MODES OF DISCOURSE
- Definition (Description)
- Narration (Description)
- Summary (Description)
- Classification (Analysis)
- Cause and Effect (Analysis)
- Division (Analysis)
- Process Analysis (Analysis)
- Explanation (Explication)
- Anthology (Synthesis)
- Argument (Evaluation)
- Comparison/Contrast (Evaluation)
What is description?
- To recall or paraphrase information
- Categorization, clarification, comparison, contrast, definition, discussion, elaboration, explanation,
identification, illustration, interpretation, paraphrase, report, summarization.
- Examples of description topics: a newspaper article
reporting an incident, a book report giving a summary of the plotline.
What is analysis?
- Analyze, catalogue, categorize, classification, comparison, contrast, deduction, diagram, differentiate,
dissect, division, group, identification, inventory, outline, point out, sequence.
- Examples of analysis-type topics: giving examples
from the text, identifying shifts in tone
What is explication?
- An illumination, revelation, explanation, interpretation, or an unraveling or unpacking of meaning.
(Not too different from analysis)
- Examples of explication -type topics: A passage analysis, Dissection of a poem’s message
What is synthesis?
- Bring pieces of information together and discover patterns; after explication and analysis, it’s
the “So what?” explanation of the author’s choices.
- Arrangement, collection, combination, compilation, connection, formulation, fusion, generation,
- Examples of synthesis-type topics: identifying similarities across several texts by the same
author and providing an explanation; revealing how “what is said” is reinforced by “how it is said.”
What is evaluation?
- Make judgments about the value of information and defend the judgment
- Appraisal, assessment, comparison, contrast, conclusion, critique, debate, decision, defense,
editorial, evaluation, interpretation, judgment, recommendation, verification.
- Examples of evaluation-type topics: Book review, evaluating a writer.
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