The first time I saw an example of anaphora in a novel, I knew something had gone wrong.

The thing is, I didn’t know what it was called — I just knew that it felt as if the author was repeating himself.

And as someone who had been told to avoid repetition at all costs when writing, it was jarring to see such a blatant disregard for this rule.

But, of course, it turns out this repetition wasn’t a mistake. It’s not even bad writing — quite the opposite.

Anaphora is a literary device that can add emotion and emphasis to your writing. It can also help you establish a rhythm or tone for your text.

In fact, you’ve seen examples of anaphora throughout your life, from famous speeches to pop songs.


What Is anaphora

What Is anaphora?

Anaphora is a rhetorical device in which a word or expression is repeated at the beginning of a number of sentences, clauses, or phrases.

The repetition can be done with single words, phrases, or clauses.

Anaphora is one of the most commonly used literary devices in writing and poetry.

It gives emphasis to the words that are repeated, and more often than not draws attention to an idea that needs to be reiterated.

This repetition is meant to create a sense of rhythm and meaning and can be done for several reasons. Anaphora can help maintain unity in a piece of writing.

It can also help draw attention to specific ideas and help readers understand the structure and organization of the writing.



What Is Anaphora?

In rhetoric, anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive clauses, verses, or sentences.

It is a literary device that creates emphasis and rhythm.

The word anaphora comes to us from Greek meaning “carrying back”.

Anaphora is a figure of speech in which an expression is repeated at the beginning of several consecutive verses or clauses for emphasis and effect.

Anaphora is most commonly used by authors to begin successive clauses and sentences with similar words or phrases for emphasis and rhythm.

Anaphora is the repetition or echoing of the same words or phrases at the beginning of successive clauses or sentences.

You can repeat as little as one word or as many as an entire phrase or sentence:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'” (Martin Luther King).

The opposite of anaphora is epistrophe (repeating words at the end of a clause), and together they make up epanalepsis (repetition at the beginning and end of a clause).

Examples Of Anaphora In Writing

Good writing is an art form. We don’t say that to intimidate you, but rather to encourage you to remember that it takes time, practice and lots of editing to develop your skills.

When it comes to effective sentences, one of the most important elements is anaphora.

Anaphora is simply the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of several successive phrases or clauses. Using anaphora can help you make strong statements that lead your reader into supporting details.

Now here are some examples of anaphora in action:

Scared yet? Yes, people do die from shark attacks, but drowning is the leading cause of death for children under five years old. In fact, infants and toddlers have drowned in just three inches of water.

Most child drowning occurs when children are left unattended by an adult who assumes they’re playing elsewhere or that they would not be able to open the door or window to gain access to the water.

Using this approach can help you write powerful sentences that will get your point across and inform your readers about serious issues. Consider how much stronger these examples sound than “Shark attacks kill.”

Writing powerful sentences with anaphora takes a bit of practice, but once you master it.

Examples Of Anaphora In A Screenplay

Anaphora is a literary device that increases the pace of writing. It can be used to describe a strong feeling, or it can create a sense of mystery and suspense.

The technique is commonly used in sermons, speeches and even poetry.

In screenwriting there are certain places where anaphora can be useful. It’s important to note that the use of this literary device must serve the purpose of the story and not just be used for the sake of using it.

It’s  also not necessarily a good idea to have too much anaphora in your script because overuse will quickly become boring.

Listed below are some examples of how you can use this technique in your screenplay:

To Describe A Feeling:

“She felt her heart racing every time she saw him.” “She knew she was in trouble when he asked where she was going.”

To Create Suspense:

“The door creaked open, but no one was there.” “She heard a noise behind her when she walked through the woods.”

To Reveal More Information:

“He wasn’t sure what he’d seen at first, but then he saw it again.” “It took her several hours to get used to living without a phone.”

To Emphasize Words.

Examples Of Anaphora In Film

Here is a list of movie titles that contain anaphora. Examples of movies that use anaphora are “Fight Club” and “The Truman Show.”

“Fight Club” (1999), directed by David Fincher, written by Jim Uhls


“The Truman Show” (1998), directed by Peter Weir, written by Andrew Niccol

“Inception” (2010), directed by Christopher Nolan, written by Christopher Nolan and Jonathan Nolan

“Memento” (2000), directed by Chris Nolan, written by Jonathan Nolan

“Shutter Island” (2010), directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Laeta Kalogridis and Dennis Lehane

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004), directed by Michel Gondry, written by Charlie Kaufman


Origins Of Anaphora

Anaphora is a literary device that uses repetition to draw attention to an idea or an item. The term comes from the Greek word “anaphorein,” which means “to carry back” or “to repeat.”

The most common type of anaphora is the use of the pronoun “you” in a sentence. For example, in the sentence, “You are here,” “you” is repeated to draw attention to those words.

In another example, a book’s dedication page might read, “For my mother and father, who always encouraged me.” The author repeats his parents’ names to emphasize their importance in his life.

Another form of anaphora is the use of conjunctions like “and” or “to begin with” at the beginning of consecutive sentences. Though these conjunctions do not appear twice in each sentence, they do draw attention to each subsequent sentence by linking them together.

Some examples of anaphoric conjunctions include:

  •  and/or, either . . . or, neither . . . nor
  • Firstly, secondly, thirdly (this conjunction can be abbreviated as 1stly), fourthly.
  • Furthermore, in addition, furthermore and finally

I am sure that you have noticed the repetition of the word “and” in the following sentence: “She and her friends enjoyed a pleasant evening.”

Notice how the word “and” joins the subject (“she”) and another noun (“her friends”); it is the conjunction which makes the sentence grammatically correct.

Anaphora Examples In Political Speeches

The most often used figures of speech in political speeches are rhetorical questions, examples and metaphors. These rhetorical devices help politicians connect to the audience and send a message that is easy to remember.

It also brings up an important question.

This is because President Obama employs the use of “anaphora” in many of his speeches. Anaphora is the repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of consecutive sentences or lines.

So, what exactly is Anaphora? Let’s look at a couple examples:

Anaphora Examples In Political Speeches

“Now, it’s not going to be easy.”

“I think we can do better than that.”

“We’ve got more work to do,” Obama said.

“Just a few months ago, we saw thousands of employees laid off from a factory in Pennsylvania,” he said.

“I think everybody agrees with that “Obama said. He said he was pleased that oil prices were coming down at the pump, but he added that reducing our oil imports will take time.” (NPR)

Anaphora Examples In Song

  1. The Lumineers – “Ho Hey”

These anaphora examples in song are great for beginners and experienced writers alike.

This song is about being in love, and it’s written in the first person. The whole song is basically one long sentence, which makes it perfect for learning how to use anaphora effectively.

The repetition of “Hey Ho” at the beginning of several phrases punctuates the song, keeping it moving and driving the beat forward.

  1. Tom Petty – “I Won’t Back Down”

This is another anaphora examples in song that uses repetition to keep the listener engaged in the story told by the lyrics. This song takes on a more aggressive tone than “Ho Hey”, but it has a similar effect on listeners.

The repeated use of “I won’t back down” drives home this point, while also allowing listeners to get more emotionally involved in the story being told.

  1. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Under The Bridge”

For a more mellow example of anaphora examples in song, look no further than this hit from Red Hot Chili Peppers! This example is less repetitive than the previous two examples, but it still uses repetition to keep listeners engaged throughout the duration.

Why Do Writers Use Anaphora?

1. It creates suspense.

2. It helps create unity between ideas or characters.

3. It emphasizes one idea over another.

4. It lends a sense of importance or power to the preceding sentence.

5. It helps organize thoughts when preparing to write a paper.

Anaphora is a rhetorical device that uses repetition of words or phrases at the beginning of successive sentences, clauses or lines of poetry. This repetition creates a sense of unity by emphasizing the beginning of each successive sentence, clause or line.

The repetition also gives an impression of power and importance because the first word in each sentence, clause or line is given special emphasis.

Levelling Up Your Use Of Anaphora In Your Writing

Anaphora is the use of beginning a sentence with a reference to a word or phrase from a previous sentence. It’s used for emphasis and to keep your writing flowing.

It can be used in phrases such as “the more I thought about it”, “no matter what” and “like I said”.

Anaphora is an important aspect of writing that many people don’t think to use. It’s easy to read an article and miss out on anaphora altogether, but the repetition can make all the difference in how the text sounds.

There are several different kinds of anaphora you can use, but they all have the same point: they make your writing stronger.


The most obvious form of anaphora is literal repetition — saying something again in different words, or saying it again and again throughout the piece. This method has the advantage of being easily understood by your reader, but it doesn’t always create flow in the same way that other forms do.

For example, you could say: “It was raining outside, so I stayed inside.” Or you could say: “The rain was coming down hard; I kept my hat on.” Both sentences mean exactly the same thing, but one sounds more elegant than the other.