All AP Language and Composition Terms
Terms in this set (167)
The rhetorical strategy of extending a metaphor through an entire narrative so that objects, persons, and actions in the text are equated with meanings that lie outside the text.
"There is an obvious allegory in Avatar, the Navi stand for Native Americans."
The repetition of an initial consonant sound, as in "a peck of pickled peppers."
A brief, usually indirect reference to a person, place, or event--real or fictional.
A type of composition (or, more commonly, a part of a composition or speech) in which one idea, process, or thing is explained by comparing it to something else.
anaphora (also called epanaphora)
A scheme in which the same word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. Example: "I will fight for you. I will fight to save Social Security. I will fight to raise the minimum wage."
A scheme in which normal word order is changed for emphasis. Example: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
A short account (or narrative) of an interesting or amusing incident, often intended to illustrate or support some point.
A concise statement of the key idea(s) in a text or a portion of a text. Annotations are commonly used in reading instruction and in research.
Character in a story or poem who opposes the main character (protagonist). Sometimes the antagonist is an animal, an idea, or a thing. Examples of such antagonists might include illness, oppression, or the serpent in the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
The noun or noun phrase that a pronoun refers to. "When giving treats to ~friends~ or ~children~, give them what they like, emphatically not what is good for them."
Half of expression is balanced, other half is backwards. ABC-CBA. It's a type of chiasmus.
"I know what I like, and I like what I know"
Placement of contrasting or opposing words, phrases, clauses, or sentences side by side. Following are examples:"The more acute the experience, the less articulate its expression."
(Harold Pinter, "Writing for the Theatre," 1962)
Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena
A rhetorical term for the juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases or clauses. "You're easy on the eyes
Hard on the heart." - (Terri Clark)
A brief statement of a principle that makes a wise observation about life.
"Haste makes waste."
"The first rule of Fight Club is--you do not talk about Fight Club." (Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, Fight Club)
intentionally express unsureness
A scheme in which a person or an abstract quality is directly addressed, whether present or not. Example: "Freedom! You are a beguiling mistress."
The placement side-by-side of two coordinate elements (noun phrases), the second of which serves to identify or rename the first. "Miniver Cheevy, ~child of scorn~,
grew lean while he assailed the seasons."
"Gussie, ~a glutton for punishment~, stared at himself in the mirror."
the use of words that are old-fashioned or no longer commonly used.
Relation between audience, subject, and writer/speaker
The parts of a speech or, more broadly, the structure of a text. Arrangement is one of the five traditional canons or subdivisions of classical rhetorical training.
In conversation or drama, a short passage spoken in an undertone or addressed to an audience.
In writing, an aside may be set off by parentheses.
a positive statement or declaration, often without support or reason
a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn. Little proof is given.
Omitting conjunctions between words, phrases, or clauses
"Anyway, like I was saying, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo."
Created by a speaker or writer in order to invent materials, the manner in which an action is carried out.
the receiving end. Always important to write and speak with the audience in mind. Clarity, brevity, interest, reaction, etc...
Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.
is any verse comprised of unrhymed lines all in the same meter, usually iambic pentameter. An iambic pair is pronounced as da-DUM, accentuating the stress on the second syllable. Hence, an iambic pentameter would have the form,da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM da-DUM
A pejorative term for pompous and inflated speech or writing that sounds important but is generally nonsense. "empty rhetoric". Padding to something without meaning.
A mix of harsh, displeasing, or clashing sounds. It is commonly used to describe poetry, but can also be found in musical composition. Sometimes it is accidental, and sometimes it is used intentionally for artistic effect.
In literature and art, a purification of emotions. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) used the term to describe the effect on the audience of a tragedy acted out on a theater stage. This effect consists in cleansing the audience of disturbing emotions, such as fear and pity, thereby releasing tension. In modern usage, ____ may refer to any experience, real or imagined, that purges a person of negative emotions.
The distinctive nature of something.
