What are the Types of Rhetorical Modes (Modes of Discourse)?

Rhetorical Modes (Modes of Discourse)

What are rhetorical modes?

Great writing relies on aspects such as the purpose, the type of writing, and the audience. That’s why knowing the main categories of rhetorical modes is important.

 Rhetorical modes (also known as modes of discourse or discourse modes) are defined as the conventions and the purposes of the major kinds of writing. Basically, there are four main categories of discourse modes. They are as follows:

  • Expository mode
  • Narrative mode
  • Argumentative mode
  • Descriptive mode

The purpose of narrations is to tell a story, which consists of a set of events. The writer puts the details and information in a logical and chronological order. A narrative essay accounts for something that happened either in real life or hypothetically. A narrative mode is different from other modes because it emphasizes time and sequence.

Expository mode

The expository mode aims at explaining, informing, clarifying, and illustrating something. It is very common. The writer tries to analyze and discuss Information in depth.

Argumentative mode

An argument is a discussion between people representing two different ideas or perspectives. It is conducted through a debate. The purpose of arguing is to prove that something is true and valid and to convince the other person or the audience.  

Descriptive mode

The purpose of the description is to invent and visually represent something, place, or someone in order to help the reader have a clear picture. The descriptive model is also common among the four types. The purpose of a descriptive essay is to give a certain impression about a place, a thing, or a person.

Even though that each of the above modes has its specificities, a text usually combines more than one mode. So, you will notice that a text would include a narrative and a descriptive mode.  


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