Rhetorical Device – Diction Style Guide

In the world of writing, there are a plethora of rhetorical devices that authors employ in order to concisely get their point across to the reader. However, there is one particular rhetorical device that is prevalent in most works and is rather important to the coherence of the piece. One of the most important rhetorical devices that an author can use is that of diction, and with diction, imagery and vivid descriptions are very closely tied. A combination of these rhetorical figures can result in a very eloquent and well written piece that leaves the reader with a lasting impression of the work.

First off, we look at diction and how variations can change the meaning of a sentence in a story. Diction is defined as “word choice, or the style of speaking that a writer, speaker, or character uses” (Softschools.com). In the Storium projects, we can see that there are many instances of deliberate word choice and each particular phrase, as they contribute to the story in significant ways. In Scene 2 of the story “The Tape,” the author uses particular phrases to describe the feelings of fear and reluctance to the reader. For example, the main character “[stumbles] down the stairs and … [drags her] hands across the buttons lining the walls” (4EverGreen et al). The author demonstrates how the character is fearful of what is to come by describing her actions as she reluctantly performs a task that is required of her. This description helps the reader understand the character’s emotion and is important to understand in order to truly realize the meaning of the story. In another example from the same scene of the same story, the author writes that the character “[begins] to feel a weird sensation, almost like an electrical current, [flowing] through her] body” (4EverGreen et al). This sentence gives the reader a description of what the character is experiencing on a physical level, allowing the reader to go through exactly what the characters are going through. In addition to this physical description, the author chooses to explain the sounds that the character is hearing in an eerie manner, only adding to the mood and theme of suspense of the story. Throughout this scene, there have been many examples of great use of diction, and these contributions make the story all that much better.

The rhetorical figure of imagery is closely tied to diction, as word choice can paint a precise image of the scene and setting in the reader’s mind. A good example of the use of imagery can be seen in the first scene of the story “Unexpected Love.” For example, TheArtist14 writes that “the flowers, the setting sun, the warm summer breeze, come together and paint a scene with delicate perfection” (TheArtist14 et al). The use of detail and descriptive phrases is clear and paints a vivid picture that flows as the story unfolds. Although this example may seem close to the rhetorical device of diction, it is only because particular word choices can dictate and paint the setting of the scene to match the author’s vision. This description of the setting places the reader in the shoes of the narrator and allows them to visualize the scene in great detail. The use of description and detail to describe images certainly help the reader understand the story in greater depth.

The last thing that a good use of diction can lead to is vivid descriptions, which are useful in understanding the qualities and characteristics of certain objects, people, or places. A good example of a vivid description can be seen at the very beginning of the first scene of the story “Unexpected Love.” The authors start by illustrating the manner in which “limousines and cars pull up one by one” (TheArtist14 et al) while “others greet their friends with laughs” (TheArtist14 et al). This shows the reader how certain characters are behaving at the scene, while also describing other actions that are occurring. In addition, TheArtist14 writes that “the flowers, the setting sun, the warm summer breeze, come together and paint a scene with delicate perfection” (TheArtist14 et al). The level of detail in this one sentence alone paints a vivid picture that flows with the characters’ behaviors in the previous example. This example of vivid imagery seems very similar to the rhetorical device of imagery and diction, as it was written in this particular manner to get this specific feeling across to the reader. The last example of a vivid description can be seen in the final scene of the story “The Violin.” The author describes a particular moment where a character confesses to murder, by having the character state how “feeling your father’s warm, thick blood splatter across my face and eyes only made me wanna keep going” (Soaser et al). The description of the situation is certainly terrifying but is only so because of the way it is written. Through these examples, we can see how diction plays an important part on vivid descriptions.

The rhetorical device of diction is visible in every single work. Every sentence and phrase has been worded in a precise manner to reflect the author’s thoughts in their entirety. Through the analysis of these stories, we can see how diction plays an important role in the formation of a story.



“Diction Examples.” Soft Schools, softschools.com/examples/literary_terms/diction_examples/280/

“The Tape.” Storium, Scene 2. https://storium.com/game/group-4–2/act-1/scene-2.

“The Violin.” Storium, Scene 3, https://storium.com/game/the-violin/act-3/scene-1

“Unexpected Love.” Storium, Scene 1, https://storium.com/game/cinderella-game/act-1/scene-1