When it comes to writing, I think you would agree that some of the hardest things we have to do is figure out the correct words we need for whatever writing assignment we have.
As a writer, I’ve experienced this myself. I’ve had it happen when trying to figure out what words would be the correct ones and would resonate with my audience and with my goal of why I’m writing and what I want to get for a message. Imagine being in an emergency situation where you knew there was trouble ahead and yet you couldn’t get anyone to listen to you. You look for the words but none of them portray the intensity and necessity for them to listen to you. I’ve been there.
Well, that all changed when I found anaphora and how it could transform the effects of my writing and also of meeting my clients wants and needs. I am going to share with you a literary technique used by the likes of Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
What is Anaphora?
I’ll be honest. I had never heard about what anaphora was before this but I had experienced how powerful it is regardless. It’s a rhetorical term that is used when creating content, specifically, persuasive content.
Like I said above, it is a form of rhetoric with a certain goal of when it is used and in the realm of creating content whether it be sales copy, a blog, or simply creating a document that tells what you liked, why you liked it, and why you think others should like it. But with the ultimate goal of persuading others.
Anaphora is the repetition of a certain word or phrase at the beginning of successive lines of text. It’s been used in poetry, but is more commonly seen in formal speeches. It has a distant cousin called epiphora or epistrophe which is repeating words at the end of a sentence.
How is it used?
It is used to emphasize a point. When I researching, there were two types of literary tools that kept coming up. One was rhetorical devices and the other was literary devices. They each have a purpose and are basically separated by looking at them this way. A literary device is basically used for telling of the story and a rhetorical device is more often used when you want to convey feeling or passion about a subject as well as the use of persuasion.
Does anyone use it Now?
I mentioned some of the famous places where it has been used above. But let me give you a couple examples so you see what I’m talking about.
Here is a quote from Casablanca,
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
In a famous speech by Winston Churchill, he uses anaphora in a powerful way,
“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, we shall never surrender.”
It was also used by Charles Dickens and multiple times by President Obama.
How can I use it in my blog?
One of the most popular ways of using the anaphora is to emphasize something you find really important. We are not talking about what may be important as part of your article, but important to you on a personal level. It also appeals to the readers emotional level rather than intellectual. You must pick an emotion to effect. You must target the emotion. You must align your words. You must focus your readers attention solely on that moment or you will not affect the emotion and get the effect you want.
Did you see what I did above? It is almost like with each repetition of the repeated phrase that it builds the intensity like ascending a set of stairs. I could have listed those must do’s in a list but I would never have been able to increase the intensity. So if you want to relay the steps in accomplishing something, you can use anaphora if it’s something you feel strongly about.
Communicating our intent and finding the best words for whatever we are trying to get across to our readers can be challenging. By using techniques in our writing such as anaphora can help accomplish those goals. Rhetorical devices should be used sparingly so their effectiveness doesn’t wear out due to being used too much.
Oftentimes we have a single goal in our posts or we have a goal with an emotional impetus attached. With these types of stats I would say not to use anaphora as a tool more than once or twice and place it where it will have the necessary effect it is designed to do.
You should use these sorts of techniques with content that draws your reader in and holds their attention. You can find out about creating more engaging content here where you will learn the 5 Steps to Creating Engaging Content.
Mr O’Connor recognizes the potential there is in Online Marketing and the power of the written word. As such, he is trained in Copywriting, Affiliate Marketing, Blogging and the publisher of 4 Kindle books.
Read Larry’s story, “From Prisoner to Producer.”
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