Rhetorical Techniques

Writing Tutorial

Rhetorical Techniques


Would you like to give your essay or research paper extra punch and impress your teacher or instructor to influence your mark?

Sample Problem

Make sentences not only memorable but also grammatically correct.


There are dozens of rhetorical techniques usable in writing but let’s concentrate on two that when used in combination add punch. Consider the inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City:

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

That sentence uses two techniques, correlative conjunctions and parallel construction together. “Neither…Nor” is one of four correlative conjunctions most commonly used, the others being “Either…Or,” Not only…But Also,” and “Whether…Or.”

Parallel construction has the same grammatical construction. Snow, rain, heat, and gloom are nouns. They cannot be mixed with other figures of speech such as adjectives, verbs, or adverbs. As a last example consider this sentence: Near the end of the story Daniel Webster threatens to wrestle with the devil either on Earth or in hell.

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