Rhetorical Strategies for Focused Writing

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13703

Rhetorical strategies are ways for writers to present their ideas in a way that will encourage their readers to engage with them critically. Learn more in this lesson!


Comprehension, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You've probably heard of a rhetorical question.

  • What does it mean?

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A rhetorical question is one meant to make someone think about a specific idea rather than actually supply an answer.

  • And what does strategy mean?


A strategy is simply a plan of action.

  • Based on these two ideas, what would you surmise is a working definition for rhetorical strategy?

Read on to find out!

Rhetorical strategies are ways of approaching the presentation of information to your audience.

It signals to the reader how to engage with the information, as well as providing structure to the writing and providing a logical means of connecting ideas together.

These are the rhetorical strategy key terms:

  • cause and effect
  • compare and contrast
  • classify
  • describe, define, exemplify
  • explain
  • narrate

Do some research on your own to find explanations for each of these rhetorical strategies. You might see them referred to as rhetorical patterns, styles, or modes.

If you need help, check out these resources:

Write a summary of each strategy in a notebook or document file, somewhere that you can refer back to in the future.

Matching Activity

Now, close your notebook and match each term with its description to see if you can identify each technique:

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  • Do you feel comfortable with your understanding of these techniques?

If so, click through to the Got It? section to look at example passages to determine which technique is being employed.

you got it

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