Code Switching

Code switching is when a writer, speaker, knowledge worker . . . shifts from one language system to another or from one dialect to anotherchanges the register of the diction for a particular text in response to the audience and rhetorical situation Key Concepts: Audience; Communities of Practice; Jargon; Rhetorical Reasoning; Code switching is a rhetorical act: Writers, speakers, knowledge workers . . . adjust their message and style in response to how they read the rhetorical context. For example, if they feel the audience is emotional about a topic...

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Bias-Free Language

Bias-free Language is language that is inclusive and respectful of others. Key Concepts: Audience; Diction; Rhetorical Analysis; Rhetorical Reasoning When writers use language that implies a biased or judgmental attitude, the audience may take offense. Sometimes, people's association with words, especially the connotation of words, is different from yours (see Diction). This can lead to unintentional bias. Language that is insensitive to ageism, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status should be avoided. Just as writers hope their audience will be willing to respect their perspective and point of view,...

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Homonym

Homonym Accede—verb—to agree or consentEx: I accede to your request for help.Exceed—verb—to go over an expected limitEx: If you exceed the speed limit, you may get a speeding ticket.Accept—verb—to receiveEx: I would like to accept this award recognizing my community service.Except—preposition—not including, butEx: Everyone was invited to the party except me.Advise—verb—to counsel or give adviceEx: I advise you to choose a career that you will enjoy.Advice—noun—a suggestion or opinionEx: His advice was appreciated for being both wise and useful.Affect—verb—to influenceEx: The long dark winter affects her mood, leading to seasonal...

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Simile

A simile is a particular type of metaphor that compares two objects that are essentially not like one another. A simile, unlike a metaphor, introduces this comparison with the words “like” or “as.” My essay’s introduction is like the first sip of a fine wine—that is a simile; My essay’s introduction is the first sip of a fine wine—that is a metaphor. Used sparingly, similes can help your statements stand out and evoke thought-provoking images for your reader: The fast food industry’s attempts to offer healthy menu options are like...

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Personification

Personification is the act of giving animals, inanimate objects, and ideas human form, personality, or emotion. Though you would not want to employ personification too much in an essay (just as you also have to be careful about the frequency of your similes and metaphors—too many can make your writing tedious or pretentious), one or two uses of personification can make your writing more interesting and rhetorically effective. Examples With funding tight in many school systems across the country, art programs are being pick-pocketed by science and math programs.The past...

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Metaphor

Metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies one thing with another. Metaphors do not use “like” or “as” but equate the two terms you are comparing. Effective metaphors capture your reader’s attention, and by creating strong, clear, interesting images, help the reader better understand and remember your point. Examples: The financial crisis in America was a tsunami whose waves of destruction battered the economies of countries all over the world.Racial injustice is a disease that never seems to be cured.

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Register

Register is a measure of the formality and appropriateness of a writer's, speaker's, knowledge worker's . . . diction and syntax in relation to the rhetorical situation (especially audience)a socio-historical-cultural constructDiscourse communities are defined in part by their unique textual practices. Jargon, for instance, differs across contexts: the doctor may employ medical jargon; the lawyer, legalistic jargon. A researcher in the discipline of psychology would use the jargon and vocabulary of other psychologists and investigators. Key Concepts: Audience; Code Switching; Rhetorical Stance You can think of a register as a...

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Simplicity

Simplicity is an aesthetic judgment made about a text or design of a product/application regarding the degree to which the writer, speaker, designer . . . has simplified the content of the message. A writer, speaker, knowledge worker . . . is said to practice simplicity when readers, audiences, users . . . find their texts, applications, services, and products easy to understand or use. a design philosophy grounded in usability studies and customer discovery. Key Concepts: Design Thinking; Styles of Writing; Customer Discovery; Persona; Tone; Voice. After clarity, simplicity...

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Technical Writing Prose Style*

Technical Writing Prose Style is a style of writing that typifies the texts of professional and technical writers. A Technical Writing Prose Style shares some attributes with a Substantive Prose Style. *Alternative Titles: Business Writing Style; Professional Writing Style Key Terms: Rhetorical Stance; Persona; Tone; Voice. Universally Loved Stylistic Attributes A Technical Writing Prose Style often shares a number of universally praised stylistic attributes, including Brevity, Clutter, ConcisionClarity, SimplicityFlow, Coherence, UnityGrammarMechanics. Not surprisingly, critical readers across discourse communities abhor vagueness, unsupported claims, and a lack of organization. No one likes...

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