How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

21 terms

AP Language & Composition Glossary

all ap words need to know (1st page)
STUDY
PLAY
Abstract
refers to language that describes concepts rather than concrete images
Ad Hominem
in an argument, this is an attack on the person rather than the person's ideas
Allegory
a narrative that functions on a symbolic level
Ambiguity
allows multiple meanings to coexist in a word or a metaphor; it doesn't mean that it isn't clear but that a good reader can see more than one possible interpretation at the same time
Anadiplosis
repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause
Analogy
a literary device employed to serve as the basis for a comparison which assumes that what applies to the parallel situation also applies to the original circumstance
Anaphora
repetition in which the same expression is repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences
Anastrophe
inversion of the natural or usual word order to achieve emphasis by drawing attention to itself ("midnight dreary")
Anticipating audience response
a rhetorical technique often used to convince an audience of the soundness of your argument by stating the arguments that one's opponent is likely to give and then answering these arguments even before the opponent has had a chance to voice them
Antithesis
the presentation of two contrasting images emphasized by parallel structure
Aphorism
a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words ("Life is short, art is long, opportunity fleeting, experimenting dangerous, reasoning difficult.")
Apostrophe
a thing is addressed directly, as though it were a person listening to the conversation, or a person is addressed as though present
Argument
a single assertion or a series of assertions presented and defended by the writer
Attitude
the relationship an author has toward his or her subject and audience. Closely linked to tone.
Author's purpose
his goal in writing the selection (entertain, instruct, persuade, describe)
Balance
a situation in which all parts of the presentation are equal, whether in sentences, paragraphs, selections, etc.
Ballad
a story, often of love or adventure, told in song form
Burlesque
any imitation of people or literary type that, by distortion, aims to amuse. It tends to ridicule faults, not serious vices. It aims in amusement rather than the contempt or indignation of satire
Cacophony
harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage in a literary work
Carpe diem
"seize the day," is a Latin phrase that has become the name for a common literary motif in lyric poetry--life is short, so make the most of present pleasures
Characterization
techniques the writer uses to create and reveal fictional personalities in a work of literature, by describing the character's appearance, actions, thoughts, and feelings