(also known as modes of discourse
) describe the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of writing. Four of the most common rhetorical modes and their purpose are exposition
, description, and narration
The purpose of exposition (or expository writing) is to explain and analyze information by presenting an idea, relevant evidence, and appropriate discussion.
Examples of exposition writing
The purpose of argumentation (also called persuasive writing) is to prove the validity of an idea, or point of view, by presenting sound reasoning, discussion, and argument that thoroughly convince the reader. Persuasive writing is a type of argumentation with the additional aim to urge the reader to take some form of action.
Examples of argumentation writing
The purpose of description is to re-create, invent, or visually present a person, place, event, or action so that the reader can picture that which is being described. Descriptive writing can be found in the other rhetorical modes.
Examples of description writing
The purpose of narration is to tell a story or narrate an event or series of events. This writing mode frequently uses the tools of descriptive writing. Narration is an especially useful tool for sequencing or putting details and information into some kind of logical order, usually chronological. Working with narration helps us see clear sequences separate from all other mental functions.
Examples of narrative writing
is a form of narrative
, one of the four rhetorical modes
of discourse. Fiction-writing also has distinct forms of expression, or modes, each with its own purposes and conventions. Agent and author Evan Marshall identifies five fiction-writing modes: action, summary, dialogue, feelings/thoughts, and background . Author and writing-instructor Jessica Page Morrell
lists six delivery modes for fiction-writing: action, exposition, description, dialogue, summary, and transition . Author Peter Selgin refers to methods
, including action, dialogue, thoughts, summary, scene, and description . Currently, there is no consensus within the writing community regarding the number and composition of fiction-writing modes and their uses.
- Rozakis, Laurie (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style, 2nd Edition. Alpha. ISBN 978-1-59257-115-4
- Marshall, Evan (1998). The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books.
- Morrell, Jessica Page (2006). Between the Lines: Master the Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books.
- Selgin, Peter (2007). By Cunning & Craft: Sound Advice and Practical Wisdom for fiction writers. Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books.
ps: detective'notebook link is no longer working
- Fiction-Writing Modes: