles, vacations, shoppers, status symbols or snack foods. Be sure to clearly define your categories and include a thesis at the end of the introductory paragraph that makes an assertion about the categories.
Description: Remember that with descriptive writing the details of your essay must work together to create a dominant impression. For example, if you wanted to describe your home, what would be the dominant impression that all the points made in the essay should combine to support? The thesis may be just a statement of the dominant impression, or the thesis may go further and make a point about that dominant impression.
Describe a place where you have traveled (perhaps on vacation). Again, as with all the descriptive topics, do not simply describe the place. The essay should work to support a dominant impression about the place.
Suppose you travel to Mars and meet an alien? Describe Earth to the alien. Alternatively, describe your neighborhood.
Describe the happiest, sadist, or most frightening place you can think of.
Describe an object or person that has special significance to you.
Exemplification: Give the examples something to prove by using clear, strong thesis statements and topic sentences.
Write an essay establishing that you are an optimistic or pessimistic person. Use examples to support your case.
If you could change three or four things about WGTC or at WGTC what would they be? Tie the changes together in the thesis statement. Alternatively, write about changes in your work place, high school, or all schools in general.
With the presidential elections coming up, voters should consider what the candidates stand for. What issues should voters find most important? Give examples of the issues or why the issues should be important. For example, healthcare could be an example of an issue, but more specifically what about healthcare? A more specific example might be affordable prescriptions.
What makes a student, parent, or employee successful?
People often idolize sports figures, musical artists, or film celebrities. What makes any of these icons so appealing?
How do you envision yourself in the future? What does your perfect life look like? This could be a perfect life for anyone and not just you. Make a claim in your thesis and use examples to support your thesis and/or topic sentence claims.
You may choose to write a variation on one of those topics, or you may use a topic from these sections of your textbook: “classification” or “description.” You may use one of the topics listed in the PowerPoint that covers “exemplification (illustration).” Allow me to approve your topic to make sure you can develop it using your chosen rhetorical strategy.
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