ENG 3U: Rhetorical Devices and a Move Pitch

I think I promised you a video from David Morrissey; it is short, but awesome…

Today, we will examine rhetorical devices in some detail. Please add the following to your notes:

  • Rhetorical Question: a question that the speaker does not expect to have answered by the listener, perhaps because the answer is obvious
  • Anaphora: beginning a series of sentences with the same sounds/structures
  • Enumeratio: a list used to emphasize a point
  • Distinctio: redefining something in a way that shapes the argument
  • Hyperbole: an exaggeration intended to emphasize an idea
  • Allusion: a reference or comparison to a specific person, place, or thing (often Biblical)
  • Metaphor: a comparison in which one thing is said to be another. (He was a rock, unmoving and immutable).
  • Simile: a comparison in which one thing is said to be like another. (He was like a rock)

Next, we will look at a few examples to help you understand how great orators use these devices.

Part II: The Movie Pitch

Congratulations! You have all been hired as interns by Centurion Media, the next big thing in the film industry.

(For clarification, being “hired” as an intern basically means that you work for free. Oh…and you have to bring the bosses coffee on demand).

Your first task is to pitch a new movie to the Centurion Media executives. Thankfully, you don’t have to look very far for stories ideas. One of the execs has secretly supplied you with a book called Viewpoints 11; you are to take one of the short stories from the Short Fiction section, and pitch as a movie.

Here are your steps:

  1. Each group has five minutes to choose a story. First come, first serve; when you are ready, tell me
  2. Read your story. (If you didn’t see this step coming, we may have to talk about how this “internship” thing is working out for you)
  3. For the remainder of the period, work with your group to create your pitch. Your pitch needs to:
    1. Start with a 30-40 second summary of the plot.
    2. Explain your target audience. Who would want to watch this film?
    3. Explain which famous actors will play the key roles. Why? Be specific.
    4. Compare the feel you want to create in this film to another, well-known film. Explain your choice.

In case you haven’t figured it out, this is another diagnostic activity. It help me understand your ability to summarize, to make connections, and to persuade. Good luck!


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