Q:

What does "rhetorical shift" mean?

A:

Quick Answer

A rhetorical shift is a change in linguistic tone that can be signalled by a transition word like "but," "however," or "then." Rhetorical shifts can be used as a literary device, but the term can be applied more broadly, such as when a discussion of someone or something changes tone — for example media perception of a politician turning from positive to negative.

Continue Reading
What does "rhetorical shift" mean?
Credit: COD Newsroom CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The word "rhetorical" is an adjective referring to the act of formal speech or writing that is often intended to be persuasive. A rhetorical shift can be a change in story, tone, idea or concept. The changing ways public figures are discussed in popular media often constitute rhetorical shifts. For example, in a 2012 article in the journal "Feminist Formations," scholars discussed the rhetorical shift in tone when newspapers went from discussing the social activist Jane Addams as "Saint Jane" and instead labelled her "the most dangerous woman in America." This is a dramatic shift in tone and shows that the rhetoric, or discussion, of Addams changed completely.

Learn more about Public Speaking

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some topic ideas for an inspirational speech?

    A:

    Some topics for an inspirational speech are encouraging the audience to do their part to better their community, persuading individuals to combat global warming, recommending ways people can promote a movement or motivating the audience to make a diet or lifestyle change. An inspirational speech is a type of motivational speech that seeks to elicit action from the audience.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you write a really good motivational speech?

    A:

    Writing an effective motivational speech requires determining a message relevant to the audience, grabbing and keeping the audience's attention, providing the audience with a solution for a problem and then prompting the audience to take action to make a change. It should be clearly structured with a beginning, middle and end that is memorable.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are 10 common debate topics?

    A:

    Common debate topics for high school debates include the death penalty, single-sex schools, teaching creationism, animal testing and climate change. Other frequently debated topics include job outsourcing, censorship, drug testing, euthanasia and whether violent video games contribute to real world violence.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you memorize a speech?

    A:

    The key to memorizing a long passage such as a speech is creating memory associations rather than simply memorizing each word in sequence. Focus initially on learning the outline of the speech and not individual words. After comprehending the overall scope of the speech and then linking it to the supporting concepts, memorization is much simpler.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore