Rhetorical devices can usually find essential articles and lectures. Sometimes you use a rhetorical strategy, and you use it whether you know it or not.
Rhetorical strategy can make your content more attractive to people by adding bold points. In this article, we give you a list of rhetorical strategies to use some of these strategies in your literature or even every day.
What are rhetorical devices?
These strategies are based on words or phrases used to convey meaning or motivate the listener or reader to respond and persuade during communication.
Strategies can be written, talked about, or used to plan a speech
Rhetorical strategy is primarily used in the literature, although we use it in our everyday conversations without knowing it.
Consider “it’s raining cats and dogs.” We understand that this phrase is used for rain or big storms. As we all know, dogs and cats do not fall from the sky, but these general terms are used to describe or convey a person’s sense of the subject.
Below is a list of commonly used rhetorical devices and examples to show how to use them in speech or writing.
The next time you plan to talk, write, or discuss politics with your neighbors, consider these strategies.
Finally, the devices on the list can provide you with ways to improve your communication skills and conversations.
Commonly used rhetorical strategies
- Ant anagoge
- Hypo hora
alteration is the repetition of a consonant sound for a letter or a sentence
The consonant sound is repeated for most or all the words being used to convey a sense of lyricism. Here is an example:
“Talking to tom took much time.”
In the example, the letter t is repeated to get the reader’s attention.
amplification based on one word creates phrases or sentences and evokes a sense of urgency and intensity in the reader or listener
“They want a perfect home in a perfect neighborhood.”
“Repeated use of the word perfect increases the importance of home.”
Anacoluthon is used to make sudden changes in seemingly irrelevant ideas or items in the middle of a sentence. This device is usually used to emphasize views or topics expressed in a word; the following example from King Lear Shakespeare shows how to use it.
“I will have such acts of revenge on you both that all the world Shall―I will do such things, what they are, yet I know not.”
The character goes through the middle of the sentence and arrives at an almost unrelated topic. However, he still speaks of revenge but uses Anacoluthon. The main idea is cut off, and the reader is forced to guess the last sentence of that character.
This device is placed at the end of the sentence and the beginning of the following sentence. Using this method allows a chain of thoughts to reach the next idea and enables the audience to follow the path of your argument.
An example of the famous Star Wars dialogue
“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to fear. Fear leads to suffering.”
Using this strategy can help emphasize the ideas being conveyed, allowing your conversation to stress the importance of your thoughts.
Ant anagoge uses a negative and a positive expression in a sentence. You can use this rhetorical device to present a problem and the next solution. If this strategy is used correctly, it can use it in a fully developed and convincing way in communication in today’s writing and conversations.
Consider the famous Ant anagoge example below
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
This quote from your life has done nothing for you; just given you a lemon and use it to make lemonade.
This device offers what can be considered a problem and then gives you a positive solution, which can be an essential tool for your speech.
This device works like a joke where you may say something you deny while saying it. Use the common phrases on this device “I do not say this.” But then you follow up with a statement that you have previously denied. Consider the following example.
“I’m not saying that it is your fault, but you were the one who broke the vase.”
Chiasmus is a technique in which the speaker changes the order of words or phrases in a sentence to create a powerful feeling. This sentence makes the listener work to respond to your senses.
One of the most famous and best examples is the speech of former US President John F. Kennedy.
“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
He used this device to provoke deep thought and make a personal connection between the population and their roles within the American nation.
Euphemism is a strategic tool that uses a melodic phrase or phrase to convey a less pleasant phase.
Consider the following example.
“Culturally deprived environment” can serve as a stand-in for “slum” or “poor neighborhood.”
“Domestic engineering” can be used as a euphemism for “house cleaning.”
“Genuine imitation leather” can serve as a euphemism for “fake leather” or “vinyl.”
This strategy is used when the author or speaker asks a question and responds immediately. You may have used or heard of this before
“Why is it important to eat healthy foods? It is important because you can heal illness and build your immune system.”
Unlike a rhetorical question, a hypo hora wastes no time providing a direct answer to a posed question.
This device works by comparing two similar subjects. The similarities for one point of view are comparable to another well-known topic. Consider the following examples.
“He was as hungry as a lion.”
“She was as quiet as a mouse.”
“The children were as loud as a pack of wild dogs.”
Using this theme may help your conversations.
