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Rhetorical Strategies

How to Write a Persuasive Speech


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Persuasive Mantra

Elements of the Speech

Rhetorical Strategies

Elements of the Speech

Format: 1. Introduction 2. Body 3. Conclusion

How to Structure the Introduction

1st sentence: In the past, 2nd sentence: Today, however, 3rd sentence (a.k.a. the Thesis): Although some believe (state opposing sides opinion), (give your belief).
Click below to see examples of a thesis written out. Example 1 - Useful if you have three arguments. Example 2 - Useful if you have three or more arguments.

Example Thesis 1
Although teenagers dont like dress codes and school uniforms, having expectations about school attire improves student behavior, saves money, and reduces clothing competition. ** Using the above thesis as the structure of your speech, you would write a paragraph about improving student behavior, then a second paragraph about saving money, and a third addressing the reduction of clothing competition. **

Example Thesis 2
Although teenagers dont like dress codes and school uniforms, having expectations about school clothing solves many problems in the end. ** This thesis is less specific and leaves you open to writing about the many problems that are solved. **

What is a Thesis?
A thesis is the most important sentence in your paper! It becomes the outline of your entire essay.

What to Include in the Body

Arguments for your side Arguments against your side

Evidence, facts, statistics, quotes a.k.a.


It seems weird to bring up the other side, but the best way to win your argument is to point out their argument so you can knock it down with yours!

What to Include in Your Conclusion

1st sentence: Restate your thesis. 2nd sentence: This sentence is a passionate sentence that explains why your audience needs to join your side. 3rd sentence: This sentence contains the consequence of ignoring your call to action.

Persuasive Mantra
Take a stand and give me 3

Choose a side! DO NOT WAIVER! Give 3 reasons to support your stand

Rhetorical Strategies Menu

What is a Rhetorical Strategy? Alliteration Metaphor/Simile




Rhetorical Question


Rule of Three

What is a Rhetorical Strategy?

A rhetorical strategy is a specifically chosen type of writing that will help you win your argument.

Definition the close repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginnings of words. Examples: Dynamic Duo, Terrific Trio, or Magical Math

Definition a reference to a person, object, or event from the Bible, mythology, literature, or popular culture. Examples:
If you tell him that, you are opening up Pandoras Box. They thought they were Romeo and Juliet.

Definition a technique of putting two opposite ideas near each other in a sentence to create a powerful effect. Examples:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. -John F. Kennedy We are caught in a war, wanting peace. -Richard Nixon

Definition use of exaggeration to emphasize a point.

We use hyperboles naturally and often. I was waiting a year for you to get off the phone! That bag weighs a ton.

Definition short comparisons of the characteristics of two unlike things. Examples:

A simile uses like or as to make those comparisons; a metaphor makes a direct comparison. the manacles of segregation - Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream Our ignorance is like a vast sea, deep and wide.
He is comparing manacles (chains) to segregation (separation/discrimination), making it a metaphor.

The comparison is made using the word like, so this is a simile.

Definition repeating a word, phrase, or sentence throughout a speech to create some kind of rhythm. Example:

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! -Martin Luther King

Rhetorical Question
Definition questions used for effect that are not to be answered. This draws the audiences attention to a specific area. Example:

Are we really free when we cannot walk happily into our closets and choose clothes that allow us to express ourselves?

Rule of Three
Definition a technique of grouping together three words, phrases, or sentences. Examples:
I came. I saw. I conquered. -Julius Caesar a government of the people, by the people, for the people -Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address