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Task B-2 …over…. Rhetorical Modes. Input reading. Hook narration Thesis sentence comparison/contrast.

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task b 2 over

Task B-2 …over…

Rhetorical Modes






After the Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles a few years ago, I discovered something interesting about my pets. My cats took care of themselves by hiding in places where things could not fall on them, and they ate whatever food they could find. On the other hand, my dog was crying and needed to be taken care of. He still needed me to feed him and take him for a walk. From my experience, I saw that indoor cats make better pets than indoor dogs because cats do not need to be exercised, they clean themselves, and they are born potty-trained.

topic sentence 1






Indoor cats do not need a person to exercise them but dogs do. Dogs need to be walked every day so that they can be healthy and calmer. Cats do not depend on a person for exercise because cats exercise on their own. Although both pets need their exercise, cats manage on their own. Therefore, cats need less attention than dogs.

Topic sentence 2






Indoor cats are easier to keep clean than dogs. For instance, when dogs are taken for a walk, they usually do not come back as clean as when they left. Dogs will get dirty by walking through mud puddles and rolling around on people’s lawns. Cats do not need to be taken on walks, so they are not as dirty as dogs. When dogs get dirty, they need to be given a bath, and when cats get dirty, they clean themselves. Therefore, cats have a better sense of hygiene than dogs do.

Topic sentence 3





Cause and effect


Finally, cats are easier to potty-train than dogs. Dogs are unpredictable about when they need to go to the bathroom, so they need to be taken outside on a regular basis. Cats do not have this problem because they are born potty-trained. All you have to do is place kittens into a litter box, and when time comes, they will continue to use the litter box virtually without help. Cats are simply more independent than dogs.




Indoor cats make better pets than indoor dogs because cats don’t need to be exercised, they clean themselves, and they’re born potty-trained. Think about these things the next time you’re considering owning a pet. Unless you don’t have enough to do in your life already, a cat should be your choice.


There is one “shortcoming” in this article: the first sentence of the last paragraph should have been the restatement of the thesis lying at the end of the first paragraph. But here nearly every word is repeated. In English writing, restatement is presented by paraphrase instead of repetition. As a sample in the American writing course book, the article gives us a clear idea of the layout of an argumentative writing.

The structure of the main body is especially typical. The topic sentence of each paragraph responds to one of the aspects of the thesis at the end of the first paragraph. Following the topic sentence are series of support, which falls into two categories: development and illustration. At the end of the paragraph is a sum-up sentence, which echoes the topic. This sentence is called wrap-up. Actually the wrap-up is not necessary for every paragraph.
discuss 1
Discuss 1
  • Thesis statement&Topic Sentences
discuss 2
Discuss 2
  • How are the topic sentences supported?
rhetorical modes
Rhetorical Modes

1. Narration

2. Description

3. Example

4. Definition

5. Classification

6. Comparison/Contrast

7. Cause

8. Effect

9. Process

rhetorical modes in different parts
rhetorical modes in different parts
  • narration in hook,
  • comparison/contrast for thesis statement,
  • comparison/contrast for support in the main body.
  • The subordinate clauses with “so” and “because” in paragraph four belong to cause-effect rhetorical mode.
Rhetorical modes are mastered through a large amount of reading and writing. These modes are helpful to realize the function of different parts. Take hook as an example, several strategies are available, such as a brief account of personal experience, introducing the thesis through questions, providing vivid and interesting examples, offering surprising facts or statistics, giving readers’ imagination to full play by using “what-if” sentence pattern, quotation of well-known sayings, discussion on the definition of one or two key words and so on. In doing so, readers’ attention is drawn to the thesis of the whole article.
commonly used rhetorical modes
Commonly-used rhetorical modes:
  • Narration is the telling of a story with some central idea or message.
  • Description portrays something or someone by appealing to the reader’s physical senses.
  • Example illustrates a concept or event.
  • Definition explains the meaning of a term, often an abstract concept.
  • Classification groups things into categories based on a single unifying principle.
commonly used rhetorical modes1
Commonly-used rhetorical modes:
  • Comparison/contrast discusses the similarities and differences between two people, things, or ideas.
  • Cause shows the reasons or motivations that make something happen.
  • Effect shows the results or consequences of an event or action.
  • Process discusses the steps by which something is created or accomplished, or it discusses how the parts of something fit together to form the whole.
read the two student works
Read the two student works
  • Plants over Pets
  • Buses over Cars

I found more supporting techniques…



suggested writing task
Suggested writing task:

Write a 5-paragraph composition of more than 300 words with “… over …” as part of the title. You need to decide on the subject matter by yourself, and include the hook, thesis, topic sentences, support, wrap-up, thesis restatement, and so-what in your article.