The Study and Practice of Style in Composition
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
Download PDF (49.8 KB)
Download PDF (127.9 KB)
Our oldest and most durable vocabulary for talking about style emerged in the context of performance: the oratory of ancient Greece and Rome. Rhetoricians of the time invested considerable energy in cataloguing verbal devices they heard from both bema and rostrum, as well as from poet and rhapsode. Their primary aim was not to generate a vocabulary for...
Download PDF (86.6 KB)
The collaboration that made this book possible goes well beyond the interchange of the two old friends who are the coauthors. In addition to students at the University of South Carolina and Texas A&M University who read through and responded to various drafts in our advanced writing and rhetoric classes, we would like to thank several colleagues who used...
Download PDF (252.1 KB)
Most books on style concentrate on either how to analyze prose or how to improve your own writing style. Performing Prose blends the two concentrations. It equips you with a vocabulary for analyzing prose style while making you more aware of the choices available as you plan and write sentences, paragraphs, and papers. We contend that analysis...
2. Motives of Style
Download PDF (314.5 KB)
The previous chapter took Heimelâ€™s â€śfantasyâ€ť passage through the textual, social, and cultural arenas, detailing various verbal features and interpreting their effects. The goal of that exercise was threefold: â€˘ To present a framework for examining writing as performance: writing is a dynamic process, a series of interactions among textual...
3. Convention and Deviation
Download PDF (276.0 KB)
Conventions are patterns mutually recognizable to performer and audience, crystallizations of audience expectations in certain rhetorical situations: beginning a musical production with an overture, ending a Catholic mass with a benediction, structuring a pop song by alternating between verse and chorus...
4. Distinction: From Voice to Footing
Download PDF (240.6 KB)
How to make your style more readable, how to meet your readerâ€™s expectations, how to create a clear and lucid style . . . all such how-to approaches to style fail to account for a certain something that the word style usually communicates to those in the knowâ€”the sense of distinction that style conveys...
5. The Rhetorical Tradition
Download PDF (216.3 KB)
In western learning, style has been included in the study of rhetoric for nearly three millennia. In classical rhetoric, it was one of the five canons, or divisions, of rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery. Each of these canons names a different step in the composing process and offers strategies and instructions for completing it....
Download PDF (341.5 KB)
A figure of speech is a variation of the conventional meaning of a word or the conventional shape of a sentence. Over the next two chapters, we will deal with two kinds, tropes and schemes. â€śTropeâ€ť derives from the Greek word that means â€śturn,â€ť a definition picked up in our common expression â€śturn of phraseâ€ť and â€śturn of thought,â€ť not to mention â€śtwist of plot.â€ť In discussions of style...
Download PDF (325.3 KB)
Like the tropes, the schemes are moves within a writerâ€™s repertoire of performance. They are units of verbal behavior that we can point to, analyze, evaluate, and (ultimately) incorporate into our own writing. How-ever, unlike the tropes, which involve â€śturningâ€ť a word from its conventional meaning to an unusual one...
Download PDF (248.2 KB)
The late E. B. White, undoubtedly one of the great stylists in modern American literature, wrote successfully for the toughest audiences. He caught the notoriously wandersome attention of children and held it for generations in such classics as Charlotteâ€™s Web. He not only met but set the standards by which the personal essay is judged...
9. Rituals of Language
Download PDF (272.9 KB)
Rituals are patterns of behavior that recur either at fixed intervals (weekly forms of worship, birthday parties, presidential inaugurations) or under certain circumstances (weddings, funerals, ship christenings). Some rituals are highly formal (a royal coronation, for instance); others are so ordinary, so woven into the fabric of our daily lives...
10. Style and Culture
Download PDF (165.4 KB)
The previous chapter showed how one cultural categoryâ€”ritualâ€”can enhance our understanding of prose style. By way of conclusion, this chapter moves in the opposite direction, exploring how our vocabulary for prose analysis can reach beyond language and illuminate cultural forms other than speech and writing. Accordingly, it will revisit key concepts...
Appendix on Grammar
Download PDF (252.7 KB)
Download PDF (72.8 KB)
Download PDF (154.1 KB)
Download PDF (143.2 KB)
Download PDF (54.6 KB)
Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 2 line drawings
Publication Year: 2010