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Ad Hominem

In an argument, an attack on the person, rather than the opponent's ideas, "against the man"

Allegory

A work that functions on a symbolic level

Allusion

A reference contained in a work

Antithesis

The presentation of two contrasting images, balanced ideas by words, phrases, clauses

Cacophony

Harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage of a literary work

Deduction

The process of moving from a general rule to a specific example

Connotation

The interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal meaning

Denotation

The literal or dictionary meaning of a word

Didactic

Writing whose purpose is to instruct or to teach. A didactic work is usually formal and focuses on moral or ethical concerns

Discourse

A discussion on a specific topic

Ellipsis

An indication by a series of periods that some material has been omitted by the text

Epigraph

The use of a quotation at the beginning of the work that hints at its theme

Euphemism

A more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable

Euphony

The pleasant, mellifluous presentation of sounds in a literary work

Exposition

Background information presented in a literary work

Induction

The process that moves from a given series of specifics to generalizations

Invective

A verbally abusive attack

Metonymy

A figure of speech in which a representative term is used for larger idea. (The pen is mightier than the sword)

Pedantic

A term that is used to describe writing that borders lecturing, scholarly and academic writing

Periodic Sentence

Presents its main clause at the end of the sentence for emphasis and sentence variety

Reduction ad Absurdum

Reduces argument to an either or choice

Satire

A mode of writing based on ridicule that criticizes the foibles and follies of society without offering a solution

Syllogism

The format of a formal argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion

Synecdoche

A figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative as whole

Syntax

The grammatical structure of prose and poetry

Synthesis

Locating a number of a sources and integrating them into development and support of a writer's thesis/claim

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