These lists are intended to help you identify figures, tropes, and other rhetorical strategies and devices. The terms in our Tool Kit for Rhetorical Analysis have been organized into eight broad, overlapping categories:
- Amplification Strategies (below)
- Argumentation Techniques (page two)
- Balance, Antithesis, and Paradox (page three)
- Emotional Appeals (Pathos) (page three)
- Metaphorical Substitutions and Puns (page three)
- Omission of Words, Phrases, and Clauses (page three)
- Repetition of Letters, Syllables, and Sounds (page four)
- Repetition of Words, Phrases, Clauses, and Ideas (page four)
Clicking on a term will take you to a glossary page. There you will find the definition and several examples of the term as well as its etymology (which shows where the word came from) and a sound file (so that you'll know how to pronounce the term).
Figure of speech in which a speaker or a writer gathers scattered points and lists them together.
General term for all of the ways that an argument, an explanation, or a description can be expanded and enriched.
The mention of something in disclaiming intention of mentioning it--or pretending to deny what is really affirmed.
Placing side-by-side two coordinate elements, the second of which serves as an explanation or modification of the first.
A prolix or highly ornamented style.
A gradual increase in intensity of meaning with words arranged in ascending order of force or importance.
Repetition of a point several times in different words.
Expansive richness as a stylistic goal.
Explicit references to various meanings of a word--usually for the purpose of removing ambiguities.
Personal description; a head-to-toe inventory of a person's physical attributes or charms.
A visually powerful description that vividly recreates something or someone in words.
Adding words or phrases to further clarify or specify a statement already made.
Circumstance in which a speaker quotes a passage and comments on it.
Frequent repetition of a phrase or question; dwelling on a point.
Elaborately patterned prose style.
Emphasizing a point by seeming to pass over it.
A restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, often to clarify meaning.
The insertion of some verbal unit in a position that interrupts the normal syntactic flow of the sentence.
Redundancy; use of words to emphasize what is clear without them.
The piling up of adjectives, often in the spirit of invective.