AP English Vocabulary & Rhetorical Devices

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AP English Language - selected tropes, schemes, and vocabulary from "The Language of Composition" (Chapters 1-2)

context

the occasion or the time and place something was written or spoken

purpose

goal that the writer wants to achieve

bias

context can sometimes arise from current events or a particular cultural tendency or inclination, a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation

thesis

an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument

claim

assert or affirm strongly

assertion

a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)

subject

the subject matter of a conversation or discussion

speaker

the voice of a work; an author may speak as himself or herself or as a fictitious persona

rhetorical triangle

a diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the relationship among the speaker, the subject, and the audience

persona

the character the speaker creates when he or she writes or speaks

ethos

the appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator

logos

an appeal based on logic or reason

pathos

emotional appeal

tone

the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author

assumption

underlying belief

counterargument

an argument offered in opposition to another argument

concede

to acknowledge as true

refute

prove to be false or incorrect

connotations

all the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests

propagandistic

a negative term for writing designed to sway opinion rather than present information

polemical

of or involving dispute or controversy

satiric

using sarcasm or irony

induction

reasoning from detailed facts to general principles

alliteration

repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence

allusion

brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art

anaphora

repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines

antimetabole

repetition of words in reverse order

antithesis

opposition, or contrast, of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction

archaic diction

old-fashioned or outdated choice of words

asyndeton

omission of conjunction between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words

cumulative sentence

sentence the completes the main idea at the beginning of the sentence, and then builds and adds on

hortative sentence

sentence that exhorts, advises, calls to action

imperative sentence

sentence used to command, enjoin, implore, or entreat

inversion

inverted order of words in a sentence (variation of the subject-verb-object order)

juxtaposition

placement of two things closely together to emphasize comparisons or contrasts

metaphor

figure of speech that says one thing is another in order to explain by comparison

metonymy

using a single feature to represent the whole

oxymoron

paradoxical juxtaposition of words that seem to contradict one another

parallelism

similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses

periodic sentence

sentence whose main clause is withheld until the end

personification

attribution of a lifelike quality to an inanimate object or idea

rhetorical question

figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer

zeugma

use of two different words in a grammatically similar way but producing different, often incongruous, meanings

colloquaialisms

a word or phrase used in everyday conversation but is often inappropriate to formal writing

close reading

analysis of a text

diction

choice of words

syntax

arrangement of words

trope

artful diction

scheme

artful syntax

dialectical journal

double-entry notebook, a double-column journal in which one writes a quotation in one column and reflections on that quotation in the other column

complex sentences

sentences that contain a subordinate clause

declarative sentences

a sentence that makes a statement

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