;The study of rhetoric stretches back to classical Greece. Today the term is most commonly taken pejoratively, meaning bombastic or exaggerated language. But rhetoric also has a neutral meaning, which is how Nuts and Bolts uses it—rhetoric as the art or science of persuasion by means of
stylistic and structural techniques. The study of rhetoric is useful because it encourages us to think of writing ；and speaking, for that matter？ as a series of strategic choices. Every attempt to put
words together includes choices about which words to use and how to arrange them. In this sense
Even simplicity is a rhetorical and political choice: all writers, like it or not, use rhetoric.
George Orwell, for instance, was a master of the plain style, and used it to devastating effect in his political journalism and novels like 1984 and Animal Farm ；for more on the rhetoric of simplicity,
see Hugh Kenner, 揟he Politics of the Plain Style,?in Literary Journalism in the Twentieth Century, ed. Norman Sims [New York: Oxford University Press, 1990]？. Rhetoric is also
useful because it encourages thinking about one’s audience. Different audiences require different rhetorical choices. In the following section, I’ll list some of the most pertinent rhetorical techniques, or tropes, when writing for academic audiences.