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COM 441 Rhetorical Criticism: Home

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Verbs that Describe what Texts Do

VERBS THAT DESCRIBE WHAT TEXTS DO

adds details about …            

asks us to sympathize            

asks the question(s)

cites an expert            

compares        

contradicts    

 tells a joke

demonstrates                          

describes        

dramatizes (i.e., tells a story about)

draws a conclusion     

elaborates       

evaluates        

explains          

gives details                           

informs           

interprets        

introduces

opposes                      

predicts          

proposes         

qualifies

rebuts                                     

reflects           

repeats            

speculates

suggests/hints             

summarizes     

supports          

shows the writer’s own feelings

gives an example                    

provokes an emotion              

gives background info

demonstrates the writer’s qualifications to talk about the topic

 

-- And there are many, many other things that a text can do, as you’ll see when you start examining texts in this way, and consciously planning your own texts in this way.

 

Of course, to make a complete statement, you have to include exactly what the paragraph proposes, or describes, or suggests, or gives details about, or explains, or what emotion it provokes in the audience, etc.

 

 

(Adapted from Bean, Chapman, and Gillam, Reading Rhetorically, Pearson, 2012 – who are in turn drawing from the work of Kenneth Bruffee)

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