How to Write an Anaphora
In order to use anaphora:
- Think of what you want to emphasize.
- Repeat that phrase at the beginning of each sentence.
Oftentimes, anaphora is used to inspire and excite. For this example, imagine a politician giving a speech which encourages citizens to vote:
- Normal sentence:
The people need to rise up, make themselves heard, and improve their country!
In order to emphasize “who” needs to make change, the politician can repeat “the people”:
- Sentence with Anaphora #1:
The people need to rise up! The people need to make themselves heard! And the people need to improve their country!
Repetition of “the people” serves to rally the people as one, and to hold them personally responsible for making change. With a slight change, the use of anaphora can be even stronger and more compelling to the audience:
- Sentence with Anaphora #2:
We the people need to rise up! We the people need to make ourselves heard! We the people need to improve our country!
Repetition of “we the people” serves as a reference to the Preamble of the Constitution, leveling the speech with the importance of the nation’s independence and strength. It also unifies the politician with the people, rather than holding them solely responsible.
When to Use Anaphora
Anaphora is used in poetry and prose, speeches, movies, television, songs, advertisements, and many other forms. Anaphora should be used in passages which are most important or in need of emphasis. Because anaphora is a rhetorical device, it should be reserved for artistic forms rather than technical writing where clean language is preferred.