Rhetoric is the art of speaking and writing effectively, using various compositional techniques. Mastering rhetoric will allow you to deliver more effective speeches during moderated caucuses, helping to persuade your audience and instill your ideas upon them.  Below are a list of rhetorical devices that you can use in your speeches.

Modes of Persuasion: The modes of persuasion are devices in rhetoric that seek to classify the speaker’s appeal into three main categories: ethos, pathos, and logos.

Ethos: appeal to the speaker’s character or virtue. Ethos is primarily concerned with how well you convince the audience that you’re qualified and knowledgeable.

Pathos: appeal to the audience’s emotion. Pathos happens both through the words in which you appeal to the audience and in your delivery to the audience. This may include appealing to the audience’s fears and hopes, or a fiery delivery.

Logos: appeal to logic. Logos is normally used to describe the arguments and evidence that are used to support your main conclusion.

Anadiplosis: a form of repetition in which the last word of a clause is repeated as the first word of the next clause.

Example: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Yoda

Anaphora: a rhetorical device in which there is a deliberate repetition of the first part of the sentence.

Example: “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, ...” - Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

Anthypophora: a rhetorical device in which there is a question which is then answered.

Example: "Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also" -Romans 3.29

Antimetabole: a rhetorical device in which there is one clause is repeated, but in reverse order. Typically, there is a contrast of meaning between the two clauses.

Example: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” -John F. Kennedy

Antithesis: a rhetorical device in which there are two clauses of similar structure, but contrasting ideas.

Example: “Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.” -John Milton

Asyndeton: a rhetorical device in which conjunctions are purposefully omitted.

Example: “I came, I saw, I conquered.” -Julius Caesar

Chiasmus: a rhetorical device in which successive clauses have reversed grammatical structures without repeating words. This contrasts to the antimetabole, which reverses grammatical structure and words.

Example: “Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves.” -Shakespeare

Epistrophe: the repetition of words at the end of successive clauses. This contrasts with the anaphora, which repeats words at the beginning of successive clauses.

Example: “There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.” -Lyndon B. Johnson

Polysyndeton: the deliberate repetition of a conjunction. It is the opposite of an asyndeton.

Example: “And soon it lightly dipped, and rose, and sank, And dipped again…” -Keats

Tricolon: a rhetorical device that employs lists of three.

Example: “Of the people, by the people, for the people…”


Author: Thomas Wang

Published: September 22, 2018

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