Commonly Used Rhetorical Strategies With Examples

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We have been listening to most influential personalities, motivational speakers and leaders. When a motivational speaker tells you to do something, you find yourself in no position to reject, when an influential leader asks you something, you cannot deny, nor resist. What makes them so impactful and impressive? It is their speech that makes them effective. Good communication skills are essentially needed in conveying a message or idea effectively. Here in this article we will discuss different rhetorical strategies with examples.

Motivational Speaker

Rhetorical strategies defined

Rhetorical strategies are commonly known as communication skills that are used to convey an idea effectively to persuade and provoke people into action. We are aware of their importance. Rhetoric is a skill of communication that we use in speeches, narrations, essays, persuasive writings and conversation.

If you don’t know what are Rhetorical strategies, do read: What are Rhetorical strategies?

There are numerous strategies or devices used for persuasion, some of them are given below.

List of 31 used rhetorical strategies with examples

  1. Anastrophe
  2. Alliteration
  3. Asyndeton
  4. Amplification
  5. Allusion
  6. Analogy
  7. Simile
  8. metaphor
  9. Anadiplosis
  10. Anaphora
  11. Antistrophe/ epistrophe
  12. Antithesis
  13. Apophasis
  14. Oxymoron
  15. Antanagoge
  16. Chiasmus
  17. Climax/ parallelism
  18. Diacope
  19. Euphemism
  20. Expletive
  21. Eponym
  22. Hyperbole
  23. Hypophora
  24. Litotes
  25. Meiosis
  26. Mesodiplosis
  27. Metabasis
  28. Metanoia
  29. Irony
  30. Tricolon
  31. Symploce

There are four Aristotelian rhetorical strategies also called modes of persuasion.


Anastrophe is deviating from word order to add emphasis

With you, I want to fly in the sky, and beyond

For you I can bear the mountains of difficulties, and more


It repeats a letter or a sound in sequence

Veni, vidi, Vinci

She sells seashells on the seashore

I wish you lived a long life


Climb every mountain; swim every ocean just to be with you

Empty dinner tables, empty rooms, empty homes, it was a time I never want back


It uses reference of popular events or place

Unplugging her phone charger means starting world war 3

So thirsty that I supposedly am in Karbala


It repeats a word or phrase to add emphasis

She always wanted a daughter, a daughter who fulfills her vacancy of a friend


Repeat the last word of first clause at the beginning of next

If you want to leave, leave with grace

If you want to start, start with full determination


It is like an extended simile, adding detail

The sunrays were like stones falling on her head and passing through her body until toe when she found her husband was cheating on her.


Comparison of two things using words ‘like, as…’

Your love is like oxygen to me, I never get enough of it. The more I get, the more I want


Comparison without using comparative words

Wives are not punching bags for ill-raised sons to vent their aggression and anxiety out on.


Repeating word(s) at the start of phrases

I am not a feminist but I do have problem with eve teasing and harassment, I am not a feminist but I do have problem with male chauvinism

The famous speech by Martin Luther king ‘I have a dream that one day…’ is also an example of anaphora

You should not speak out loud, you should not laugh out loud, you should not breathe, this how a good girl is supposed to be in this society

Antistrophe/ epistrophe

Repeating word(s) at the end of phrases

It is a dream come true if we get Pakistan, not just a piece of land. it is a crown of freedom and success, not just a piece of land

Of the people, by the people, for the people, is the motto of democracy.


Using contrasting ideas in consecutive sentences to provoke into action

This agreement will be a turning point in our lives, after this we live as brothers or end as enemies.

Join us on the trip or stay locked in you room


Revealing a secret that was to be kept by using’ I will not tell ‘for humor or sarcasm. Saying something, doing something

I will not tell anyone that you fell asleep during online class.

I will not tell Mia that you called her a drama queen


Using two opposite words in single phrase

Undiscovered treasure,

He is a living death, neither says something nor does anything

They have a love hate relationship, one moment they will do PDA and the other moment they will refuse to see each other’s faces


A negative and a positive statement together

She is messy but she is a masterpiece

She is cute but will bury you if you piss her off


Reversing the order of words in consecutive clauses to give some sense and provoke emotions

You do not keep secrets; secrets keep you, especially the dark ones. If even one is revealed, you are gone.

You thick you shape your buildings, but the fact is the buildings shape you

Do not ask what America has given you; ask what you have given America

If you do not respect, you do not get respect

Climax/ parallelism

Using important and same sounding phrases or letter for continuity

Live for your family, for your parents because have been with you through your things and they deserve to see you happy

veni, vidi, Vinci

A small house, a good partner, a little happiness was all she wanted.


Not a single leaf, I repeat not a single leaf can move without the permission of God

It was a magic to see the flowers dancing, a magic so eye pleasing that we could watch the whole night


Using pleasant words for some unpleasant thing, game of words

I saw my human flea wearing a head shoe coming towards me

Her grandmother passed away last month

We have used ‘human flea’ instead of ‘sibling’ and ‘head shoe’ instead of ‘hat’, ‘passed away’ instead of ‘died’.


Word or phrase interrupting normal speech to add emphasis

There is no reason to hold back, it is a high time we stand

There is nothing left to lose

Quetta, a city of forgotten dreams is under the spill of racism and terrorism


Using a famous name for the specific attribute

Are you waiting for angel Gabriel to put words in your mouth?

You do not have to mother Terresa to help the needy ones, anybody can do that


Exaggerating a situation

When I saw him, I got so excited that my organs started clapping

The kid was so scared, I could hear his heartbeats


You ask a question, and then answer it yourself

When someone leaves the world, do you die with them? No, you keep living and keep praying for them.


It is an understatement. Opposite of hyperbole

Those people are not blind; they can see how you deceive them

The candidate was not that bad not to consider for once for the job


It is also opposite of hyperbole, an understatement to draw more attention

The injuries on my body are nothing compared to wounds of my heart

The beauty you will see inside is tenfold of what you are seeing now

It is only the beginning, you are already tired


Repeating word(s) in the middle of sentences

Allah is so powerful, he can move the mountains, so powerful, and he can crash them into sand

In his court, you will be rewarded for a beautiful soul and beautiful heart but will be judged and punished for unfair acts.


A statement followed by transition

I have had enough of drama and dragging; now I want to hear the truth


Adding importance to something by expressing it better

Even the blind could see how much I put efforts

After all these blessings if you are unhappy, it is your fault of being blind, not the fault in you stars


When we say something but mean the opposite. The difference between appearance and reality

We all hoped he would be a good prime minister

The irony of faith and this generation is that the procreator and mother of tomorrow is left uneducated. Not only uneducated but also their population is a grave concern


Using a trio of words or phrases

If you are not awake, no ruler, no policy, no land can guarantee you safety

All are free, all are equal and all deserve a chance to pursue happiness.


Repeating first and last words

No matter how tired you are, you have to walk. No matter how shattered you are, you gotta stay strong.

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