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the art of putting one's case in the strongest and best possible way

rhetorical question

a question asked only for effect or to make a statement, but not to get an answer


A literary mode based on criticism of people and society through ridicule (ex: Tom Walker)


a comparison between two different things using 'like' or 'as'. (ex: They were as tall as trees)


A fourteen line poem, usually in iambic pentameter, with a varied rhyme scheme (there is Petrarchan and Shakespearean)

straw man

a fallacy in which a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position


when a writer inserts opionion or bias into the piece of writing


a method of presenting a logical argument; in its most basic form, it consists of a major premise (When it snows, the streets get wet), a minor premise (it is snowing), and a conclusion (the streets get wet)


The use of an object to represent another thing or idea (ex: flag symbolizes patriotism)


when a part represents the whole or when the whole represents the part (ex: All hands on deck for duty!)

syntactic fluency

the writer's ability to create a variety of sentence structures

syntactic permutation

sentence structures that are extraordinarily involved and complex, often making it difficult for a reader to follow


the arrangement of words within a phrase, clause or sentence


the general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express


an argument that a writer develops and supports


The writer's attitude toward his readers and his subject; his mood or moral view


A work that treats a serious subject frivolously-- ridiculing the dignified


deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is, either for ironic emphasis or for politeness and tact


a writer's use of language that allows a reader to "hear" a human personality in his or her writing; elements are vocabulary, syntax, and attitude


Something that has the appearance of being true or real


includes several similar rhetorical devices, all involving a grammatically correct linkage of two or more parts of speech by another part of speech (ex: Fred excelled at sports; Harvey at eating; Tom with girls)

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