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Rhetorical Strategies. AP English Lang. Rhetoric. Rhetoric is the systematic study of public speaking, namely oratory. It is the art of persuasion.

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rhetorical strategies

Rhetorical Strategies

AP English Lang


Rhetoric is the systematic study of public speaking, namely oratory. It is the art of persuasion.

A rhetorical device is a technique that an author or speaker uses to convey to the listener or reader a meaning with the goal of persuading the reader or listener towards considering a topic from a different perspective.


"Let a man acknowledge his obligations to himself, his family, his country, and his God.”

“One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

"I think we've reached a point of great decision, not just for our nation, not only for all humanity, but for life upon the earth.”

"...Lost, faded, broken, dead within an hour.”


"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

"Strength through unity, unity through faith.”

"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music and music is the best.”

"The frog was a prince / The prince was a brick / The brick was an egg / The egg was a bird.”

"Queeg: 'Aboard my ship, excellent performance is standard. Standard performance is sub-standard. Sub-standard performance is not permitted to exist.'"


“The late afternoon sky bloomed in the window for a moment like the blue honey of the Mediterranean .” – Fitzgerald

“Her face was quiet and a curious look was in her eyes, eyes like the timeless eyes of a statue.” – Steinbeck

“The ride was actually over in six and a half minutes, and I had no choice but to hobble like an off-balance giraffe on my one flat, one four-inch heel arrangement.” – Weisberger

“The very mystery of him excited her curiosity like a door that had neither lock nor key.” – Mitchell

“A shutter, like the leathern eyelid of a lizard, flickered over the intensity of his gaze...” – Woolf

“...she tried to get rid of the kitten which had scrambled up her back and stuck like a burr just out of reach.” - Alcott


“What the hammer? what the chain? / In what furnace was thy brain? /What the anvil? what dread grasp / Dare its deadly terrors clasp?”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way...

"I'm not afraid to die. . . . I'm not afraid to live. I'm not afraid to fail. I'm not afraid to succeed. I'm not afraid to fall in love. I'm not afraid to be alone. I'm just afraid I might have to stop talking about myself for five minutes."


Where affections bear rule, there reason is subdued, honesty is subdued, good will is subdued, and all things else that withstand evil, for ever are subdued. — Thomas Wilson

... this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. — Abraham Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. — The Bible, 1 Cor 13:11

"There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem." Lyndon B. Johnson in "We Shall Overcome"


A general class name used to denote a specific member of that or an associated class"Bug" for any kind of insect or spider "Truck" for any four-wheel drive vehicle (as well as long-haul trailers etc.)

A specific class name used to refer to a general set of associated things "Range Rover" for all four-wheel drive vehicle“Thermos" for any kind of vacuum flask for holding a hot drink"John Hancock" for the signature of any person

Using the material a thing is made of to refer to that thing:"Willow" for cricket bat,"Plastic" for credit card,"Pigskin" for an American or Canadian football, "Rubber" for a condom


"He writes a fine hand.”

"The pen is mightier than the sword.”

"The House was called to order.”

"We have always remained loyal to the crown.”

"He is a man of the cloth."


The insect, a cockroach, is crawling across the kitchen table.

During the dinner conversation, Clifford, the messiest eater at the table, spewed mashed potatoes across the kitchen table.

My 286 computer, a dinosaur computer, chews floppy disks as noisily as my brother doe peanut brittle.

Genette’s bedroom desk, the biggest disaster area in the house, is a collection of random items.

Kevin, Scott’s eleven-year-old beagle, chews holes in the living room carpeting as if her were still a puppy.


I never seen so many Dominican women with cinnamon tans.

Try to light the fire.

He gave a nod to the officer with the pocket.

On either side of the river lie long fields of barley and rye.

And so, all the night tide, I lay down by the side/ of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride.








My vegetable love should grow Vaster than empires, and more slow; An hundred years should got to praise Thine eyes and on thine forehead gaze; Two hundred to adore each breast, But thirty thousand to the rest. --Andrew Marvell, "To His Coy Mistress"

There are a thousand reasons why more research is needed on solar energy.

I said "rare," not "raw." I've seen cows hurt worse than this get up and get well.

This stuff is used motor oil compared to the coffee you make, my love.

