Writing and Rhetoric Devices Used by 18th and 19th Scientists – Page 4

Another writing strategy the scientists employed to persuade their readers is to use structure that continuously engaged their readers’ mind, which prevented the readers from focusing on critical thinking and analysis. Scientists structured their publications by presenting results in the order of increasing drama to capture the readers’ attention. For example, Priestly structured his paper by introducing the smaller results first and then dramatically introduced more significant results which made the readers believe that his results were genuine because each revelation was more dramatic than the previous; each new result validated the previous, less significant, result .

Similarly, Cuvier introduced his results but referred to the initial results as “superficial” (Cuvier, 240) and glorified the later results . This strategy created a false notion that the results presented were flawless because Cuvier devalues his earlier results and inflates the value of the later results which makes the reader believe that Cuvier explored all defects in his theory before presenting it. When an author devalues their own work, and then glorifies and promotes future findings, the readers subconsciously believe the author is unbiased and trustworthy.

Furthermore, Newton and Darwin continuously posed rhetorical questions which forced the readers to think about their topics and soon they provided the solutions to the questions. This diverted the readers’ attention to the points the authors wanted the readers to focus on and the readers were prevented from critically analysing the data and identifying flaws in the theories. Moreover, Cuvier chose to employ specific definitions for some terms so that the definitions supplemented his discoveries because the definitions were chosen to express the meaning that was relevant to Cuvier’s research . In addition to that, Darwin summarized his main ideas to reinforce the information in his readers minds.

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