修辞目的题(Rhetorical Purpose Questions)，无论是托福阅读，还是新SAT阅读，均明确提到此类题型。包括ACT阅读，也有相关考法。常见题目特征，出现"purpose"、"why"、"in order to"等字样。
1.The author discusses … in paragraph 3 in order to . . .
2. Why does the author mention …?
3. What is the purpose of paragraph 4?
首先，我们一起看看托福的官方指南怎么说，"Rhetoric is the art of speaking or writing effectively."(修辞，是有效的讲话或写作的艺术)，比如, 举例(example)，下定义(definition)，解释(explain)，对比(contrast)，批评(criticize),等，这些都叫"修辞"。
Paragraph 6: A third fossil formation containing both soft-bodied and hard-bodied animals provides evidence of the result of the Cambrian explosion. This fossil formation, called the Burgess Shale, is in Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. Shortly after the Cambrian explosion, mud slides rapidly buried thousands of marine animals under conditions that favored fossilization. These fossil beds provide evidence of about 32 modern animal groups, plus about 20 other animal body forms that are so different from any modern animals that they cannot be assigned to any one of the modern groups. These unassignable animals include a large swimming predator called Anomalocaris and a soft-bodied animal called Wiwaxia, which ate detritus or algae. The Burgess Shale formation also has fossils of many extinct representatives of modern animal groups. For example, a well-known Burgess Shale animal called Sidneyia is a representative of a previously unknown group of arthropods (a category of animals that includes insects, spiders, mites, and crabs).
Why does the author mention "Anomalocans" and "Wiwaxia"?
A. To contrast predators with animals that eat plants such as algae
B. To question the effects of rapid mud slides on fossilization
C. To suggest that much is still unknown about animals found in the Burgess Shale
D. To provide examples of fossils that cannot be assigned to a modern animal group
四个选项的修辞词分别为contrast、question、suggest、provide example，根据段落中的内容，首先就可以排除A(contrast)和B(question),剩下的选项C和D的后半部分信息，D是对文中内容更好的总结，"cannot be assigned to a modern animal group"等同于文中的"they cannot be assigned to any one of the modern groups."，故，正确答案为D。而选项C的"much is still unknown"并不是原文的同义改写。
Akira came directly, breaking all tradition. Was that it? Had he followed form-had he asked his mother to speak to his father to approach a go-between-would Chie have been more receptive?
The main purpose of the first paragraph is to
A. describe a culture.
B. criticize a tradition.
C. question a suggestion.
D. analyze a reaction.
The researchers paired the antithrombin gene with a promoter (which is a sequence of DNA that controls gene activity) that is normally active in the goat's mammary glands during milk production.
The most likely purpose of the parenthetical information in lines 63-64 is to
A. illustrate an abstract concept.
B. describe a new hypothesis.
C. clarify a claim.
D. define a term.