2. Allusion An allusion is a reference to some fairly well known event, place, or person. The reference may appear in the form of a simile , metaphor , analogy , or it may not be within any other rhetorical device at all. Slide 2 of 12 Back to Contents You don’t have to be Mark Twain to appreciate a good ALLUSION .
3. An allusion is a reference to some fairly well known event, place, or person. The reference may appear in the form of a simile , metaphor , analogy , or it may not be within any other rhetorical device at all. Allusion • Ever since the accident that killed her husband and son, the woman across the street has lived bitter and secluded like Miss Havisham. Slide 3 of 12 Back to Contents • Ever since the accident that killed her husband and son, the woman across the street—our neighborhood’s own Miss Havisham—has never left her house.
4. Allusion The reference may be to history, literature, current events, mythology, religion—whatever is likely to resonate with the reader and deliver the intended meaning and effect. The purpose of allusion is to color the meaning of the text, to draw on the reader’s prior knowledge, to clarify or explain the point being made. Slide 5 of 12 Back to Contents • The devastation left by the storm is beyond tragic; it is apocalyptic. • The storm left in its wake a Brobdingnagian path of destruction. • Such destruction hasn’t been seen since the fall of Troy.
5. Allusion In forming an allusion , keep your target audience in mind. If the audience does not recognize the reference, the meaning of the allusion will be lost as well. Slide 12 of 12 Back to Contents • Scientists have reached further and further to unlock the secrets of the universe. But there are those who would argue that like Icarus, science ignores the ever-nearing sun at its own peril. • These tribes survive and even thrive, in spite of the fact that, like the lilies in the field, they toil not. • The giant squid, at lengths of over 40 feet, are true Leviathans of the underwater world.
6. Amplification AMPLIFICATION is an important device; more than mere repetition, it’s an actual expansion of the information already given. Slide 1 of 11 Back to Contents
7. Amplification In amplification , writers repeat something they’ve just said, while adding additional detail and information. Slide 2 of 11 Back to Contents • Next we come to the fruit fly—the drosophila melanogaster, that tiny, insubstantial bug, on whom the foundations of biology have rested for so long.
8. Amplification The main purpose of amplification is to focus the reader’s attention on an idea he or she might otherwise miss. The amount added depends on a number of factors: Slide 4 of 11 Back to Contents • details the writer wants to convey • how important the idea is • how likely it is that the additional information will be skimmed over
9. Amplification The main purpose of amplification is not to inform, but to emphasize: Slide 8 of 11 Back to Contents • It was a cold day, a wicked day, a day of biting winds and bitter frost. Amplification allows writers to emphasize an idea without being too repetitive or heavy-handed. • Look to the genome for our future—a future free of disease and aging.
10. Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio ANADIPLOSIS and CONDUPLICATIO are two devices that repeat key words for emphasis, emphasis that will drive home your key point. Slide 1 of 10 Back to Contents
11. Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio Anadiplosis takes the last word or words of a sentence, phrase, or clause and repeats them near the beginning of the next sentence, phrase, or clause. Slide 3 of 10 Back to Contents Anadiplosis places the repeated words or phrases adjacent to one another, so the repetition is visually apparent as well audibly apparent.
12. Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio In education we find the measure of our own ignorance; in ignorance we find the beginning of wisdom. In wisdom there is peace. Slide 5 of 10 Back to Contents The Confederate firing on Fort Sumter was unquestionably the beginning of the war, a war that would last four years and claim nearly 700,000 lives.
13. Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio Conduplicatio is similar, but it takes its key words from anywhere in one sentence, clause, or phrase and repeats it at the beginning of the next sentence, clause, or phrase. Slide 7 of 10 Back to Contents
14. Anadiplosis/Conduplicatio More than mathematical truth or scientific theory, the art of communication is essential to the advancement of humanity and the establishment of world peace. The art of communication is the only means by which persons of diverse races, classes, and national heritages can learn to respect one another. Slide 8 of 10 Back to Contents This proposed legislation, if it passes into law, will destroy thirty years of achievement. Law should build up, not tear down. Seeing that they hear, do we not ask if they speak? Seeing that they speak, do we not ask if they reason? Seeing that they reason, do we not question whether we are more alike than not?
15. Analogy ANALOGY aids communication in the same way that a musical score enhances entertainment. Slide 1 of 7 Back to Contents The analogy is the somewhat more down-to-earth version of the simile and metaphor . They all compare two ideas for the sake of clarity or effect.
