An Introduction to Acrostic

Acrostic is a literary device by which the initial letters of consecutive lines are constructed alphabetically, in such order as to form a word.

Notable Examples of Acrostic
    The 5 points of Calvinism:
  • Total depravity
    Unconditional election
    Limited atonement
    Irresistible grace
    Perseverance of the saints
  • Here, as the lines are arranged in such order, the initial letters combine and form the word 'Tulip'.
  • Your answer must not come by prying force
    Except that gentle urging of your mind.
    So take your time, and tell me when you will.
  • Likewise here, the word 'yes' is formed.

The use of this device in writing or oratory is limited mainly to the realm of memorization as opposed to effect. It is a form of composition that allows the audience to recall, without much difficulty, previous points or points after the fact.

Further Readings:
Silva Rhetoricae, Figures | Acrostic Opens in new window
Gregory T. Howard, Dictionary Of Rhetorical Terms | Acrostic Opens in new window