Inversion in the second of two parallel phrases
Example: "It's not the men in my life, it's the life in my men."
circumlocution (or periphrasis)
The use of unnecessarily wordy and indirect language to avoid getting to the point. Contrast with conciseness. Adjective: circumlocutory. (such as "a tool used for cutting things such as paper and hair") as opposed to scissors.
An assertion of the truth of something, typically one that is disputed or in doubt.
introduction, introduces the subject and piques the reader's interest
narration, provides factual information and background material
confirmation, major part of text, includes the development of the proof needed to make the writer's case
refutation, addresses counterargument, bridge between proof and conclusion
conclusion, brings essay to a close, "So what does it all mean?"
The most intense, exciting, or important point of something; a culmination or apex.
When you ______, you observe facts and details about the text. You may focus on a particular passage, or on the text as a whole. Your aim may be to notice all striking features of the text, including rhetorical features, structural elements, cultural references; or, your aim may be to notice only selected features of the text—for instance, oppositions and correspondences, or particular historical references.
An informal expression that is more often used in casual conversation than in formal speech or writing.
"Latinas are in oppressive structures. We can fool ourselves, but we'd still be getting ~dumped on.~"
Comic episodes in a dramatic or literary work that offset more serious sections.
A character or characters providing this.
Admit that something is true or valid after first denying or resisting it.
brings essay to a close, "So what does it all mean"
a reasoned deduction or inference.
major part of text, includes the development of the proof needed to make the writer's case
Tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.
The conflict of a story is a problem in the story. It can be internal or external.
The emotional implications and associations that a word may carry, in contrast to its denotative (literal) meanings. An idea that is implied or suggested
"The name reservation has a negative connotation among Native Americans--an intern camp of sorts." (John Russell)
The words and sentences that surround any part of a discourse and that help to determine its meaning.
a rule, method, or practice established by usage; custom
a contrasting, opposing, or refuting argument.
sentence that completes the main idea at the beginning of the sentence and then builds and adds on
A method of reasoning from the general to the specific.
In a deductive argument, a conclusion follows necessarily from the stated premises. (Contrast with induction.)
In logic, a deductive argument is called a syllogism. In rhetoric, the equivalent of the syllogism is the enthymeme.
The direct or dictionary meaning of a word, in contrast to its figurative or associated meanings
In a narrative (within an essay, short story, novel, play, or film), the event or events following the climax; the resolution or clarification of the plot.
deus ex machina
____:(god from the machine) is a term describing the sudden appearance of an unexpected way out of a difficult situation.
Choice and use of words in speech or writing
1.passing aimlessly from one subject to another; digressive; rambling.
2. proceeding by reasoning or argument rather than intuition.
drama, audience knows something that the characters don't know. ex.Lincoln
a literary or dramatic character who undergoes an important inner change, as a change in personality or attitude: Ebeneezer Scrooge is a dynamic character.
something that is produced by an agency or cause; result; consequence
a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead.
A figure by which the same word is used both at the beginning and at the end of a sentence; as, "Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." --Phil. iv. 4.
Long poem in a lofty style about the exploits of heroic figures. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, as well as the Old English poem Beowulf, are examples of epics.
any witty, ingenious, or pointed saying tersely expressed;
a short, often satirical poem dealing concisely with a single subject and usually ending with a witty or ingenious turn of thought.
epistrophe (also called epiphora)
A scheme in which the same word is repeated at the end of successive phrases, clauses, or sentences. Example: "I believe we should fight for justice. You believe we should fight for justice. How can we not, then, fight for justice?"
Credibility. We tend to believe people whom we respect.
