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art of speaking or writing effectively to serve your desired purpose

rhetorical situation

context; situation which generates author's need for writing


subject, occasion, audience, purpose, speaker

rhetorical situation is determined by


3 sides of rhetorical triangle

subject, writer, reader

focus on audience


focus on subject


focus on writer



what is being written about; main message


context, reason for writing the work


who work is directed towards


aim of the work; point the author is trying to convey


who tells the story; can be character or author, depending on pov


writer or speaker's attitude toward the subject

why is diction important to creating tone

in written works the writer cannot rely on inflection, volume, or gestures like they can in spoken word to create a tone


collection of verbal images in a literary work

imagery can be

literal or figurative

literal imagery

descriptions that create literal pictures in the mind; exact description as author perceives it; not comparing, just describing

figurative imagery

creates images by comparing object being described to something else, using similes, metaphors, or analogies

figurative language

whenever you describe something by comparing it to something else

plain style

simple writing, direct and to the point; not very emotional or descriptive

rationalism and Age of Reason style

logical argument, questioning, secular

what creates tone?

diction, details, syntax, imagery, figurative language

_______ determines rhetorical situation; _________ determines tone

SOAPS; diction, details, syntax, imagery, figurative language

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