Rhetorical Devicces/Points

How many total devices to we need to utilize to get the highest amount of points? Should we have back-ups just in case if we use one incorrectly?

Hey - good question. There is no “magic number” of devices. It’s all about the quality of your analysis. I’ve scored really strong essays that only discussed 1 or 2 writing choices, and I’ve scored really strong essays that discussed more than 7. However, in general, less is more. The reason for this is you don’t want to fill up your essay simply IDENTIFYING strategies. Instead, you want to fill up your space analyzing them. Here’s a format that works really well for my students:

  • 2 Body Paragraphs (therefore, you’ll only identify the 2 most important writing choices).
  • For each body paragraph, embed 2 quotes that demonstrate the strategy.
  • Write as much analysis as you can for each quote.

One more important note: don’t mention a device at all if you’re not sure you’re 100% accurate. When it doubt, leave it out!

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