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Rhetorical Functions in Academic Writing

Typical rhetorical functions used in academic writing


  1. Describing objects, location, structure and direction
  2. Reporting and narrating
  3. Defining
  4. Writing instructions
  5. Describing function
  6. Describing processes, developments and operations
  7. Classifying / categorising
  8. Giving examples
  9. Including tables and charts


  1. Writing critically
  2. Arguing and discussing
  3. Evaluating other points of view
  4. Comparing and contrasting: similarities and differences
  5. Generalising
  6. Expressing degrees of certainty
  7. Expressing reasons and explanations / cause and effect
  8. Expressing feelings
  9. Analysing
  10. Planning action
  11. Providing support
  12. Application
  13. Working with different voices and finding your own
  14. Taking a stance
  15. Using theory
  16. Persuading
  17. Introducing
  18. Using previous research
  19. Indicating a gap
  20. Presenting findings from statistical analyses
  21. Presenting findings from interviews
  22. Discussing limitations
  23. Drawing conclusions
  24. Recommendations
  25. Implications


  1. Writing reflectively


Analyze My Writing


One of challenging (and time-consuming) tasks writing teachers face in their teaching is assessing learners’ written works. It takes a lot of energy to read and analyze students’ writing.

This online text context and readability analyzer will help teachers assess learners’ written works. Some useful features are available on the website, such as basic text statistics, common words and phrases, readability, lexical density (I like this one most!), word and sentence lengths, and other analyses.

Visit the website:




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