10 Steps to Enhance Style and Impact with Rhetorical Devices

Rhetorical devices are techniques that writers and speakers use to enhance the style and impact of their writing and speaking (Lee, 2020). These devices can be used to add emphasis, clarity, or persuasion to an argument or message, and can help make writing more engaging and memorable for the reader (Gibaldi, 2016). Here are ten steps for using rhetorical devices to enhance style and impact in your writing: 

  1. Identify the purpose of your writing. Rhetorical devices are most effective when used in a way that aligns with the purpose of your writing (Lee, 2020). Consider the audience, tone, and main points that you want to convey, and choose rhetorical devices that will help you achieve your goals (Gibaldi, 2016). 
  2. Choose rhetorical devices that fit your tone and style. Different rhetorical devices have different effects on the reader, so it's important to choose ones that fit the tone and style of your writing (Lee, 2020). For example, hyperbole might be more appropriate in a casual or humorous piece, while anaphora might be more effective in a more formal or serious piece (Gibaldi, 2016).
  3. Use rhetorical devices sparingly. While rhetorical devices can be effective in enhancing style and impact, it's important not to overuse them (Lee, 2020). Using too many devices can distract from the main points of your writing and make it seem forced or artificial (Gibaldi, 2016).
  4. Vary the types of rhetorical devices you use. Using a variety of rhetorical devices can help keep your writing interesting and engaging (Lee, 2020). Mix and match different devices to create a balanced and effective argument (Gibaldi, 2016).
  5. Use rhetorical devices to add emphasis. Rhetorical devices can be used to emphasize key points or ideas in your writing (Lee, 2020). For example, repetition can be used to drive home a main point, or parallelism can be used to create a sense of balance and emphasis (Gibaldi, 2016).
  6. Use rhetorical devices to clarify complex ideas. Rhetorical devices can help make complex ideas more accessible and understandable to the reader (Lee, 2020). For example, a metaphor can help illustrate a complex concept in a more relatable way (Gibaldi, 2016).
  7. Use rhetorical devices to persuade the reader. Rhetorical devices can be used to make an argument more persuasive and compelling (Lee, 2020). For example, using anaphora to repeat a key point can help make it more memorable and convincing (Gibaldi, 2016).
  8. Use rhetorical devices to add personality and voice to your writing. Rhetorical devices can help add personality and voice to your writing, making it more engaging and memorable for the reader (Lee, 2020). For example, using rhetorical questions can help make your writing more interactive and engaging (Gibaldi, 2016).
  9. Practice using rhetorical devices. The more you practice using rhetorical devices, the better you will become at incorporating them effectively into your writing (Lee, 2020). Consider practicing with different devices and in different writing contexts to improve your skills (Gibaldi, 2016).
  10. Edit and revise. As with any writing, it's important to edit and revise your work to ensure that the rhetorical devices you use are effective and contribute to the overall quality of your writing (Lee, 2020). Consider asking a peer or mentor to review your work and provide feedback on the effectiveness of your rhetorical devices (Gibaldi, 2016).


Gibaldi, J. (2016). MLA Handbook (8th ed.). New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America.

Lee, J. (2020). The Power of Rhetorical Devices in Writing.

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