a word free from limitations or qualifications ("best", "all", "unique", "perfect")
ad hominem argument
an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue
a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize
A concise statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance
a figure of speech in which one directly addresses an absent or imaginary person, or some abstraction
a detail, image, or character type that occurs frequently in literature and myth and is thought to appeal in a universal way to the unconscious and to evoke a response
a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed ("Susan walked in, and out rushed Mary")
a sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions
a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases
reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and then applying that principle to a specific case
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region
a situation that requires a person to decide between two equally attractive or equally unattractive alternatives
the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deducted from the context
a long narrative poem written in elevated style which presents the adventures of characters of high position and episodes that are important to the history of a race or nation
a saying or statement on the title of a page of a work, or used as a heading for a chapter or other section of a work
a term used to point out a characteristic of a person. Homeric ones are often compound adjectives that become an almost formulaic part of a name. They can be offensive or abusive but are not so by definition.
a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated with an exclamation mark
a story that concerns an unreal world or characters; it may be merely whimsical, or it may present a serious point
a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story
the presentation of material in such a way that the reader is prepared for what is to come later in the work
an expression in a given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in the expression; or, a regional speech or dialect.
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs
a narrative handed down from the past, containing historical elements and usually supernatural elements
light verse consisting of 5 lines of regular rhythm in which the first, second, and fifth lines (each consisting of 3 ft) rhyme, and the 3rd and 4th lines (each consisting of 2 ft) rhyme
a narrator who presents the story as it is seen and understood by a single character and restricts info to what is seen, heard, thought, or felt by that one character
deviating from normal rules or methods in order to achieve a certain effect (intentional sentence fragments)
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture")
a mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar (The food is malicious).
substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it (the pen [writing] is mightier than the sword [war/fighting]).
a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which compels a character to act.
a traditional story presenting supernatural characters in episodes that help explain natural events
an inference that does not follow logically from the premises (literally does not follow)
a narrator who is able to know, see, and tell all including the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters
a restatement of a text in a different form or in different words, often for the purpose of clarity
a strong verbal denunciation. The term comes from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedonia in the fourth century