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Comparisons. Special types of comparisons include metaphors, similes, personification and allusions. Look at ways in which things are the same. A persuasive comparison slants our thinking by linking our feelings about a thing to the thing to which we compare it.

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  1. Comparisons Special types of comparisons include metaphors, similes, personification and allusions. Look at ways in which things are the same. A persuasive comparison slants our thinking by linking our feelings about a thing to the thing to which we compare it. A positive comparison can make your ideas seem good: “The new Sony PlayStation has more sophisticated electronics than the first NASA space shuttle.” (COMPARISON) “The leader of the political party is a lion when it comes to protecting the rights of children.” (METAPHOR) A negative comparison can also make your ideas seem good: “I want to avoid this election becoming like a Mike Tyson fight.” (SIMILIE) “A future without me is a future without sunshine.” (METAPHOR) TASK: Imagine you are Jack or Ralph trying to persuade people that you are a great leader. Create two comparisons, one negative and one positive, that make you seem impressive.

  2. Association (Allusions) Association is the process of linking an idea or product with other ideas, events or products which the audience either likes and respects, or hates and fears, depending on the aim of the association. Politicians may use association by directly asserting, for example, their connection with certain groups and communities with which the audience identifies or respects. They may also use indirect language to establish associations, for example, metaphors or allusions. Association may be established with images, music, colours, flags, choice of location and timing for a speech, etc., as well as words. Association may take the form of literary, historical or religious references or allusions. • A teacher starts the class by saying, “To read or not to read: that is the question.” They are alluding to Shakespeare, a well respected playwright, and are hoping to be seen by their students as creative and intelligent. • A Politian starts a speech by saying, “I have a Dream.” This is a direct allusion to Martin Luther King; the Politian obviously wants to be seen as a visionary too.

  3. Repetition Politicians often repeat key words or themes throughout a speech, and also use internal repetition techniques such as rhyme, alliteration and anaphora (repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences). Slogans are another repetition device used by politicians in the hopes that, like in advertising, audiences hearing a message many times will become saturated and remember the message without conscious effort. 

  4. Types of repetition(Words/ phrases/ sounds images) Anaphora(an-NAF-ruh):-; repetition of the initial word(s) over successive phrases or clauses. “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Epistrophe(eh-PISS-truh-FEE): When the last word or set of words in a group of successive sentences, clauses, or phrases is repeated one or more times. "The time for the healing of the wounds has come. The moment to bridge the chasms that divides [sic] us has come." • -- Nelson Mandela Antimetabole(an-tee-meh-TA-boe-lee):: one phrase or clause is replicated, exactly or closely, in reverse grammatical order in the next phrase or clause (A-B, B-A). "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." - Carl Sagan Parallelism: successive words, phrases, clauses with the same or very similar grammatical structure "...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." -- Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (here delivered by Jeff Daniels)

  5. Exaggeration Describing a situation in forceful, overblown language in order to make the issue seem more important, worse or urgent than it really is. Exaggerating the scale of an issue can draw a fast emotional response from a reader. Hyperbole- using phrases that, when thought about literally, are not true. • Councils are losing the war against vandals. (There is not an actual war going on) • Homework is killing our kids (You don’t actually die by doing homework) Superlatives- stating that something is the best. Superlatives are marked by the suffix-estor preceded by the word most or least. “The new York subway is a gift to any connoisseur of superlatives. It has the longest rides of any subway in the world, the biggest stations, the fastest trains, the most track, the most passengers, the most police officers. It also has the filthiest trains, the most bizarre graffiti, the noisiest wheels, the craziest passengers, the wildest crimes.” TASK: Pretend you are Roger and explain to the class why you are actually the best person to lead the boys.

  6. Questions Hypophora: Figure of reasoning in which one or more questions is/are asked and then answered, often at length, by one and the same speaker; raising and responding to one's own question(s). "What is George Bush doing about our economic problems? He has raised taxes on the people driving pickup trucks and lowered taxes on the people riding in limousines.“ Bill Clinton Rhetorical Question: Asking a question that you don’t expect answer to because it is obvious or implied. A student hands in a ripped piece of paper with one line on it for an essay assignment: “ Is that your best work.” Question implies that it obviously isn’t.

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