The substitution of an inoffensive term (such as "passed away") for one considered offensively explicit ("died"). Contrast with dysphemism. Adjective: euphemistic.
agreeableness of sound; pleasing effect to the ear, especially a pleasant sounding or harmonious combination or succession of words
the act of making clear or removing obscurity from the meaning of a word or symbol or expression etc..
writing or speech primarily intended to convey information or to explain; a detailed statement or explanation; explanatory treatise
a short tale to teach a moral lesson, often with animals or inanimate objects as characters; apologue
refers to words, and groups of words, that exaggerate or alter the usual meanings of the component words.
figure of speech
is the use of a word or words diverging from its usual meaning. It can also be a special repetition, arrangement or omission of words with literal meaning, as in idiom, metaphor, simile, hyperbole, or personification.
a device in the narrative of a motion picture, novel, etc., by which an event or scene taking place before the present time in the narrative is inserted into the chronological structure of the work.
to show or indicate beforehand; prefigure of events that are to come
types of writing
the kind of action or activity proper to a person, thing, or institution; the purpose for which something is designed or exists; role.
Deviating from ordinary forms or rules; irregular; anomalous; abnormal.
sentence that exhorts, advices, calls to action
"Go! Go! Go!" "Great job keep going!"
A trope composed of exaggerated words or ideals used for emphasis and not to be taken literally. Example: "I've told you a million times not to call me a liar!"
form; appearance; semblance
Vivid descriptive language that appeals to one or more of the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste).
A type of sentence that gives advice or instructions or that expresses a request or command. "Leave the gun, take the cannoli"
use imagism and symbolism to convey their impressions, rather than interpreting their experiences.
A method of reasoning that moves from specific instances to a generalization. Specific to general.
reversal of the usual or natural order of words; anastrophe.
A trope in which a word or phrase is used to mean the opposite of its literal meaning. Example: "I just love scrubbing the floor."
an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
using few words; expressing much in few words; concise: a laconic reply.
A trope in which one makes a deliberate understatement for emphasis. Example: Young lovers are kissing and an observer says: "I think they like each other."
logic means persuading by the use of reasoning.
Niccolo Machiavelli helped to begin a revolution in political philosophy. His ideas were not necessarily original but still considered extremely radical at the time he published his book.
is a genre where magic elements are a natural part in an otherwise mundane, realistic environment. Although it is most commonly used as a literary genre, magic realism also applies to film and the visual arts.
Absurd or humorous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound. An example is Yogi Berra's statement: "Texas has a lot of electrical votes," rather than "electoral votes".
A trope in which a word or phrase is transferred from its literal meaning to stand for something else. Unlike a simile, in which something is said to be "like" something else, a metaphor says something is something else. Example: "Debt is a bottomless sea."
Substitution where a word or phrase is used in place of another word or phrase (such as "crown" for "royalty").
"The pen is mightier than the sword,"
In grammar, a modifier is an optional element in phrase structure or clause structure. A modifier is so called because it is said to modify (change the meaning of) another element in the structure, on which it is dependent. ex: "This is a red ball" vs. "This is a ball". Red modifies the noun ball.
a prolonged talk or discourse by a single speaker
a recurring subject, theme, idea, etc., especially in a literary, artistic, or musical work
provides factual information and background material
something narrated; an account, story, or narrative
to convert (another part of speech) into a noun, as in changing the adjective lowly into the lowly
a special or important time
use of words that imitate sounds-CRASH, BANG, HISS
A trope that connects two contradictory terms. Example: "Bill is a cheerful pessimist." "Jumbo shrimp"
a rate of movement
A story, usually short and simple, that illustrates a lesson.
an assertion seemingly opposed to common sense, but that may yet have some truth in it. [What a pity that youth must be wasted on the young] "War is peace."
"Freedom is slavery."
Plots in which each main character has a separate but related story line that merges in the end.
The use of identical or equivalent syntactic constructions in corresponding clauses or phrases
a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing
emotional appeal and persuasion
sentence whose main clause is withheld until the end
A trope in which one substitutes a descriptive word or phrase for a proper noun. Example: "The big man upstairs hears your prayers."
the narrator of or a character in a literary work, sometimes identified with the author.
A trope in which human qualities or abilities are assigned to abstractions or inanimate objects. Example: "Integrity thumbs its nose at pomposity."
Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
point of view
The perspective from which a speaker or writer recounts a narrative or presents information. Depending on the topic, purpose, and audience, writers of nonfiction may rely on the first-person point of view (I, we), the second-person (you, your), or the third-person (he, she, it, they).
a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine
Multiple coordinating conjunctions
"Let the whitefolks have their money and power and segregation and sarcasm and big houses and schools and lawns like carpets, and books, and mostly--mostly--let them have their whiteness." (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1969)
a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion
a person involved in producing or spreading propaganda
the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.
A play on words in which a homophone is repeated but used in a different sense. Examples: "She was always game for any game."
the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.
addresses counterargument, bridge between proof and conclusion
to prove to be false or erroneous, as an opinion or charge.
The study and practice of effective communication.
The study of the effects of texts on audiences.
The art of persuasion.
An insincere eloquence intended to win points and manipulate
ethos, pathos, logos
describe the variety, conventions, and purposes of the major kinds of writing. Four of the most common rhetorical modes and their purpose are exposition, argumentation, description, and narration.
A trope in which the one asks a leading question. Example: "With all the violence on TV today, is it any wonder kids bring guns to school?"
A text or performance that uses irony, derision, or wit to expose or attack human vice, foolishness, or stupidity. With intent to improve.
Empty irony. Meant for others to feel stupid and does not improve a situation
A change in standard word order or pattern.
to make a transition from one thing to another smoothly and without interruption
the surrounding environment of a story
A trope in which one states a comparison between two things that are not alike but have similarities. Unlike metaphors, similes employ "like" or "as." Example: "Her eyes are as blue as a robin's egg."
an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present
the person speaking
An instruction in the text of a play.
Character in a literary work who does not change his or her outlook in response to events taking place.
The arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex.
Refers to the way you put your writing together. It refers to your choice of sentence patterns, your overall choice of words, and the specific vocabulary you use. (e.g. using lots of dialogue, or poetic language, or lots of description).
that which forms a basic matter of thought, discussion, investigation, etc.: a subject of conversation.
subplot is a secondary strand of the plot that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot
_____ or undertone is content of a work which is not announced explicitly by the characters (or author) but is implicit or becomes something understood by the observer of the work as the production unfolds.
is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two or more others (the premises) of a specific form.
something used for or regarded as representing something else;
A trope in which a part stands for the whole or a whole stands for a part. Example: "Tom just bought a fancy new set of wheels."
Is the study of the rules that dictate how the parts of sentences go together.
Combines parts and elements, focuses on main ideas and details, and achieves new insight. In writing a synthesis, you infer relationships between sources, both written and non-written.
a subject of discourse, discussion, meditation, or composition;
a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections
The atmosphere or emotion an author conveys through word choice, etc. Refers to how you say or write something. "The main factor in tone is diction, the words that the writer chooses. For one kind of writing, an author may choose one type of vocabulary, perhaps slang, and for another the same writer may choose an entirely different set of words. Even such small matters as contractions make a difference in tone, the contracted verbs being less formal.
term to describe the sentence in an expository paragraph which summarizes the main idea of that paragraph.
A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy. The emotion of pity stems not from a person becoming better but when a person receives undeserved misfortune and fear comes when the misfortune befalls a man like us.
The use of a word, phrase, or image in a way not intended by its normal signification.
the act or an instance of understating, or representing in a weak or restrained way that is not borne out by the facts.
Say one thing, mean the other
the individual writing style of an author
A trope in which one verb governs several words, or clauses, each in a different sense. Example: "He stiffened his drink and his spine." "You are free to execute your laws, and your citizens, as you see fit."
a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct
cannot stand alone, conains a subject and a verb; begins with a relative pronoun (who, whom, whose, that, or which) or a relative adverb (whre, when, why); functions as an adjective (answers, "What kind?", "How many?", "Which one?"
repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause
The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words. Adjective: assonant.
EX. "If I bleat when I speak it's because I just got . . . fleeced."
(Al Swearengen in Deadwood, 2004)
A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule.
the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action or causing the happening denoted by the verb
the voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is the recipient (not the source) of the action denoted by the verb