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Modes by Grade Level

Page history last edited by Don Pogreba 11 years, 10 months ago

English I



The cause and effect essay explains why something happened. The cause and effect essay focuses on the relationships between actions, motivations, or attitudes and the consequences which follow. The thesis of the cause and effect essay focuses on the significance, importance, relevance, or value of those consequences.


Process Analysis

In a process essay, the thesis deals with the significance, importance, relevance, or value of the process. The body of the essay describes the process in detail. Generally, the conclusion of the essay returns to the significance, importance, relevance, or value of the process. For a process essay to be effective to a general audience, the significance, importance, relevance, or value for the reader cannot be isolated to a single location or community--it must, in some sense, be universal.


English II



In the comparison/contrast paper, the significance, importance, relevance, or value of the essay lies in the reason for doing the comparison/contrast, and this is where the thesis will focus attention. If you are writing a comparison/contrast essay, there must be a clear reason for comparing or contrasting the items in the essay.



Expository essays explain the significance, importance, relevance, or value of some topic. An illustration or example essay does this by providing examples in support of a thesis. The thesis provides the reason for discussing the subject, its significance, importance, relevance, or value. The examples illustrate that significance, importance, relevance, or value. Examples, therefore, provide the evidence that "proves" the thesis.


English III


Division and Classification

Division and classification is an important rhetorical strategy when the writer wants to analyze and then group similar items or divide one item up into parts. Classification examines more than one item and then separates the items into groups according to their similarities on a specific principle or criteria. Critical thinkers rely on the power of classification during the analysis of complex information. Research results may need to be classified before they can be reported. A description or explanation may need to be divided up into useful categories so that the information is organized and meaningful.

By breaking down the whole into manageable and useful parts, a thinker can reach more reliable conclusions. Division breaks one item into meaningful parts and then examines the parts in relationship to the whole. Writing assignments which call for “analysis” are often asking the writer to parse an idea, event, or text according to specific principles or features. What these principles or features are depends on the discipline and the purpose of the analysis.

[Montana State University English Writing Center, http://www1.english.montana.edu/wc/Information/rhetorical-strategies]



In one sense, every essay is an argument essay in that the writer is providing evidence in support of a thesis. However, writers generally see argument essays as essays that seek either a change in behavior or a re-orientation in thinking. Argumentative pieces are usually classified as: debate, rogerian, or persuasive.


English IV



Definitions are necessary to clarify abstractions, explain unfamiliar terms, or distinguish one idea from another similar idea. A short essay may be an extended definition using other rhetorical strategies to develop the main concept. A paragraph's purpose may be to define an idea. A term can usually be defined briefly. But avoid the use of the cliched “according to Webster's” definition. Definitions should create meaning, not just report undigested information. Other rhetorical strategies such as exemplification, classification, and comparison are necessary when creating a richly detailed definition.



Analysis seeks to move beyond describing or narrating events and evaluating or measuring their significance. A book review not only summarizes a new book but comments on its contents, style, and accuracy. A stock broker analyzing a company not only reports on obvious facts, but examines whether it would make a sound investment. A doctor's diagnosis often consists of analysis of observations and test results.



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