How to Use Rhetorical Devices in Your College Essay

Rhetorical Devices That Will Spice Up Your Essays

We have often pondered the question of how certain authors are able to leave us feeling both awestruck and inspired by their work. It’s possible that you believe it’s difficult for you to accomplish, but with the appropriate strategies and plenty of practice, it’s not.

Literary devices are one of the many components that go into making up a piece of outstanding writing; however, there are many more components. You might be wondering, “What exactly are literary devices?”

They are methods that authors employ to enhance the narrative they are constructing and to elicit feelings in their readers in order to get their point through. In place of merely expressing things for what they are, literary devices are able to bring writing to life and leave a larger impact on readers. This is especially true when it comes to projects that require creative writing.

The personal statement is one of the most significant parts of the college application process; nevertheless, it is also one of the most challenging parts. The elusive ideal of the perfect personal statement is one that is profoundly affecting, expertly written, abundant with specifics of achievements or illuminating life tales, and yet manages to fit neatly inside the allotted number of words. Because of these limits, many people may find it difficult to communicate everything they want to in such a little amount of space. However, when writing personal statements, many people fail to grasp that admissions officers are analyzing more than simply the tale you have to tell. They are looking at the whole package. In addition to that, they will evaluate your writing style and see if you are able to articulately explain the abstract characteristic.

What Are Rhetorical Devices?

Rhetorical devices are the various strategies you use to not only spice up your writing but also communicate your ideas, convey your message, and convince your audience of what you are trying to say. Rhetorical devices may be broken down into three categories:

However, the use of rhetorical devices is not always employed in the act of persuasion.

They are frequently employed for the purpose of evoking an emotional response from the people who read your work. You know, anything that gets you all choked up inside, like those commercials with the poor pups freezing in the snow, or that political ad that gets you so worked up that you have to jump off the couch and go vote?.

Why use Literary Devices to Improve College Essay Writing?

If you know how to utilize them effectively, literary techniques can transform your work from “meh” to “wow.” The following is an explanation of how they improve your writing and bring it to a higher level.

Make it Very Comprehensive

You might be wondering what what is meant by the term “depth.” Readers are drawn in and kept interested in what you have to say when you provide them with “depth.” The ‘oomph’ factor that you have is what makes your essay so interesting to read.

When you want to get your point across to people, using literary techniques is a good way to do it since it allows you to make people think about the scene you build, the characters you develop, or the scenarios you depict. Your writing has the potential to be elevated to a higher level than it would have been otherwise if you did not make use of literary devices in the appropriate places.

Bring out the Picture

You are familiar with the time-honored piece of writing counsel, “Show, Don’t Tell,” aren’t you? It inspires authors to write in a vivid manner and to create an image in the minds of their readers, which is much more powerful than merely stating something in words.

When you use literary devices, you allow readers to image what you are attempting to communicate, which leaves a greater imprint in their thoughts. If you want to accomplish this goal, using literary devices can help.

Induce an Emotional Reaction to Something

We are all in agreement that the best writing is the kind that establishes a connection with the reader and elicits some sort of feeling from them. It doesn’t matter if you want your readers to feel sadness, joy, rage, or disgust; employing literary strategies to achieve this goal is guaranteed to bring about positive results.

Make it as Interesting as Possible

The use of literary devices in the text makes it more enjoyable to read, which not the least important point is. No one loves boring essays. In order to breathe life into your writing, you need to be continually innovative and think of fresh, inventive ways to do it. The use of the appropriate devices can help you achieve the goals you have set for your writing, whether those goals are to add humor, drama, or simply pace.

Presenting Your Case

It is essential to recognize that a personal statement should, at its core, have an argument in order to be effective. There is no requirement for a formal evidence and analysis structure because we do not mean an argument in the same manner that you might write a debate or a SAT essay. By telling your story, highlighting your personal strengths, and displaying how you’ve grown into the person you are today, you are essentially arguing that you’re a great candidate for admission to the school of your choice. You are presenting a case to the office of undergraduate admissions at your school of choice that you will contribute significantly to their community. Your personal statement, just like any other outstanding argument, has to incorporate the same rhetorical methods that you would use if you were attempting to create a convincing essay or give a persuasive speech. The difference lies in the fact that the subject matter is not a topic that was assigned to you by your teacher; rather, it is you!

Your application can be significantly strengthened by submitting an outstandingly written personal statement that makes effective use of rhetorical strategies. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate creativity, strong writing skills, and personal depth that cannot be communicated through a stellar GPA or strong test scores. In addition, a personal statement is not a piece of academic writing like a research paper or thesis. It should offer the reader as clear of an idea of who you are as possible within the word count that has been allotted. This is meant to be a personal statement. Therefore, you shouldn’t stress out over grammatical norms, proper pronunciation, or stuffing your essay with as many vocabulary words as you possibly can. Instead, you should seize the chance to show off your creative side and make the most of the situation!

List of Rhetorical Devices to Use in College Essay

Although the use of any rhetorical technique in your essay will improve the overall quality of your writing and give your argument more weight, there are certain devices that are particularly effective when utilized for the aim of making a personal statement. The following are some of our favorite examples of rhetorical devices, as well as suggestions on how you may use them to differentiate your writing.

  • Conceits

A metaphor that is used repeatedly throughout the entirety of a piece of writing is known as a conceit. Your essay will immediately stand out as unique and memorable if you have a strong conceit that is effectively developed. This will leave your audience with a powerful impression. If you can give the narrative of your personal essay a metaphor that you can extend throughout, it will not only make your essay more interesting to read, but it will also make your essay more distinctive, and standing out from the crowd is of course of the utmost importance in the process of applying to college. For instance, if you’re having trouble explaining a profound emotional experience like depression, you might want to think about employing a conceit as a way to develop the idea:

Comparisons to natural phenomena such as water, fire, and storms, amongst others, are effective (provided that you avoid cliches), but you should strive to be as creative and genuine as you possibly can. The most important thing is to ensure that whatever comparison you make is logical and does not appear to be forced, nonsensical, or childish. You should think about beginning and ending your essay with two to four phrases that relate to your conceit, and you should also make sure that the tone of your essay is constant throughout..

  • Anecdotes

An intriguing and memorable beginning to an essay can be achieved through the use of a personal narrative or story. Scenes that are set with specific sensory elements immediately pique the interest of the reader and immerse them in the experience of reading the novel. For instance, if you plan to write about how being captain of the varsity soccer team has influenced you, you may begin your essay with a detailed description of the way you feel while you’re competing in a game. This might help readers visualize what you’re going through.

Beginning essays with anecdotes that are dense with sensory language like the one above provides you with an opportunity to display both your writing talents as well as your passion about a given topic. Anecdotes can be dramatic, humorous, tragic, or joyful – no matter what they describe, they are a guaranteed way to catch a reader’s attention and offer an alternative to beginning with a sentence like “all my life, I’ve loved playing soccer.” Anecdotes can be intense, humorous, tragic, or joyful. Anecdotes can also be used as a way to illustrate a point.

One of the paradoxical truths about writing is that people are always more able to relate their own experiences to detailed and personal writing rather than universal and bland writing. This is true despite the fact that universal writing will apply to an audience in a more literal sense. Using anecdotes becomes crucial in light of this paradoxical truth about writing.

  • Anaphora

The usage of a certain word or phrase at the beginning of a number of different sentences or clauses constitutes an example of anaphora.

The use of anaphora is a powerful tool for bringing attention to a particular feeling or concept. The deliberate repetition is dramatic and emotionally moving, an obvious superior alternative to the awkwardness and boredom of rephrasing the same idea in different ways repeatedly in order to avoid reusing the same words. This is because the deliberate repetition repeats the same words over and over again. As seen in the example that was just presented, anaphora is also helpful when it comes to illustrating the shift into a new mindset or setting.

Nevertheless, putting anaphora to use can be deceptively challenging, and it is essential to time its application appropriately. It is possible that the use of anaphora will come off as more redundant than anything else if there hasn’t been sufficient build-up to establish a dense and moving point in the essay. When used excessively, anaphora, like many other types of rhetorical devices, can lose its effectiveness. If you want your work to have the most possible impact, you need to ensure that it is both unique and diverse, while also incorporating this rhetorical method.

  • Allusion 

An allusion is a reference to something that is well recognized, such as a person, location, item, or event. Allusions can take on many forms. You can communicate complex ideas more efficiently if you make use of allusion as part of rhetorical devices

If you want to avoid lengthy and complex descriptions that would damage your word count, allusion can help you draw on your reader’s understanding of popular culture, history, and other topics. This will allow you to avoid using too many words. When you want to provide the reader with further insight into your meaning but you don’t want to employ a complete narrative to achieve it, allusion can be a very helpful tool. Anecdote and allusion can work together in this way to assist you give significance to primary and secondary events, people, and insights while still allowing specific sections of the essay to preserve their status as the most important parts of the paper.

Be wary of using an excessive number of references in a single essay, though, because their purpose is to expand the scope of your writing to encompass a wider range of broad social and historical information. While this is quite helpful, since it enables you to leverage details and feelings without actually describing them, using it too frequently runs the risk of completely ripping your essay apart. When utilized in conjunction with anecdotes that help to keep the focus of your essay on very personal experiences, allusions are at their most powerful.

  • Parallelism

By repeating similar aspects of a sentence, such as its structure, sounds, meter, or content, parallelism can lend a rhythmic quality to a sentence or draw attention to a particular aspect of the writing.

Through the use of parallelism, the author of this passage draws attention to their physical condition. The constant use of “I was” draws attention to their fatigue. It has the sensation of a more dramatic sentence than “I was sweating, I couldn’t catch my breath, and I was heated.” In a similar manner, the writer’s thoughts conjure up an exceptionally unsettling, almost suffocating sensation as a result of the parallelism between the muggy air and the weight of their thoughts.

Because parallelism has the ability to heighten the drama of a sentence, it can be an effective tool to use either at the beginning or the end of your essay. If you wish to attract the reader’s attention to a specific area of your essay at any other point in the essay, you can use this technique. 

  • Personification

Giving inanimate things human characteristics is an example of the literary device known as personification. Your writing may come out as more detailed, poetic, and emotional as a result of this:

The brilliant fall leaves whispered a goodbye as we left our beloved forest and treehouse for the last time.

Even if leaves can’t actually mumble, the author is able to convey a sense of melancholy by having them perform this human gesture. The use of personification draws attention to the fact that the author attached such a high level of significance to the woods that it appeared as though even the trees were lamenting their departure.

Having said that, personification is something that should be utilized sparingly and analyzed with an analytical mindset, as making the wrong analogy can easily result in cheesy sounding writing. If you are unsure about whether or not your personification is successful, you should definitely seek out a second or third view.


These are only some of the many different types of rhetorical techniques that can be employed to make an essay stronger, but there are many more. Try looking through a list of different devices and making an effort to include several of them in the most recent revision of your personal statement. The most significant benefit of using rhetorical devices in writing is that they are extremely efficient in providing an essay with a powerful emotional appeal (often referred to as pathos). As you work on putting up your application materials, it will be really helpful if you have the ability to write essays that deftly appeal to readers’ feelings while also effectively expressing their accomplishments and showcasing their personalities.

Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the amount of literary techniques, nor should you feel pressured to memorize them or, for that matter, employ all of them in your college essays.

Even while there is no set limit on the number of literary devices that can be used in a piece of writing, it is essential to strike a good balance and only make use of this method when absolutely necessary. You need to make use of literary devices in situations where they can actually add value, improve your description, and interest your audience.

In college writing, our team of writers is comprised of specialists who are familiar with both when and how to make use of various literary devices. When you engage with us, you can rest assured that you will obtain essays of the highest quality that are also completely unique and produced from scratch to cater to your specific requirements. Therefore, give us a call right now and allow us to come to your aid.