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How to Reach Rhetorical or Aesthetic Purposes

This lesson will help you:

Analyze the ways in which irony, tone, mood, the author's style, and the "sound" of language achieve specific rhetorical or aesthetic purposes or both.

Rhetoric is a big word, but the meaning is actually simple. Rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively. Every writer has a motive when he or she writes. Every writer has his or her own point of view. The writer may try to explain, inform, anger, persuade, amuse, motivate, sadden, or ridicule something or someone.

A good writer chooses words that do a good job of conveying his or her ideas. A good writer writes rhetorically.

When you read, you can choose to read just for enjoyment. You can just sit back and let the text move you emotionally or influence your way of thinking. This is called "reading aesthetically." But there is another way to read, too. It's called reading critically. The fancy name for it is "reading to determine rhetorical purpose."