Saturday School: Lesson #2 – Elements of Composition
Lesson #2 – Elements of Composition
- Complete the reading assignment
- Complete the writing exercise
- Post your assignment in the comments
- Share the lesson with a friend
Today’s lesson is extremely simple, and should only take you a few minutes. Last week we discussed the difference between sophistry and rhetoric. We learned that rhetoric rightly understood, is not sophistry, but the principled process of crafting a valid and compelling message.
This week, I want to do two things: clarify what I mean by message, then introduce you to the three parts of rhetoric you need to know to write well.
First, hopefully you are saying this in your sleep by now: rhetoric rightly understood, is not sophistry, but the principled process of crafting a valid and compelling message.
While memorizing and conceptualizing this principle is essential, it is necessary to think of the words compelling message as argument. This doesn’t change anything; it just highlights an important distinction.
Good writing doesn’t just tell the facts, it makes an assertion. In other words, all good writing argues a point. Your argument is your compelling message.
Second, there are three parts to rhetoric as it pertains to writing, and you should memorize these too: invention, organization, and style.
Invention is the message you plan to argue.
Organization is the order in which you plan to argue your message.
Style is how you plan to argue your message.
Pick a topic that interests you, then write a single sentence that argues a point you want to make. Share your sentence in the comments. For example: Every Christian has a moral obligation to be a proficient writer.
About Scott Postma
Scott lives in North Idaho collecting more books than he'll ever read in a lifetime. He shares valuable tips on writing and teaching, rich insights into theology and literature, and meaningful perspective on living a life of significance. You can subscribe to the tribe and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.