© 2013 Steve Campsall
argument and persuasion - rhetorical devices
A rhetorical device is a technique of using language that will increase the persuasiveness of a piece of writing.
EXAMPLES OF RHETORICAL DEVICES
1. Rhetorical question
Can we really expect the school to keep paying from its limited resources?
2. Emotive language
Imagine being cast out into the street, cold, lonely and frightened.
3. Parallel structures
To show kindness is praiseworthy; to show hatred is evil.
4. Sound patterns
Alliteration: Callous, calculating cruelty – is this what we must expect?
Assonance: A fine time we all had, too.
Sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind.
6. Description and Imagery (i.e. using metaphor, simile and personification)
While we wait and do nothing, we must not forget that the fuse is already burning.
7. The ‘rule of three’
I ask you, is this fair, is it right, is it just?
Evil minds will use evil means.
9. Hyperbole (using exaggeration for effect)
While we await your decision, the whole school holds its breath.