"I held the mescal up to the light and watched the worm slide across the bottom of the bottle. A gift from a friend just back from Mexico. The worm was fat and white and somewhat dangerous looking with great hallucinogenic properties attributed to it. You were supposed to eat it and it was supposed to make you so high you would need a stepladder to scratch your ass. We'd see." (Kinky Friedman, Greenwich Killing Time)


Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player, / That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. --Shakespeare, Macbeth

"The apparition of these faces in the crowd; /Petals on a wet. black bough." - Pound

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent. --W. Churchill

Thus a mind that is free from passion is a very citadel; man has no stronger fortress in which to seek shelter and defy every assault. Failure to perceive this is ignorance; but to perceive it, and still not to seek its refuge, is misfortune indeed. --Marcus Aurelius

The mind is but a barren soil; a soil which is soon exhausted and will produce no crop, or only one, unless it be continually fertilized and enriched with foreign matter. --Joshua Reynolds


"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing." (Goethe)

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us , we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we w ere all going direct the other way." (Charles Dickens)

"Everybody doesn't like something, but nobody doesn't like Sara Lee."

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

You're easy on the eyes, Hard on the heart." (Terri Clark)

"The more acute the experience, the less articulate its expression." (Harold Pinter)


But the new calculations--and here we see the value of relying upon up-to-date information--showed that man-powered flight was possible with this design.

Every time I try to think of a good rhetorical example, I rack my brains but--you guessed--nothing happens.

As the earthy portion has its origin from earth, the watery from a different element, my breath from one source and my hot and fiery parts from another of their own elsewhere (for nothing comes from nothing, or can return to nothing), so too there must be an origin for the mind.

But in whatever respect anyone else is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am just as bold myself.

rhetorical question
Rhetorical Question

But how can we expect to enjoy the scenery when the scenery consists entirely of garish billboards?

Is justice then to be considered merely a word?

Is this the end to which we are reduced?

Who do you think you are?


"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama. I just think it’s an interesting coincidence."

"I don't want to say anything bad about another doctor, especially one who's a useless drunk."

"Mary Matlin, the Bush campaign's political director, made the point with ruthless venom at a press briefing in Washington, saying, 'The larger issue is that Clinton is evasive and slick. We have never said to the press that he is a philandering, pot-smoking, draft-dodger. There's nothing nefarious or subliminal going on.'"

"It's not my habit to comment on books that don't interest me or, for various reasons, I don't like."


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."(Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons, June 4, 1940)

I want her to live. I want her to breathe. I want her to aerobicize."(Weird Science, 1985)

"It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too."(Barack Obama, "The Audacity of Hope," July 27, 2004)


"They dove, splashed, floated, splashed, swam, snorted."(James T. Farrell, Young Lonigan)

"Why, they've got ten volumes on suicide alone. Suicide by race, by color, by occupation, by sex, by seasons of the year, by time of day. Suicide, how committed: by poisons, by firearms, by drowning, by leaps. Suicide by poison, subdivided by types of poison, such as corrosive, irritant, systemic, gaseous, narcotic, alkaloid, protein, and so forth. Suicide by leaps, subdivided by leaps from high places, under the wheels of trains, under the wheels of trucks, under the feet of horses, from steamboats…(Edward G. Robinson

"He was a bag of bones, a floppy doll, a broken stick, a maniac.“ (Jack Kerouac, On the Road)

"I have found the warm caves in the woods, filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves, closets, silks, innumerable goods“ (Anne Sexton, "Her Kind")


You may see their trunks arching in the woods Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground, Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.

Goldfish. The snack that smiles back.

The shattered water made a misty din.

Great waves looked over others coming in.

"The sun shone brightly down on me as if she were shining for me alone".


I came, I saw, I conquered.

Today's students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their altitude.

Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.


Nobody goes to that restaurant, it's too crowded.

Don't go near the water until you've learned to swim.

The man who wrote suce a stupid sentence cannot write at all.

If you get this message, call me; if you don't, then don't worry about it.

If a person says about himself that he always lies, is that that the truth or a lie???


“Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater.”

“There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us, and not we, them.”

“True stories deal with hunger, imaginary ones with love.”


“And God said, Let the earth bring for the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”

“Let the whitefolks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly– mostly– let them have their whiteness.”

“There were frowsy fields, and cow houses, and dunghills, and dustheaps, and ditches, and gardens, and summer houses, and carpet-beating grounds, at the very door of the Railway.”