Complex Diction Persuasive Essay by Jay Writtings LLC

Complex Diction
A paper highlighting the drawbacks of using complex diction and "high theory" rhetoric.
# 120106 | 2,494 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2010 | US
Published on Jun 03, 2010 in Communication (Language and Speech) , Linguistics (General) , Language (General)

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The paper labels the use of complex diction as a form of academic elitism that only allows a select group of people to understand what the author is saying. The paper provides a passage of complex diction to illustrate how such language forces the reader to puzzle over the meaning of individual words instead of focusing on the point of the argument. The paper contends that the information buried underneath prestigious words and labyrinthine sentences needs to be reworded to the extent that it is accessible to individuals from outside any given discourse community.

From the Paper:

"Not being able to understand something because it is written in a different language is similar to not being able to understand convoluted sentences written by individuals with an unusually large vocabulary in your own language; it looks foreign and is most likely difficult to pronounce. The truth of the matter is that when complex diction is employed, only a select group of people will be able to understand what the author is saying. The author of any work must be aware of their intended audience and write accordingly. Unfortunately, for those individuals who are not privy to such high-minded rhetoric, they will be excluded outright from participating in such discourse communities, whether they be academic or otherwise. The use of complex diction is a form of academic elitism, however well-intentioned it might be. Its use is deliberate and its consequences known. The use of complex diction is often unnecessary in academic writing because it can distract the readers in that it forces them to puzzle over the meaning of individual words instead of focusing on the point of the argument, as was stated in the very first sentence."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Conner, Roby. Peer review. 22 Feb. 2006.
  • Crosswhite, James. The Rhetoric of Reason. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1996.
  • Crosswhite, James. Lecture on simplicity. ENG 611 - Composition. University of Oregon, Eugene, OR. 11 Jan. 2006.
  • Mills, Margaret. "Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore: A Twenty-Year Trajectory toward Theory." Western Folklore 52 (1993): 173-192.
  • Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. New York: Random House, 1995.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Complex Diction (2010, June 03) Retrieved June 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Complex Diction" 03 June 2010. Web. 06 June. 2023. <>