16. Analogy The most useful form of the analogy is one in which a simple object or idea is substituted for a more complex one to clarify an underlying premise. Slide 3 of 7 Back to Contents When your enemy comes to you in pain, you must do whatever is in your power to help ease that pain. For when a child comes to you in pain, do you not do everything you can? Know then that in the eyes of the Lord we are all His children.
17. Analogy An analogy might also be used to further elaborate on a point that is already understood. Rather than substituting, the analogy furthers the initial point, letting the reader see aspects of it that may have been missed. Slide 5 of 7 Back to Contents
18. Analogy Slide 6 of 7 Back to Contents The desire for wealth, when unchecked, can lead only to great evil. For though a man may begin with but a sip of wine, without restraint, the urge will grow until one day he is a drunkard, blinded to all but his need, taking whatever steps are needed to find his fix. One good deed witnessed can rejuvenate an entire society in the same way that a single bit of yeast makes the entire loaf of bread rise.
19. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Use ANAPHORA and EPISTROPHE for style. Use ANAPHORA and EPISTROPHE for emphasis . Use ANAPHORA and EPISTROPHE for clarity. But use ANAPHORA . Slide 1 of 10 SYMPLOCE repeats words and phrases as do ANAPHORA and EPISTROPHE ; SYMPLOCE improves style and clarity as do ANAPHORA and EPISTROPHE . Back to Contents
20. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences: Slide 2 of 10 Back to Contents
21. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences: To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up… — Ecclestiastes 1: 1-3 Slide 3 of 10 Back to Contents
22. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce He has refused his Assent to Laws… He has forbidden his Governors… He has refused to pass other Laws… He has called together legislative bodies… He has dissolved Representative Houses… He has refused… He has endeavoured… He has obstructed the Administration of Justice… — from The Declaration of Independence Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences: Slide 4 of 10 Back to Contents
23. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Epistrophe is a close relative to anaphora; it is one in which the same word or phrase is repeated at the end of successive clauses or sentences: Slide 5 of 10 Back to Contents When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child… — 1 Corinthians 13: 11 What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
24. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Symploce combines the structure and effect of the two previous devices by repeating words or phrases at both the beginning and end of successive clauses or sentences: Slide 8 of 10 Back to Contents Let England have its navigation and fleet — let Scotland have its navigation and fleet — let Wales have its navigation and fleet — let Ireland have its navigation and fleet — let those four of the constituent parts of the British empire be under four independent governments, and it is easy to perceive how soon they would each dwindle into comparative insignificance. — The Federalist No. 4
25. Anaphora/Epistrophe/Symploce Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them… — Alfred Lord Tennyson, from “The Charge of the Light Brigade” Symploce combines the structure and effect of the two previous devices by repeating words or phrases at both the beginning and end of successes clauses or sentences: Slide 10 of 10 Back to Contents
26. Antanagogue As a name for a rhetorical device ANTANAGOGUE might indeed be a little intimidating, but it is such a useful device that no effort learning to use it will be wasted. Slide 1 of 6 Back to Contents Antanagoge is the device that allows the writer to acknowledge but downplay negative points or points that are in opposition. This is done by placing the negative point next to a stronger positive one.
27. Antanagogue Granted, reducing automobile emissions may cost manufacturers and consumers a few dollars in the short run, but the benefits of a cleaner earth and a healthier population are priceless. Slide 3 of 6 Back to Contents She can be quick to anger, but when you’re in need, you’ll never find a more loyal friend. The car might cost a bit more than other models when it’s new, but it more than pays for itself by not breaking down nearly so often as cheaper ones do.
28. Antanagogue I know that in the past it has failed—and on occasion, failed miserably—but advances in technology, massive investments from the private sector, and a changed political climate all make the success of this project much more likely. Slide 6 of 6 Back to Contents
29. Antithesis ANTITHESIS is a simple way to show a complex thought. Slide 1 of 11 Back to Contents
30. Antithesis Antithesis makes use of a contrast in language to bring out a contrast in ideas. It is one of the most attractive and powerful tools in speech and writing. Some of the most famous lines in modern history are built on the antithesis : Slide 2 of 11 Back to Contents That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind... — Neil Armstrong, July 20, 1969 … they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. — Martin Luther King, Jr., August 28, 1963
31. Antithesis Antithesis can help to point out fine distinctions between ideas by presenting them together: Slide 5 of 11 Back to Contents • Thoreau wrote that that which was legal was not always moral. • The wise can do what the learned can only say. • Success might elude its pursuers, but happiness will not be pursued at all. • We must live within our limits, for we are men, not gods. • I speak not from ignorance, but from experience.
