If I focus on chunking instead of just one rhetorical device per paragraph, how would I make a topic sentence with that?
Hi! Great question! You would need to fill in the information in parentheses based on the specific text, but the topic sentence might begin like this:
“In the beginning of (the speech, letter, etc), (the author) immediately (an important rhetorical choice) in an effort to (explain the purpose of THIS rhetorical choice for THIS audience).”
Oh ok. So I can start off like that even if the rest of my paragraph talks about different rhetorical devices as the passage progresses?
Yes! Because you are using chronological indicators (like “in the beginning”; “the first”: “the author immediately”; etc), it makes sense that you will continue this chronological discussion within the paragraph. Your paragraph could go on to either provide (and explain) additional examples of that same rhetorical choice or could transition to discuss another important rhetorical choice (that works alongside the one you discussed initially).
Oh ok perfect. And the thesis would just list like the major rhetorical devices even though I won’t necessarily speak about them in that order right?
Kind of. . . you still need to try and indicate the direction/organization that your essay will take. Your thesis could do something like this (notice how I added the chronological descriptors):
In his speech to Congress “Infamy Speech” (1941), author Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks of
the Japanese attack on American soil during World War II, by initially utilizing appeals to emotion, then making a call to action, and ending with unifying diction in order to convey to the audience of the American people that they were in this war together to fight off enemies, with a realistic, yet uplifting tone.
Ohhh ok. That makes more sense. Thank you!