Examples of rhetoric

rhetorical devices are just a single word, such as onomatopoeia. Others are phrases, such as metaphors, while still others can be sentence-length (such as a thesis), paragraph-length (hypophora), or go throughout the entire piece, such as a standard five-paragraph essay

Along with logic and grammar, rhetoric is one of the three ancient skills of speech, or "trivium." Discourse is the ordered, formal interchange of ideas in discussion when each speaker is allowed time to present their ideas, arguments, and supporting evidence.


As we mentioned above, the kind of rhetoric a writer uses largely depends on the type of writing they’re doing. While a student writing an argumentative essay or another kind of academic writing relies on logos to communicate their work’s message, poetry is pure pathos. 

You’ve encountered rhetoric in a variety of media. If you’ve ever seen one of those SPCA commercials set to the song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, you’ve had rhetoric tug at your heartstrings. 

Here are a few more examples of rhetoric in action: 

“It was we, the people; not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.” —Susan B. Anthony

“I am assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London; that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food; whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled, and I make no doubt, that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or ragout.” —Jonathan Swift

“I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Rhetoric, according to Aristotle, is "the skill of perceiving in each given instance the available tools of persuasion," and it is "a mixture of the science of logic and of the ethical branch of politics." Rhetoric has been the foundation of persuasive and motivating speech from Ancient Greece to the present. You can also download our app from the playstore or visit our website.