32. Aporia Aporia is a device a writer will use to express doubt about an idea. Slide 2 of 17 Back to Contents “ It’s possible that we don’t even need to discuss APORIA , but then again, it might prove to be a useful device.”
33. Aporia At its most basic level, aporia serves as a way for a writer to show a number of different sides to an argument, without Personally committing to any: Slide 3 of 17 Back to Contents • I’m unsure whether to be in favor of harsher penalties or opposed to them, as the arguments on both sides seem very strong.
34. Aporia On a more subtle level, a writer may use aporia to give a Personal opinion on something, while appearing to express ignorance or uncertainty; it can also suggest an idea to the reader without the writer taking responsibility for it. Slide 5 of 17 Back to Contents • It is, certainly, premature to draw any conclusions until all of the facts have been gathered, but it does seem as if… • While the Senator’s admitted ties with organized crime and her recent election fraud scandal might tempt some to demand her removal from office, one cannot state with any certainty that ...
35. Aporia Unlike hypophora , which raises a legitimate objection and legitimately points out its weaknesses, aporia can appear to acknowledge criticism only to move on without any real Discussion of it. Slide 8 of 17 Back to Contents I have heard that native deer populations in North America seem to be on the decline, and I don’t know what to say about that. It is my experience that these creatures have inundated our town. While it is difficult, indeed, to argue with the evidence that points to global climate change, one need only consider the record snowfalls and low temperatures of the winter of 2010 to question any theoretical model that cannot stand up to personal observation and experience.
36. Apostrophe Apostrophe is a rhetorical device in which the writer breaks out of the flow of the writing to directly address an ideal or personified object. It should not be confused with the punctuation mark of the same name, to which it is completely unrelated. Similar to an “aside” in a play. Slide 2 of 8 Back to Contents • O, Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being… — Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ode to the West Wind <ul><li>My country, ’tis of thee,…Of thee I sing… </li></ul><ul><li>— Samuel Francis Smith, from “America” </li></ul>
37. Apostrophe Slide 5 of 8 Because of the tone it lends to the writing, apostrophe is Generally considered inappropriate for formal, academic writing. It clearly contributes to voice and tone, but it lends virtually nothing to clarity, organization, or strength of argument. Back to Contents Paris, you were my first love—sultry and secretive, beguiling And shy. How I wanted to hold you forever as the sun went down that summer day. Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved [Brutus]. — William Shakespeare, The Life of Julius Caesar , III, ii
38. Slide 2 of 11 Asyndeton/Polysyndeton Asyndeton and polysyndeton are two devices that add stylistic force to your writing by handling conjunctions in non-standard ways. Back to Contents “ ASYNDETON is one of the best, most expressive, effective rhetorical devices, while POLYSYNDETON is interesting and instructional and stylish and fun.”
39. Asyndeton/Polysyndeton Slide 1 of 11 Back to Contents • He was tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, well educated, intelligent. Asyndeton leaves out conjunctions in a list or between clauses: Polysyndeton puts a conjunction after every item but the last: • He was tall and dark and handsome and wealthy and well educated and intelligent.
40. Slide 6 of 11 Asyndeton/Polysyndeton Asyndeton can give the impression that the list was spontaneously put together, rather than planned and structured in a traditional way. It also may suggest that the list isn’t quite finished, inviting the reader to complete the list on his or her own. Back to Contents • They sat under one roof—princes, dukes, barons, earls, kings. Although polysyndeton is the syntactic and stylistic opposite of asyndeton , its effect is not necessarily the reverse. • The runner passed the ten-mile mark and the fifteen and the twenty, while the finish line lay in wait for him.
41. Climax Slide 2 of 5 Building to a climax is a way of organizing ideas in your writing so that they proceed from the least to the most important. It is one of the basic principles of structure. Back to Contents CLIMAX is the structural device that allows you to build from concept, to plan, to fully developed paper…
42. Climax Slide 3 of 5 He began his career writing horoscopes for a local paper. By nineteen, he was writing front-page stories. At twenty-two, he published his first collection of short essays. And just nine days shy of his twenty-sixth birthday, he won the Pulitzer for his work at The New York Times. Back to Contents Caution can be a useful human emotion. Fear tends to cloud Our better judgment. Anger turns us away from what we know to be right. Hate overwhelms us and ultimately devours our humanity.