Uploaded by Jim Chang


Rhetorical Strategies
strategy: a careful plan or method for achieving a particular goal
A rhetorical strategy is anything that a writer uses that has the potential to change the thoughts or feelings of an audience.
Rhetorical Appeals: These Appeals are defined by Aristotle in his Rhetoric. [appeal: to ask or request]
* Ethos: an appeal to ethics; a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader
* Logos: an appeal to logic; a way of persuading an audience by reason
* Deductive reasoning begins with a generalization and then applies it to a specific case.
* Inductive reasoning takes a specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them.
* Pathos: an appeal to emotion; a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response
Use of Evidence
Addressing the Opposition
Cause-Effect Argument
Contrast or Contradiction
Diction: writer’s or speaker’s choice of words
Figurative Language: These creative comparisons can be used to help the audience better visualize the author's ideas.
Irony: A situation or statement characterized by significant difference between what is expected or understood and what
actually happens or is meant.
* situational: There are roaches infesting the office of a pest control service.
* verbal: Irony is frequently humorous, and can be sarcastic when using words to imply the opposite of what they
normally mean. Sarcasm is a type of irony.
ex: The school bus gets a flat tire and the bus driver says, "Excellent! This day couldn't start off any better!"
* dramatic: The audience knows that a killer is hiding in the closet, but the girl in the movie does not.
Rhetorical Grammar: The grammatical choices writers and speakers make—including punctuation, active or passive
verb constructions, and sentence patterns (syntax)—represent relations between writers and the world they live in.
Forming sentences correctly is part of a writer’s ethos. A reader is unlikely to accept an argument filled with run-on sentences,
subjects that don’t agree with their verbs, and spelling and punctuation errors.
Satire and Sarcasm: literary style used to make fun of or ridicule an idea or human vice or weakness
Selection of Detail: The person making the argument chooses what we see and what we don't see.
Use of Historical Precedents
absolute phrase
Rhetorical Devices
noun + participle + other modifiers
the recurrence of initial consonant sounds
a reference to an event, literary work or person
comparable to metaphor and simile in that it shows how two
different things are similar, but it’s a bit more complex.
Rather than a figure of speech, an analogy is more of a logical
argument. The presenter of an analogy will often demonstrate how
two things are alike by pointing out shared characteristics, with the
goal of showing that if two things are similar in some ways, they
are similar in other ways as well.
repeats a word or phrase in successive phrases
[ən tə nə gōch´]
[an tí frə səs]
[an tí thə səs]
a negative point is balanced with a positive one; places a criticism
and compliment together to lessen the impact
uses a word with an opposite meaning; ironic or humorous
places a noun or phrase next to another noun
for descriptive purposes
juxtaposition of contrasting ideas;
a type of parallelism
A concise statement designed to make a point or illustrate a
commonly held belief
We devoured Aunt Lenora's carrot cake, our fingers
scraping the leftover frosting off the plates.
His friends, their faces sweat-streaked and smudged with
ash, leaned heavily against the fire truck.
rubber baby buggy bumpers
I can’t do that because I am not Superman.
"I am to dancing what Roseanne is to singing and
Donald Duck to motivational speeches." (Leonard Pitts)
"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we
not laugh?” (Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare)
The car is not pretty, but it runs great.
The Chihuahua was named Goliath.
“To err is human; to forgive divine.” (Alexander Pope)
The writings of Benjamin Franklin contain many
aphorisms, such as "Early to bed and early to rise/Make a
man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
Mary, queen of the land, hosted the ball.
[ə sin´ də tän]
[kī əs´ məs]
omitting conjunctions between words, phrases, or clauses.
In a list, it gives a more spontaneous effect and can maintain
inverted parallelism; two or more clauses are balanced against
each other by the reversal of their structures
[e nū mər ash´
makes a point with details
[ə pis’ trə fē]
the repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or
sentences; it lends rhythm to the text and appeals to the emotions
of the readers.
uses an adjective or adjective phrase to describe;
describes a place, a thing or a person in such a way that it helps in
making the characteristics of a person, thing or place more
prominent than they actually are. Also, it is known as a by-name or
descriptive title.
repeats one word for emphasis
[epɪ zū´ sɪs]
[lī tō´ tēz]
[metə noy´ a]
a single word or short phrase intended to emphasize surrounding
Commonly, expletives are set off by commas.
an exaggeration
makes an understatement by denying the opposite of a word that
may have been used
corrects or qualifies a statement
compares two things by stating one is the other;
Metaphors are rhetorically stronger than similes because metaphors
equate two things rather than simply compare them.
a metaphor where something being compared is referred to by
something closely associated with it
words that imitate the sound they describe
a two word paradox
statement that seems contradictory, but is actually true
uses words or phrases with a similar structure
uses repeated word, phrase, or clause
If the speaker/writer repeats it often enough, people tend to believe
it. Also, repetition aids memory recall.
a question asked solely to produce a dramatic effect or to make an
assertion and not expecting an answer; it motivates people to try to
answer the question that is posed. Consequently, people pay closer
attention to information relevant to the rhetorical question.
compares one object to another using “like” or “as” or “seems”
[si nek´ də kē]
a part of something is substituted to mean the whole
makes an idea less important that it really is; creates an ironic effect
one sense is described using another sense
"These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old."
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare
“Never let a Fool kiss you or a kiss fool you.”
“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what
you can do for your country.” (J F Kennedy)
Renovation included a spa, tennis court, pool and
I love her eyes, her hair, her nose, her cheeks, her lips.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a
child; I thought as a child.”
The fixed epithet, a special variety found in epic poetry,
is the repeated use of an adjective or phrase for the same
subject; in Homer's Odyssey, the wife Penelope is always
“prudent,” the son Telemachus is always “sound
minded,” and Odysseus himself is “many minded.”
The amusement park was fun, fun, fun.
in fact, indeed, of course, after all, certainly, to be sure
I have done this a thousand times.
The terms of the contract are not disagreeable to me.
You are the most beautiful woman in this town, nay the
entire world.
The eyes are the windows of the soul.
He’s become a shell of a man.
The knights are loyal to the crown.
plunk, whiz, pop
near miss, seriously funny
"All animals are equal, but some are more equal than
others." Animal Farm, George Orwell
Congress needs to either reduce spending or raise taxes.
“My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the
task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed,
mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.” Barack Obama
Love—true love—takes time.
How long can we look the other way when others are
He smokes like a chimney.
I am as graceful as a refrigerator falling down a flight of
“Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night, <a metaphor
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." <a simile Romeo
and Juliet, Shakespeare
All hands on deck.
boots on the ground
new wheels
“Back to the region where the sun is silent.” Inferno,
I smell trouble.
The hurricane disrupted traffic.
“I have to have this operation. It isn’t very serious. I
have this tiny little tumor on the brain.” J. D. Salinger,
Catcher in the Rye