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AP English Vocabulary & Rhetorical Devices

AP English Language - selected tropes, schemes, and vocabulary from "The Language of Composition" (Chapters 1-2)
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context
the occasion or the time and place something was written or spoken
purpose
goal that the writer wants to achieve
bias
context can sometimes arise from current events or a particular cultural tendency or inclination, a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
thesis
an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument
claim
assert or affirm strongly
assertion
a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)
subject
the subject matter of a conversation or discussion
speaker
the voice of a work; an author may speak as himself or herself or as a fictitious persona
rhetorical triangle
a diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the relationship among the speaker, the subject, and the audience
persona
the character the speaker creates when he or she writes or speaks
ethos
the appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator
logos
an appeal based on logic or reason
pathos
emotional appeal
tone
the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author
assumption
underlying belief
counterargument
an argument offered in opposition to another argument
concede
to acknowledge as true
refute
prove to be false or incorrect
connotations
all the meanings, associations, or emotions that a word suggests
propagandistic
a negative term for writing designed to sway opinion rather than present information
polemical
of or involving dispute or controversy
satiric
using sarcasm or irony
induction
reasoning from detailed facts to general principles
alliteration
repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence
allusion
brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or fictitious, or to a work of art
anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines
antimetabole
repetition of words in reverse order
antithesis
opposition, or contrast, of ideas or words in a balanced or parallel construction
archaic diction
old-fashioned or outdated choice of words
asyndeton
omission of conjunction between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words
cumulative sentence
sentence the completes the main idea at the beginning of the sentence, and then builds and adds on
hortative sentence
sentence that exhorts, advises, calls to action
imperative sentence
sentence used to command, enjoin, implore, or entreat
inversion
inverted order of words in a sentence (variation of the subject-verb-object order)
juxtaposition
placement of two things closely together to emphasize comparisons or contrasts
metaphor
figure of speech that says one thing is another in order to explain by comparison
metonymy
using a single feature to represent the whole
oxymoron
paradoxical juxtaposition of words that seem to contradict one another
parallelism
similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words, phrases, or clauses
periodic sentence
sentence whose main clause is withheld until the end
personification
attribution of a lifelike quality to an inanimate object or idea
rhetorical question
figure of speech in the form of a question posed for rhetorical effect rather than for the purpose of getting an answer
zeugma
use of two different words in a grammatically similar way but producing different, often incongruous, meanings
colloquaialisms
a word or phrase used in everyday conversation but is often inappropriate to formal writing
close reading
analysis of a text
diction
choice of words
syntax
arrangement of words
trope
artful diction
scheme
artful syntax
dialectical journal
double-entry notebook, a double-column journal in which one writes a quotation in one column and reflections on that quotation in the other column
complex sentences
sentences that contain a subordinate clause
declarative sentences
a sentence that makes a statement