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Use Persuasive Techniques and Rhetorical Devices

In this worksheet, students learn the various persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices they will need to be able to recognise and use in their writing.

'Use Persuasive Techniques and Rhetorical Devices' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  Writing

Curriculum subtopic:  Use Accurate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet will enable you to learn the various persuasive techniques and rhetorical devices you will need to be able to recognise and use in your GCSE exam.

 

Many non-fiction and media texts often have a persuasive tone and you need to be able to recognise and understand how writers create this. You should also be able to use this knowledge in your own writing.

Sometimes, writers use questions that don't require an answer for a particular effect.

 

Here is an example:

 

Every morning teachers are faced with classrooms full of tired students unable to learn properly because they have been up too late on social media sites. Is it right that teenagers should have access to social media all the time?

 

Speech bubble with social media language inside

 

What is this kind of question called and why is it used? Select two answers.

to make the reader think

to make the reader find out the answer themselves

a repeatable question

a rhetorical question

Another way of making readers feel involved is through the use of personal pronouns or modes of address.

 

Match the following personal pronouns or modes of address with their effects. Hover your mouse over the boxes to see their contents in full.

Column A

Column B

friends
involves the readers and makes them feel as if the...
we, us
assumes the reader is on the side of the writer
you
gives a personal feel to the writing and a sense o...
I, my
gives a friendly tone and breaks down the barrier ...

Writers also use imagery to paint a picture in their readers' minds to help them understand something more clearly.

 

Which of the terms below are examples of imagery?

repetition

metaphor

alliteration

simile

An effective way of emphasising a point is to use the rule of three. For example:

 

Allowing teenagers free access to social media at all times can cause anti-social behaviour, tiredness and paranoia.

 

Which three words or phrases are used in the rule of three in this example?

teenagers

anti-social behaviour

tiredness

paranoia

free

access

Which group of people often use the rule of three in their speeches?

politicians

police officers

actors

Read this headline:

 

School Heads slam silly university selection process!

 

Which technique is being used here? What is its effect? Select two answers.

it makes a group of words stand out

it makes the sentence flow

alliteration

assonance

Exaggeration is another technique that can be used to give emphasis to something. Writers often use exaggeration. The easiest way to do this is to use superlatives.

 

Read the list of words below and select the four examples of superlatives.

most useful

oldest

great

big

hottest

best

Why is repetition used in persuasive writing?

to make sure the reader stays interested

to emphasise a point

to make the paragraph seem longer

Now we are going to revise the different persuasive devices.

 

Match each device below with its effect. Hover your mouse over the effects to see them in full.

 

If you are having difficulty, it might be helpful to write your own examples of each technique.

Column A

Column B

Rhetorical questions
to mainpulate a reader's emotions or to be dramati...
Alliteration
to emphasise a point
Exaggeration or hyperbole
to make your point of view sound like fact
Rule of three
to give something greater emphasis
Personal pronouns
to paint a picture in the mind of the reader
Repetition
to involve the reader and make them think
Imagery
to involve the reader or give the writing a sense ...
Emotive language
to emphasise a point
Assertion
to make a group of words stand out

Assertion is used to make it seem like your opinion is actually a fact.

For example, instead of saying 'I think summer is the best season', you could say 'summer is the best season.' By removing 'I think' it makes it seem more like a fact and the reader is more likely to believe it or agree with it.

Can you identify the example of alliteration from the options below?

THere is nothing worse than a rainy day.

In my opinion, the programmes on TV are boring.

It is healthy to eat a balance diet.

  • Question 1

Sometimes, writers use questions that don't require an answer for a particular effect.

 

Here is an example:

 

Every morning teachers are faced with classrooms full of tired students unable to learn properly because they have been up too late on social media sites. Is it right that teenagers should have access to social media all the time?

 

Speech bubble with social media language inside

 

What is this kind of question called and why is it used? Select two answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
to make the reader think
a rhetorical question
EDDIE SAYS
Rhetorical questions get the reader thinking about the answer and therefore engage them in the text.
  • Question 2

Another way of making readers feel involved is through the use of personal pronouns or modes of address.