A rhetorical strategy is an approach to communicating that encourages action or persuades others through words. It is possible to utilize these language devices across all written and spoken mediums to manipulate the listener’s views.
The use of rhetorical devices is common during speeches. Motivational, political, and educational speakers use rhetoric to motivate people to think a certain way or to act in a particular way by deliberately emphasizing particular points. This is an effective argumentative technique to use during a debate.
A great deal of literature also uses rhetoric to further communicate with the reader. These strategies can help strengthen written communication and reading comprehension. A persuasive message doesn’t necessarily mean convincing someone to act in a certain way. Using words to express your point of view can help the reader visualize a situation in your thoughts.
In rhetoric, a compelling argument is formed by combining three tenants.
The following are persuasive strategies or rhetorical appeals:
WHAT IS LOGOS?
In a persuasive strategy, logos refer to integrating logic into the fabric of your argument. By using this process, you can determine facts and draw conclusions based on them. If you’re going to use logos to persuade someone else, be careful not to generalize an individual statistic to fit a broader scenario that may be unrealistic or get too passionate. When you argue a point that you see as factual, it can be difficult to remain calm in a debate, but relying too much on emotions can be counterproductive.
With proof, people are more comfortable. The audience will respond more positively to your stance, speech, or literature if you can provide logic and evidence. Both deductive and inductive reasoning is necessary to use Logos:
Inductive reasoning: Inductive reasoning is the process of coming to general conclusions based on observations and experiences. As an example, “the plants in the south window thrive more than those in the north window – these plants must prefer southern light.” Inductive reasoning is a persuasive rhetorical method for persuading a listener to agree with your perspective on a broader topic. There is, of course, a risk of making sweeping claims based on a handful of examples, or your listeners may become suspicious of your claims.
Deductive reasoning: Inductive reasoning works the same way as deductive reasoning but in reverse. To put it another way, you begin with a general truth and then reason out more specific information from that. I will put this plant in the brightest room in my house since this book says it needs a lot of light.” Deductive reasoning requires your opening truth to be widely accepted by the audience, otherwise they will have difficulty following your specific arguments.
WHAT IS ETHOS?
Credibility is how you are perceived by the listener or reader. The other party is not going to be persuaded by your argument no matter how factual or empathic you are if they don’t trust you or the information you’re delivering. The key to successful rhetoric is establishing your strong character with the audience.
In your argumentative style, the ethos can be fostered in several ways, including:
- Using reliable sources and citing them
- Creating rapport with the audience
- Respecting the audience
- Providing well-organized information
- taking your audience’s tone into consideration
- Informing the audience of your background and expertise
- Providing accurate representations of opposing points of view
- Establishing shared beliefs and values
You should also be sure to catch any grammatical and spelling errors in your written documents, as readers will judge your authority based on your ability to do even the tiniest things correctly. It applies to speeches as well, since stumbling over a phrase or mispronouncing a word can undermine the audience’s perception of you as an expert.
WHAT IS PATHOS?
Pathos, which refers to engaging with audiences’ emotions, rounds out the three persuasive strategies. You should not be overly emotional in conveying the logic of your stance, however invoking emotions or acknowledging the values of the audience can be very helpful. Speakers and writers who feel seen by their audience are more likely to respond positively. You should never use pathos and make use of an audience’s emotions to manipulate or distract them from the issue. Rather than distort the true message, it should be a tactic used to advance an agenda.
The reader’s or listener’s predisposition to the topic can also be viewed as pathos in academic and professional settings. In other words, if you know that your audience has specific concerns about the topic you discuss, addressing those concerns in your presentation appeals to the audience’s pathos. Storytelling is also effective for conveying the emotional appeal of your argument. You might have a series of spreadsheets with all the right numbers, but a single story about a customer who had a positive experience might be more effective in persuading your audience to take action.
COMMONLY USED RHETORICAL STRATEGIES
Anybody can use rhetorical strategies to better communicate with their team – whether it’s a supervisor in a large company looking for ways to communicate with his team or a college freshman wondering how to write a persuasive email to a professor. A good understanding of rhetorical devices can increase your success in debates, speeches, or written communications.
