Enhancing Style with Rhetorical Devices

The term rhetoric carries many connotations. In politics, the term is often used in derogatory way during debates toward one’s opponents. In high school, I was introduced to the concept of rhetoric as it applied to rhetorical devices. I was taught to view rhetorical devices as writing tools more than anything else. Rhetorical devices enable writers and speakers to play with language and to enhance personal style. Rhetorical devices can be used in a wide variety of industries, they are not limited to academia or political communication.

The Merriam and Webster Dictionary define rhetoric as:

:  the art of speaking or writing effectively: as

 a :  the study of principles and rules of composition formulated by critics of ancient times
 b :  the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion
a :  skill in the effective use of speech b :  a type or mode of language or speech; also :  insincere or grandiloquent language
Knowing and utilizing rhetorical devices is a useful practice to emulate if you are ever in an industry that involves persuasion, advertising or storytelling.  It is important to know how to use rhetoric in the right settings. Rhetorical devices can be used incorrectly or ineffectively if applied to the wrong audience or at the wrong time. Furthermore it’s helpful to know when rhetoric is being used on you. Regardless of the motivations behind using rhetoric, it has the ability to strengthen your message and style as a writer. The rest is up to you.

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