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Ad Hominem

In an argument, an attack on the person, rather than the opponent's ideas, "against the man"


A work that functions on a symbolic level


A reference contained in a work


The presentation of two contrasting images, balanced ideas by words, phrases, clauses


Harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage of a literary work


The process of moving from a general rule to a specific example


The interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal meaning


The literal or dictionary meaning of a word


Writing whose purpose is to instruct or to teach. A didactic work is usually formal and focuses on moral or ethical concerns


A discussion on a specific topic


An indication by a series of periods that some material has been omitted by the text


The use of a quotation at the beginning of the work that hints at its theme


A more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable


The pleasant, mellifluous presentation of sounds in a literary work


Background information presented in a literary work


The process that moves from a given series of specifics to generalizations


A verbally abusive attack


A figure of speech in which a representative term is used for larger idea. (The pen is mightier than the sword)


A term that is used to describe writing that borders lecturing, scholarly and academic writing

Periodic Sentence

Presents its main clause at the end of the sentence for emphasis and sentence variety

Reduction ad Absurdum

Reduces argument to an either or choice


A mode of writing based on ridicule that criticizes the foibles and follies of society without offering a solution


The format of a formal argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion


A figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative as whole


The grammatical structure of prose and poetry


Locating a number of a sources and integrating them into development and support of a writer's thesis/claim

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