To improve your overall communication and persuasion skills, consider the following common rhetorical strategies:
Similes: A simile is used to establish a connection and bring your audience to an understanding of two things. In literature and writing, this is a popular rhetorical strategy for grabbing attention. As a result, it paints a more vivid picture of the concept you’re attempting to describe. Here are some simple examples:
- He’s as busy as a bee
- It’s as boring as watching paint dry
- They fought like cats and dogs
Metaphors: There is a huge difference between similes and metaphors that many people get confused about. Metaphors do not contain comparative words, like “like” or “as.” Similes use these words, which is often an unusual pairing. A metaphor is more direct and insists on the comparison as the same to evoke understanding in the audience. The following are examples of metaphors:
- She is a shining star
- The office was a disaster area
- Laughter is music for the soul
Anadiplosis: An anadiplosis is a rhetorical tactic used to emphasize a point by using specific repetitions between sentences. To do this, end a sentence with the same word or phrase you used to start the next. An audience member can use it to drive home a point, create an urgency to listen or manipulate their perception of the topic. The following are examples of anadiplosis:
- Our primary goal is employee motivation. Motivation drives productivity and helps our company.
- When we win, we win big time.
- He has a problem. A problem with punctuality.
Alliteration: The repetition of alliteration works like anadiplosis to catch the attention of an audience. As a result, alliteration lends itself well to written communication due to its poetic nature. This can be accomplished by repeating a consonant sound throughout a sentence. In alliteration, sounds are twisted in a way that makes them sound better or catchier to capture the receiver’s attention. Alliteration examples include:
- Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers
- Bed, Bath, and Beyond
- Betsy bargained for a basket of blueberries
Rhetorical questions: You can positively influence your audience’s perception if you allow a question to hang in the air during a speech, written engagement, or simple conversation. By rhetorical question, we mean asking a question without expecting or providing an answer in return, allowing the listener to think about it on their own. In most cases, people make decisions based on what other people tell them to do. Providing people with a question and letting them draw their conclusions is much more effective. You can only succeed with this tactic if your audience comes to the same conclusions as you are trying to influence. Consider carefully the structure of a rhetorical question for directness before asking it to your audience. The following are examples of rhetorical questions:
- Is rain wet?
- Who knows?
- How many times do I have to tell you?
Hypophora: If you ask your audience to ponder a question before providing them with an answer, you can positively influence how they understand this. It’s called hypophora. A hypophora answers the question it poses immediately, unlike a rhetorical question. Whether the interaction is a speech to thousands of people or a simple conversation with a friend, it becomes more conversational and open. Hypophora includes the following examples:
- Why must we work so diligently? It’s because we have a lot to lose if we don’t.
- Who is responsible for your success in college? You are the only one responsible.
- Are deadlines being met adequately? Yes, and it is very encouraging for the future.
Asterisms: By starting a statement with commanding words or phrases, this rhetorical device encourages audience attention. There’s something about it that engages the receiver, making them feel as though the speaker’s words are important to them. Here are some examples of asterisms:
- Look, we must put in extra hours if we’re going to finish this project.
- Listen, employee satisfaction is crucial to a business’s success.
- Hey, this lesson will be on the midterm.
Personification: A personalization strategy is similar to a metaphor in the sense that it is a creative and eye-catching way of illustrating a point. Personification, however, refers to assigning human features to inhuman concepts. It is often used in poetry and written literature. It presents a new perspective on a well-known idea. Personification includes the following examples:
- The alarm clock screamed for the man to get out of bed
- The trees whispered to the hikers
- The words leaped off the page
Procatalepsis: Many people believe that bringing up the receiver’s possible objections during a persuasive speech or essay will harm your chances of convincing them. Exposing the audience’s negative perceptions can help persuade them. Having a response prepared shows you’ve thought about an alternate viewpoint. Consider presenting your audience with a gnawing concern, along with a solution, to strengthen their confidence in what you have to say. The following are examples of procatalepsis:
- Some may say that my stance on project assignments is too casual, but I believe it promotes independence in my staff.
- I know what you’re going to say. The Yankees will never win the MLB World Series; however, their team shows more potential than in years prior.
- You may ask how I know I’m the ideal employee for the position, and to that I say, I’m qualified, experienced, and, most important of all, extremely passionate about my work.
Euphemism: Some people may be more sensitive to harsh words or phrases when presenting a large group of people from varied backgrounds. Speakers and writers often use euphemisms to lighten the intensity of the subject matter or phrase they are trying to persuade. To convey politeness, euphemisms are used. The following are examples of euphemisms:
- Dearly departed vs. Person who has died
- Downsizing vs. Firing Employees
- Over the hill vs. Approaching old age