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Rhetorical Devices Used by Speakers and Writers

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Presentation on theme: "Rhetorical Devices Used by Speakers and Writers"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rhetorical Devices Used by Speakers and Writers
Rhetorical devices are the nuts and bolts of speech and writing; the parts that make a communication work. Separately, each part of is meaningless, but once put together they create a powerful effect on the listener/reader.

2 Parallelism Writing structures that are grammatically parallel helps the reader understand the points better because they flow more smoothly. If there is anyone out there who still doubts…who still wonders…who still questions

3 Hypophora A common technique is to start a speech with a hypophora, in which the speaker first asks a question and then answers it. In Obama’s speech, the word answer is used regularly as an obvious signpost of the speaker’s intention to give his audience answers. The questions, however, are implied here.

4 Repetition Repetition can be effective in creating a sense of structure and power. In both speech and literature, repeating small phrases can ingrain an idea in the minds of the audience. Yes, we can, to opportunity and prosperity. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can repair this world. Yes, we can.

5 Antithesis A figure of speech in which sharply contrasting ideas are juxtaposed in a balanced or parallel phrase or grammatical structure Obama is famous for having said “There are no red states or blue states. There are only the United States of America.” "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way." (Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

6 Figurative speech People like to think in metaphors. The image of bending the arc of history up towards hope is powerful. Figurative speech tends to work best when set off by concrete images. “the arc of history with the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston”

7 Tricolon A tricolon is a list of three, or a sentence in which there are three parts or clauses. The cumulative effect of three has a powerful effect on an audience. Here, the backyards, living rooms and front porches build a strong picture of “plain folks”

8 Polysyndeton using several conjunctions in close succession, especially where some might be omitted—used to stress the importance of each item $5 and $10 and $15

9 Juxtaposition the act of positioning close together
Obama talks about the “not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers” The juxtaposition of “bitter cold” and “scorching heat” stresses the extreme conditions in which people campaigned for Obama, convincing the audience of their dedication

10 Allusion By using allusion, you not only associate yourself with the ideas of the original text but also create a bond with the audience by evoking share knowledge The words government of the people, by the people, and for the people are lifted from the “Gettysburg Address”

11 Varied Sentence Length
Varying the sentence length is always a good way to strengthen any writing style, be it speech writing or essays. --“To the best campaign team ever assembles in the history of politics: you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done. But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.”

12 Rhetorical & Persuasive Appeals
Ethos—appeal to ethics; asks the reader/listener to look favorably on the writer/speaker; stresses the writer/speaker’s intelligence, competence, fairness, morality, and other qualities desirable in a trustworthy leader. --“I promise you, we as a people will get there.” --“But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation . . .”

13 Rhetorical & Persuasive Appeals
Logos—rational appeal; asks the readers to use their intellects and powers of reasoning. It relies on established conventions of logic and evidence. --Can you find any use of logos in this speech?

14 Rhetorical & Persuasive Appeals
Pathos—an emotional appeal; asks readers to respond out of their beliefs, values, or feelings. It inspires, affirms, frightens, angers. --“Tonight we proved one more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.” --“Yes we can.” --“So tonight, let us ask ourselves—if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what changes will they see? What progress will we have made?”

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