107 terms

AP Language Rhetorical Terms

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alliteration
The repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning of consecutive words or syllables
allusion
an indirect reference, often to another text or an historic event
analogy
an extended comparison between two seemingly dissimilar things
anaphora
the repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses
anecdote
a short account of an interesting event
annotation
explanatory or critical notes added to a text
antimetabole
the repetition of words in an inverted order to sharpen a contrast
antithesis
parallel structure that juxtaposes contrasting ideas
aphorism
a short, astute statement of a general truth
appositive
a word or phrase that renames a nearby noun or pronoun
archaic diction
the use of words common to an earlier time period; antiquated language
argument
a statement put forth and supported by evidence
Aristotelian triangle
a diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the realtionship among the speaker, the subject, and the audience
assertion
an emphatic statement; declaration.
assumption
a belief or statement taken for granted without proof
asyndeton
leaving out conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses.
attitude
the speaker's position on a subject as revealed through their tone
audience
One's listener or readership; those to whom a speech or piece of writing
is addressed.
authority
A reliable, respected source—someone with knowledge.
bias
Prejudice or predisposition toward one side of a subject or issue.
cite
Identifying a part of a piece of writing as being derived from a source.
claim
An assertion, usually supported by evidence.
close reading
A careful reading that is attentive to organization, figurative language,
sentence structure, vocabulary, and other literary and structural elements
of a text
colloquial/ism
An informal or conversational use of language.
common ground
Shared beliefs, values, or positions.
complex sentence
A sentence that includes one independent clause and at least
one dependent clause
concession
A reluctant acknowledgment or yielding
connotation
That which is implied by a word, as opposed to the word's literal
meaning
context
Words, events, or circumstances that help determine meaning.
coordination
Grammatical equivalence between parts of a sentence, often
through a coordinating conjunction such as and, or but.
counterargument
A challenge to a position; an opposing argument
credible
worth of belief, trustworthy
cumulative sentence
An independent clause followed by subordinate clauses or
phrases that supply additional detail
declarative sentence
a sentence that makes a sentence
deduction
reasoning from general to specific
denotation
The literal meaning of a word; its dictionary definition.
dialectal journal
A double-column journal in which one writes a quotation in
one column and reflections on that quotation in the other column.
diction
word choice
documentation
Bibliographic information about the sources used in a piece of
writing
elegiac
Mournful over what has passed or been lost; often used to describe tone
epigram
a brief witty statement
ethos
A Greek term referring to the character of a person; one of Aristotle's
three rhetorical appeals
explication of text
Explanation of a text's meaning through an analysis of all
of its constituent parts, including the literary devices used; also called close
reading
facts
information that is true or demonstrable
figurative language
The use of tropes or figures of speech; going beyond literal
meaning to achieve literary effect
figure of speech
An expression that strives for literary effect rather than conveying
a literal meaning
fragment
A word, phrase, or clause that does not form a full sentence
hortatory
urging, or strongly encouraging
hyperbole
exaggeration for the purpose of emphasis
imagery
Vivid use of language that evokes a reader's senses (sight, smell, taste,
touch, hearing).
imperative sentence
a sentence that requests or commands
induction
reasoning from specific to general
inversion
A sentence in which the verb precedes the subject.
irony
A contradiction between what is said and what is meant; incongruity between
action and result
juxtaposition
Placement of two things side by side for emphasis
logos
A Greek term that means "word"; an appeal to logic; one of Aristotle's
three rhetorical appeals
metaphor
A figure of speech or trope through which one thing is spoken of as
though it were something else, thus making an implicit comparison.
metonymy
Use of an aspect of something to represent the whole
modifier
A word, phrase, or clause that qualifies or describes another word,
phrase, or clause
narration
Retelling an event or series of events
nominalization
Turning a verb or adjective into a noun
occasion
An aspect of context; the cause or reason for writing.
omniscient narrator
An all-knowing, usually third-person narrator.
oxymoron
A figure of speech that combines two contradictory terms
pacing
The relative speed or slowness with which a story is told or an idea is
presented.
paradox
A statement that seems contradictory but is actually true.
parallelism
The repetition of similar grammatical or syntactical patterns
parody
A piece that imitates and exaggerates the prominent features of another;
used for comic effect or ridicule
pathos
A Greek term that refers to suffering but has come to be associated with
broader appeals to emotion; one of Aristotle's three rhetorical appeals
periodic sentence
A sentence that builds toward and ends with the main clause
persona
The speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of
writing.
personification
Assigning lifelike characteristics to inanimate objects
polemic
An argument against an idea, usually regarding philosophy, politics, or
religion.
polysyndeton
The deliberate use of a series of conjunctions.
premise;major,minor
Two parts of a syllogism. The concluding sentence of a
syllogism takes its predicate from the major premise and its subject from the
minor premise
pronoun
A word used to replace a noun or noun phrase.
propaganda
A negative term for writing designed to sway opinion rather than
present information
purpose
One's intention or objective in a speech or piece of writing
refute
To discredit an argument, particularly a counterargument
rhetoric
The study of effective, persuasive language use; according to Aristotle,
use of the "available means of persuasion
rhetorical modes
Patterns of organization developed to achieve a specific purpose;
modes include but are not limited to narration, description, comparison
and contrast, cause and effect, definition, exemplification, classification and
division, process analysis, and argumentation
rhetorical question
A question asked more to produce an effect than to summon
an answer
rhetorical triangle
A diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the relationship
among the speaker, the subject, and the audience
satire
An ironic, sarcastic, or witty composition that claims to argue for something,
but actually argues against it.
scheme
A pattern of words or sentence construction used for rhetorical effect.
sentence patterns
The arrangement of independent and dependent clauses
into known sentence constructions—such as simple, compound, complex, or
compound-complex
sentence variety
Using a variety of sentence patterns to create a desired effect
simile
A figure of speech that uses "like" or "as" to compare two things
simple sentence
A statement containing a subject and predicate; an independent
clause
source
A book, article, person, or other resource consulted for information.
speaker
A term used for the author, speaker, or the person whose perspective
(real or imagined) is being advanced in a speech or piece of writing
straw man
A logical fallacy that involves the creation of an easily refutable position;
misrepresenting, then attacking an opponent's position
style
The distinctive qualitiy of speech or writing created by the selection and
arrangement of words and figures of speech
subject
In rhetoric, the topic addressed in a piece of writing
subordinate clause
Created by a subordinating conjunction, a clause that modifies
an independent clause
subordination
The dependence of one syntactical element on another in a
sentence
syllogism
A form of deductive reasoning in which the conclusion is supported
by a major and minor premise
syntax
sentence structure
synthesize
Combining or bringing together two or more elements to produce
something more complex
thesis
The central idea in a work to which all parts of the work refer
thesis statement
A statement of the central idea in a work, may be explicit or
implicit
tone
The speaker's attitude toward the subject or audience
topic sentence
A sentence, most often appearing at the beginning of a paragraph,
that announces the paragraph's idea and often unites it with the work's
thesis.
trope
Artful diction; the use of language in a nonliteral way; also called a figure
of speech
understatement
Lack of emphasis in a statement or point; restraint in language
often used for ironic effect
voice
In grammar, a term for the relationship between a verb and a noun (active
or passive voice). In rhetoric, a distinctive quality in the style and tone of
writing.
zeugma
A construction in which one word (usually a verb) modifies or
governs—often in different, sometimes incongruent ways—two or more
words in a sentence
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