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Adjournment

Updated Jun 22, 2023

The Power of Rhetorical Device of Adjournment: Persuasion at its Finest

Introduction

In the world of public speaking and persuasive writing, the effective use of rhetorical devices can make all the difference. One such powerful device is the rhetorical device of adjournment, which enables speakers and writers to leave a lasting impact on their audience by creating a sense of closure, finality, or anticipation. In this article, we will explore the concept of adjournment, its significance, and provide accurate examples to better understand its application in various contexts.

Understanding the Rhetorical Device of Adjournment

The rhetorical device of adjournment is employed when a speaker or writer deliberately ends their discourse or argument in a way that leaves the audience with a lasting thought or a sense of conclusion. By using this device effectively, speakers can leave a memorable impression on their listeners, ensuring their message lingers long after the speech or article has ended.

Examples of Adjournment in Public Speaking

Example 1: Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech

One of the most iconic speeches in history, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, brilliantly utilizes the rhetorical device of adjournment. Towards the end of his speech, King repeats the phrase "I have a dream" several times, creating a powerful and memorable conclusion. By ending his speech with this optimistic vision, King leaves his audience inspired and motivated to strive for racial equality.

Example 2: Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Speech

In his famous Stanford Commencement Speech, Steve Jobs uses adjournment effectively by sharing three personal stories that underscore his main message. At the end of each story, he concludes with a reflection or takeaway, leaving the audience with a profound thought before moving on to the next anecdote. This strategic use of adjournment keeps the audience engaged and allows Jobs to make a lasting impact.

Adjournment in Persuasive Writing

The rhetorical device of adjournment is not limited to public speaking; it can also be applied in persuasive writing. Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1: A Call to Action in Advertising

In advertising, adjournment is often used as a call to action at the end of a persuasive message. Consider an advertisement for a fitness program that concludes with the statement, "Start your journey to a healthier lifestyle today!" This conclusive phrase encourages the reader to take action and sign up for the program, leaving a lasting impression that lingers in their mind.

Example 2: Concluding a Persuasive Essay

In a persuasive essay, adjournment plays a crucial role in leaving a strong impression on the reader. A well-crafted conclusion can summarize the main arguments while offering a final thought or call to action. For instance, an essay advocating for stricter environmental regulations might conclude with a powerful statement like, "It is our duty to protect our planet for future generations. Let us act now before it's too late."

Conclusion

The rhetorical device of adjournment serves as a powerful tool in the arsenal of public speakers and persuasive writers. By effectively using this device, speakers can leave a lasting impact on their audience, ensuring that their message resonates long after it is delivered. Whether it is through memorable phrases, reflective anecdotes, or compelling calls to action, adjournment allows speakers and writers to create closure, anticipation, and leave a lasting impression on their listeners and readers.

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