Writing and Rhetoric Devices Used by 18th and 19th Scientists – Page 6

The writing and rhetoric strategies employed by the four scientists is fundamentally different from the writing and rhetoric strategies found in today’s scientific literature. Today’s scientific literature does not reference biblical tales and characters to validate the results. Rather, the scientists use mathematical proofs, propositional logic, experimentation with documented and reproducible procedures, and other objective methods to persuade their readers. Today’s scientists may employ some rhetoric techniques, such as hyperbole, to equationstrengthen their arguments, however, the scientific community increasingly relies on evidence. The use of simple examples is also employed by today’s scientists, but the examples usually only supplement their theories and not prove it. Furthermore, scientists today write for a scientific audience, hence they do not appeal to authority, rather they appeal to facts to validate their claims.

The eighteenth and nineteenth century scientists employed several writing and rhetoric strategies, such as appeal to authority, appeal to emotion and the use of structure to engage their readers. These strategies helped them solidify their arguments and persuade their readers since several of their readers were probably not from the scientific community. The scientific community today also employs some of these rhetoric strategies, however, there is a stronger emphasis on scientific evidence. The significance of scientific evidence in today’s community is comparable to the significance of religious authority in the 18th century community.

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