 

Match the following personal pronouns or modes of address with their effects. Hover your mouse over the boxes to see their contents in full.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

friends
gives a friendly tone and breaks ...
we, us
assumes the reader is on the side...
you
involves the readers and makes th...
I, my
gives a personal feel to the writ...
EDDIE SAYS
Using pronouns is a great way of engaging your reader, so think carefully about how you address the reader when writing your own persuasive texts.
  • Question 3

Writers also use imagery to paint a picture in their readers' minds to help them understand something more clearly.

 

Which of the terms below are examples of imagery?

CORRECT ANSWER
metaphor
simile
EDDIE SAYS
Metaphors and similes create images in the reader's mind, and therefore are effective in getting them to imagine what you are describing.
  • Question 4

An effective way of emphasising a point is to use the rule of three. For example:

 

Allowing teenagers free access to social media at all times can cause anti-social behaviour, tiredness and paranoia.

 

Which three words or phrases are used in the rule of three in this example?

CORRECT ANSWER
anti-social behaviour
tiredness
paranoia
EDDIE SAYS
The words or phrases used in the list of three are: anti-social behaviour, tiredness and paranoia. These three phrases all describe the effect of allowing teenagers constant access to social media.
  • Question 5

Which group of people often use the rule of three in their speeches?

CORRECT ANSWER
politicians
EDDIE SAYS
Politicians often use the rule of three in their speeches as it helps to emphasise the point they are making and make the audience trust what they are saying.
  • Question 6

Read this headline:

 

School Heads slam silly university selection process!

 

Which technique is being used here? What is its effect? Select two answers.

CORRECT ANSWER
it makes a group of words stand out
alliteration
EDDIE SAYS
The headline uses a lot of words that start with the letter 's'. This is alliteration. Phrases that use alliteration are more likely to stick in the reader's head and be more memorable.
  • Question 7

Exaggeration is another technique that can be used to give emphasis to something. Writers often use exaggeration. The easiest way to do this is to use superlatives.

 

Read the list of words below and select the four examples of superlatives.

CORRECT ANSWER
most useful
oldest
hottest
best
EDDIE SAYS
A superlative is defined as something 'of the highest degree'. The superlatives in the list are: 'most useful', 'oldest', 'hottest' and 'best'.
  • Question 8

Why is repetition used in persuasive writing?

CORRECT ANSWER
to emphasise a point
EDDIE SAYS
Repetition is used to emphasise a point. By making your point more than once you force the reader to listen to it again, and they are more likely to remember it.
  • Question 9

Now we are going to revise the different persuasive devices.

 

Match each device below with its effect. Hover your mouse over the effects to see them in full.

 

If you are having difficulty, it might be helpful to write your own examples of each technique.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Rhetorical questions
to involve the reader and make th...
Alliteration
to make a group of words stand ou...
Exaggeration or hyperbole
to give something greater emphasi...
Rule of three
to emphasise a point
Personal pronouns
to involve the reader or give the...
Repetition
to emphasise a point
Imagery
to paint a picture in the mind of...
Emotive language
to mainpulate a reader's emotions...
Assertion
to make your point of view sound ...
EDDIE SAYS
You should aim to use these techniques in your writing to have the most persuasive impact on your reader.
  • Question 10

Assertion is used to make it seem like your opinion is actually a fact.

For example, instead of saying 'I think summer is the best season', you could say 'summer is the best season.' By removing 'I think' it makes it seem more like a fact and the reader is more likely to believe it or agree with it.

Can you identify the example of alliteration from the options below?

CORRECT ANSWER
THere is nothing worse than a rainy day.
EDDIE SAYS
The correct answer is the first sentence; there might be some people that like rainy days, so it is an opinion but it is stated as if it is a fact.
The second sentence uses \'in my opinion\' so it makes it clear that it is not a fact.
The third sentence is a fact as it can be checked and confirmed.
---- OR ----

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