Hege Library & Learning Technologies

Guilford College Writing Manual

This is the official Guilford College Writing Manual. A collaboration between the English Department and the Hege Library.


  1. Balance

    a. Parallelism

    He tried to make the syllabus clear, precise, and predictable.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from those honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that those dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

    --Abraham Lincoln

    b. Antithesis: contrasting ideas juxtaposed

    One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

    --Neil Armstrong

    Our knowledge separates as well as it unites; our orders disintegrate as well as bind; our art brings us together and sets us apart.

    --Robert Oppenheimer

  2. Inversion of conventional word order

    Backward run the sentences, till reels the mind.

    Puffed-up asses Arcangeli and Bottini are.

  3. Omission

    Of verb: And he to England shall along with you.


    Of conjunction: I came, I saw, I conquered.

    --Julius Caesar

    And the opposite of omission: And God said, "let the earth bring forth . . . cattle and creeping things and beasts" . . . . And it was so. And God made beasts . . .

    --The Bible

  4. Repetition

    a. Alliteration: repetition of beginning sounds.

    Progress is not proclamation nor palaver.

    I should hear him fly with the high fields

    And wake to the farm forever fled from the childless land.

    (also assonance, consonance, and rhyme)

    b. Anaphora: repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of clauses.

    We are moving to the land of freedom. Let us march to the realization of the American dream. Let us march on segregated housing. Let us march on poverty.

    --Martin Luther King

    We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets.

    --Winston Churchill

    c. Epistrophe: repetition of words at the ends of clauses

    I'll have my bond. Speak not against my bond. I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.

    --The Merchant of Venice

    He's learning fast. Are you earning fast?


    d. Antimetabole: repetition in reverse grammatical order

    Mankind must put an end to war--or war will put an end to mankind.

    --John F. Kennedy

    You can take Salem out of the country. But you can't take the country out of Salem.


    e. Chiasmus (criss-cross): entire construction reversed

    His time a moment, and a point his space.

    --Alexander Pope

    It is hard to make money, but to spend it is easy.

  5. Climax and anticlimax: arrangement of words in increasing or decreasing importance

    Renounce my life, myself--and you

    --Alexander Pope

    It shreds the nerves, it vivisects the psyche--and it may even scare the living daylights out of more than a few playgoers.