Rhetorical Strategies

  1. Logos
    the appeal to reason – using rational argument to make a point
  2. Pathos
    the appeal to emotion – using language that evokes sympathy in the reader
  3. Ethos
    the persuasive appeal of one’s character – making the argument that one should trust the character or principles of the writer
  4. Irony
    speaking in such a way as to imply the contrary of what one says, often for the purpose of derision, mockery, or jest.
  5. Diction
    word choice – using specific, descriptive words that have meaning for the reader and that influence the argument
  6. Rhetorical Question
    a question that is not answered by the writer because its answer is obvious or obviously desired, and usually just a yes or no. It is used for effect, emphasis, or provocation, or for drawing a conclusionary statement from the facts at hand.
  7. Allustion
    a short, informal reference to a famous person or event. The allusions are to very well known characters or events, not to obscure ones. (The best sources for allusions are literature, history, Greek myth, and the Bible.)
  8. Repetition
    Repetition of the same word or group of words – often used for emphasis of an idea
  9. Parallel Structure
    a recurrent grammatical similarity. Several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed similarly to show that the ideas in the parts or sentences are equal in importance. Parallelism also adds balance and rhythm and, most importantly, clarity to the sentence
  10. Anaphora
    the repetition of the same word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences, commonly in conjunction with climax and with parallelism
  11. Antithesis
    establishes a clear, contrasting relationship between two ideas by joining them together or juxtaposing them, often in parallel structure
  12. Imagery
    using language that appeals to one or more of the 5 senses – language that the reader can feel, hear, touch, etc. – often used to evoke pathos in the reader
  13. Simile
    a comparison between two different things that resemble each other in at least one way. In formal prose the simile is a device both of art and explanation, comparing an unfamiliar thing to some familiar thing (an object, event, process, etc.) known to the reader.
  14. Metaphor
    compares two different things by speaking of one in terms of the other. Unlike a simile or analogy, metaphor asserts that one thing is another thing, not just that one is like another. Very frequently a metaphor is invoked by the to be verb
  15. Analogy
    compares two things, which are alike in several respects, for the purpose of explaining or clarifying some unfamiliar or difficult idea or object by showing how the idea or object is similar to some familiar one. While simile and analogy often overlap, the simile is generally a more artistic likening, done briefly for effect and emphasis, while analogy serves the more practical end of explaining a thought process or a line of reasoning or the abstract in terms of the concrete, and may therefore be more extended
  16. Personification
    metaphorically represents an animal or inanimate object as having human attributes--attributes of form, character, feelings, behavior, and so on. Ideas and abstractions can also be personified
  17. Apostrophe
    interrupts the discussion or discourse and addresses directly a person or personified thing, either present or absent. Its most common purpose in prose is to give vent to or display intense emotion, which can no longer be held back
  18. Alliteration
    the recurrence of initial consonant sounds. The repetition can be juxtaposed (and then it is usually limited to two words)
Card Set
Rhetorical Strategies