rhetorical technique

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Rhetorical Techniques1
Definitions & Examples for Students
1. Repetition: the purposeful replication of words or phrases in order to make a point.
Example: “It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Abraham Lincoln

2. Simile: an explicit comparison between two things using like or as.
Example: “Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep."
Carl Sandburg

3. Metaphor: An implied comparison between two things of unlike nature that yet have something in common.
Example: "The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.” John F. Kennedy

4. Symbolism: The practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships.

5. Parallelism: the similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses.
Example: "It is by logic we prove, but by intuition we discover.” Leonardo da Vinci

6. Alliteration: the repetition of similar sounds in two or more adjacent words.
Example: “She sells sea shells by the seashore.” – Famous American tongue-twister for children 7. Rhyme: Rhyme is the similarity in sound of the ends of words
Example: “For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings, that then I scorn to change my state with kings.” Shakespeare

8. Irony: use of a word in such a way as to convey a meaning opposite to the literal meaning of the word.
Example: “I was simply overjoyed that I had to leave my boyfriend and return to school for final exams.” Student Paper

9. Varying Sentence Structure and/or Length:
Example: “As I write I want to see the design that my piece will have when the reader sees it in type, and I want that design to have a

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