Rhetorical functions in academic writing comparison and contrast

History[ edit ] Ina national council made up of representatives of thirty government and private organizations was formed to address the problem of ensuring English language proficiency for non-native speakers wishing to study at U. This council recommended the development and administration of the TOEFL exam for the time frame. Nations which are part of the English-speaking world from most Commonwealth realms to former British colonies e.

Rhetorical functions in academic writing comparison and contrast


The study of what Saussure called 'the role of signs as part of social life' could not exclude the ancient art of persuasion. Whilst a general overview of rhetoric is beyond the scope of this text, a concern with certain key tropes or figures of speech is so prominent in semiotic theory that one cannot embark on an exploration of semiotics without some understanding of this topic.

A sea-change in academic discourse, which has been visible in many disciplines, has been dubbed 'the rhetorical turn' or 'the discursive turn'. It reflects a radical challenge to the language of objectivism which derives from the seventeenth century quest to establish a 'scientific' use of language.

The central proposition of this contemporary trend is that rhetorical forms are deeply and unavoidably involved in the shaping of realities. Language is not a neutral medium. In common usage we refer dismissively to 'heated rhetoric', 'empty rhetoric' and 'mere rhetoric'.

However, rhetoric is not stylistic ornamentation but persuasive discourse. All discourse is unavoidably rhetorical, though academic writers in particular seldom acknowledge and often deny its presence in their writing. Rhetoric is often contrasted with rationality and allied with radical relativism or nihilism.

Such assertions, of course, represent rhetoric at work just as when the 'hardness' of the sciences is contrasted with the 'softness' of the humanities. Rhetoric is not simply a matter of how thoughts are presented but is itself an influence on ways of thinking which deserves serious attention.

Academic authors construct texts which define particular realities and modes of knowing Bazerman ; Hansen Academic papers are not unproblematic presentations of knowledge, but are subtle rhetorical constructions with epistemological implications.

Attending to rhetoric can assist us in deconstructing all kinds of discourse. Terence Hawkes rhetorical functions in academic writing comparison and contrast us that 'figurative language is language which doesn't mean what it says' - in contrast to literal language which is at least intended to be, or taken as, purely denotative Hawkes1.

Whilst this is a distinction which goes back to classical times it has been problematized by poststructuralist theorists a topic to which we will return shortly. Somewhat less problematically, tropes can be seen as offering us a variety of ways of saying 'this is or is like that'.

Tropes may be essential to understanding if we interpret this as a process of rendering the unfamiliar more familiar. Furthermore, however they are defined, the conventions of figurative language constitute a rhetorical codeand understanding this code is part of what it means to be a member of the culture in which it is employed.

Like other codes, figurative language is part of the reality maintenance system of a culture or sub-culture. It is a code which relates ostensibly to how things are represented rather than to what is represented.

rhetorical functions in academic writing comparison and contrast

Occasionally in everyday life our attention is drawn to an unusual metaphor - such as the critical quip that someone is 'one voucher short of a pop-up toaster'. However, much of the time - outside of 'poetic' contexts - we use or encounter many figures of speech without really noticing them - they retreat to 'transparency'.

Our repeated exposure to, and use of, such figures of speech subtly sustains our tacit agreement with the shared assumptions of our society. Tropes generate 'imagery' with connotations over and above any 'literal' meaning.

Once we employ a trope, our utterance becomes part of a much larger system of associations which is beyond our control. For instance when we refer metaphorically to 'putting things into words' it tends to connote the idea of language as a 'container' - a particular view of language which has specific implications Reddy Yet the use of tropes is unavoidable.

We may think of figurative language as most obviously a feature of poetry and more generally of 'literary' writing, but, as Terry Eagleton remarks, 'there is more metaphor in Manchester than there is in Marvell' Eagleton6. Roland Barthes declared that 'no sooner is a form seen than it must resemble something: The ubiquity of tropes in visual as well as verbal forms can be seen as reflecting our fundamentally relational understanding of reality.

Reality is framed within systems of analogy. Figures of speech enable us to see one thing in terms of another.

As with paradigm and syntagm, tropes 'orchestrate the interactions of signifiers and signifieds' in discourse Silverman A trope such as metaphor can be regarded as new sign formed from the signifier of one sign and the signified of another.

Semiotics for Beginners: Rhetorical Tropes A paragraph is a series of sentences on a specific point or topic. A well written paragraph must have a topic sentence which states the main idea:
Rhetorical Functions in Academic Writing: Comparison and contrast Introduction to Academic Writing Rhetorical Devices Analogy The comparison of two things, which are alike in several respects, for the purpose of explaining or clarifying some unfamiliar or difficult idea or object by showing how the idea or object is similar to some familiar one. While simile and analogy often overlap, the simile is generally a more artistic likening, done briefly for effect and emphasis, while analogy serves the more practical end of explaining a thought process or a line of reasoning or the abstract in terms of the concrete, and may therefore be more extended.

The signifier thus stands for a different signified; the new signified replaces the usual one. As I will illustrate, the tropes differ in the nature of these substitutions. In seventeenth century England the scientists of the Royal Society sought 'to separate knowledge of nature from the colours of rhetoric, the devices of the fancy, the delightful deceit of the fables' Thomas Sprat, The History of the Royal Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge ; they saw the 'trick of metaphors' as distorting reality.

In the LeviathanThomas Hobbes dismissed 'the use of metaphors, tropes and other rhetorical figures, instead of words proper. For though it be lawful to say, for example, in common speech, the way goeth, or leadeth hither, or thither; the proverb says this or that, whereas ways cannot go, nor proverbs speak; yet in reckoning, and seeking of truth, such speeches are not to be admitted' Leviathan, Part 1, Chapter 5whilst John Locke wrote similarly in If we would speak of things as they are, we must allow that all the art of rhetoric, besides order and clearness; all the artificial and figurative application of words eloquence hath invented, are for nothing else but to insinuate wrong ideas, move the passions, and thereby mislead the judgment; and so indeed are perfect cheats:Course Goals.

Learning Outcomes. Writing Literacy: to produce precise, clear, grammatically-correct, well-developed, and well-organized writing appropriate to academic, social, and occupational fields. Produce coherent texts within common college level forms.

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Revise and improve such texts. Critical Thinking: develop critical thinking skills. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers. You can view samples of our professional work here..

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rhetorical functions in academic writing comparison and contrast

Rhetorical Patterns - Comparison/Contrast The Rhetorical Patterns - Organizing Essays for Different Rhetorical Situations The following pages will provide you with several effective ways of organizing information in your essays. Second Language Writing and Research: The Writing Process and Error Analysis in Student Texts.

Johanne Myles Queen's University. Test of English as a Foreign Language® (TOEFL / ˈ t oʊ f əl / TOH-fəl) is a standardized test to measure the English language ability of non-native speakers wishing to enroll in English-speaking universities.

The test is accepted by many English-speaking academic and professional institutions.


TOEFL is one of the two major English-language tests in the world, the other being the IELTS. Oftentimes, when you know who your audience is and what your purpose is for writing (which is called your rhetorical situation), you can begin to consider the organization of what is going to be in your paper, how you will introduce your paper, and what to write for your conclusion.

Comparison/contrast normally analyzes two or more things.

Academic Writing - scpuckett The Essay