Stylistic devices

Introduction

When you start to analyze the language of a speech, it may be useful to consider both the general style of the language and the stylistic devices that the speaker makes use of.

Note that the distinction between stylistic devices and rhetorical devices is somewhat debatable, so you may sometimes encounter a different division from the one we use in this guide. However, the most important thing is that you are aware of how each individual device works.

We generally regard stylistic devices as those devices which are used to make the speech look and sound better, in order to gain more attention and sympathy from the audience. In contrast, rhetorical devices are used to make the speech more convincing. Note that some devices may play both of these roles at once, which once again makes it difficult to make a sharp distinction between the two types of device.

As you can see, we cover a lot of different devices below. It is important to note that you should not attempt to find all of them in each individual speech you are working with. Instead, we recommend that you simply use this page to look up any specific devices that you may need to study in your particular speech.

Style

The style of a speech is affected by many different language elements, such as its sentence structure, grammar and choice of words.

A speech with a formal style will typically have long and somewhat complex sentences and will often contain advanced or technical words and phrases. In contrast, a speech ...

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