Rhetorical Options

  • Consider these rhetorical options (i.e., rhetorical principles, techniques, devices, and features) to assess the most appropriate response to a rhetorical situation.

Sub-Sections in Rhetorical-options:

  1. Rhetorical Appeals
  2. Rhetorical Modes
  3. Stance
  4. Tone

Rhetorical Options refers to different ways of developing a text in response to a Rhetorical Situation. For example, Rhetorical Options include Point of View; Rhetorical Stance; Rhetorical Appeals; and Rhetorical Modes.

Rhetorical Options are sometimes called rhetorical principles, techniques, devices, or features–or even rhetorical tools.

At Writing Commons, we emphasize the term options because we hope to emphasize that rhetors choose how to deploy these rhetorical techniques by considering the particulars of their rhetorical situations. For instance, writers would not choose first person point of view when an economics professor asked for an exposition of global financial markets.


After analyzing their Rhetorical Situation (Audience, Medium, Occasion (Exigency), rhetors can determine

Rhetorical Options @ Writing Commons

Point of ViewIs 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person most appropriate?
Rhetorical Appeals:What appeals to Ethos, Logos, and Pathos are needed?
Rhetorical ModesWhat Rhetorical Modes will help me achieve my aims? Can the modes inform how I write an entire document or just a paragraph or section?
Rhetorical StanceWhat Persona, Tone, and Voice will be most effective?

Genre

Rhetors also identify the most appropriate genre to deploy by considering their rhetorical situation.

Additional articles on Rhetorical-options:

  1. Avoid Unnecessary Shifts in Point of View

    Although there are occasions when a shift in point of view is appropriate, unnecessary and inconsistent shifts—especially within a sentence—are...

  2. Beware of “Oh, that makes sense”: Ethos in Context

    There is also, however, the credibility that comes from saying or writing something that the audience already believes or that...

  3. Causes & Effects

    "Why are things like this? What is the effect, or result, of this?" and "What causes this?"--These questions guide authors...

  4. Chronological Narratives & Process Narratives

    Organize according to time. Reveal the logical or chronological steps one conducts to complete something or the cause-and-effect relationship between...

  5. Comparison and Contrast

    Define content by comparing and contrasting categories or classes of objects. Comparing and contrasting issues can be a powerful way...

  6. Diplomacy, Tone, and Emphasis in Business Writing

    Learning Objectives Understand the purpose and importance of diplomacy, emphasis, and tone in business communication Gain the ability to write...

  7. Employing Narrative in an Essay

    Mark Twain once wrote, “Don’t say the old lady screamed—bring her on and let her scream.”  What he was trying...

  8. Ethos

    I've always wondered why candidates have to "approve this message"; I mean, if President Obama is on camera talking about...

  9. Exemplification

    By Andrew Testa When authors provide examples or cases in point to support their claims, they employ the rhetorical strategy...

  10. Exercise: “We” and “You” in Academic Writing

    Look at the following lines and determine how you might revise them so that they remove the pronoun “you” or...

  11. Fallacious Ethos

    Ad Hominem (Argument to the Person): Attacking the person instead of the argument. For example, "You say I shouldn't drink...

  12. Fallacious Logos

    Appeal to Nature: Suggesting a certain behavior or action is normal/right because it is "natural." This is a fallacious argument for...

  13. Fallacious Pathos

    Argument by Dismissal: Rejecting an idea without providing a reason or explanation for its dismissal. For instance, there is a...

  14. First-Person Point of View

    When is first person point of view used? First person point of view is often used in personal narrative—when the...

  15. General Guidelines for Using the First Person

    Understand when the first person is preferable to second or third person. "Do not use the first person" is perhaps...

  16. Intrinsic Authority

    "Intrinsic Authority" was written by Jessica McKee and Megan McIntyre Intrinsic authority is authority that comes from the rhetor herself. It...

  17. Logical Fallacies

    By now you know that all arguments operate according to an internal logic. No matter which of the four rhetorical...

  18. Logos

    "Logic is the anatomy of thought."– John Locke "Logos" is the appeal to logic. Logos isn't logic like the formal...

  19. Making Sure Your Voice is Present

    The Terror of Voice I like order. I love the comfort of a beautiful and functional Excel spreadsheet. I organize...

  20. Medium, Mass Media, Social Media

    Medium, Mass Media, Social Media refer to the materials and tools rhetors use to compose, archive, and convey messages. have...

  21. Netiquette (Digital Ethics)

    Netiquette is a hybrid word combining “network” and “etiquette”; it essentially refers to the social code of the Internet. As...

  22. Pathos

    "Let's not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives, and we obey them without realizing...

  23. Persona

    The term persona refers to a rhetor's use of a literary mask to hide his or her true opinion about...

  24. Practicing Intercultural Communication

    こんにちは ¡Hola!مرحبا!ЗдравствуйтеJabariनमस्ते Hello! Knowing basic greetings in a foreign language are a great way to be polite when communicating interculturally,...

  25. Provide Support for Claims

    Why is it important to provide reliable support for claims? When a writer makes a point or claim, his or...

  26. Rhetorical Appeals

    Rhetorical Appeal Abbreviated Definition Reflective Questions Ethos appeal to credibility You may want to think of ethos as related to...

  27. Rhetorical Appeals: An Overview

    Successful writers write to win. Whether a writer wants to achieve a particular grade on a paper, persuade a specific...

  28. Taking Control: Managing Your Online Identity for the Job Search

    Taking Control: Managing Your Online Identity for the Job Search Background In 2008, while working as a career counselor, a...

  29. The First Person

    The first person—“I,” “me,” “my,” etc.—can be a useful and stylish choice in academic writing, but inexperienced writers need to...

  30. Understanding Second Person Point-of-View: Wizard Activity

    The Beginning of Your Journey You are writing for a class.  You realize that you have no idea what point-of-view...

  31. Using First Person in an Academic Essay: When is It Okay?

    Many times, high school students are told not to use first person (“I,” “we,” “my,” “us,” and so forth) in...

  32. Using Pathos in Persuasive Writing

    Incorporating appeals to pathos into persuasive writing increases a writer’s chances of achieving his or her purpose. Read “Pathos” to...