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the central idea, concern or purpose of a literary work


the writer's attitude toward the readers and toward the subject. A writer's tone may be formal or informal, friendly or distant, personal or pompous

Toulmin model

a conceptual system of arguement devised by philosopher Stephen Toulmin; the terms claim, support, warrant, qualifier, and reservation are adapted from this system


a type of drama or literature that shows the downfall or destruction of a noble or outstanding person, taditionally one who possesses a character weakness called a tragic flaw


a philosophical movement strongly associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, holding that the individual, by relying on himself and nature, can overcome life's obstacles


reduction of a serious, important, or distinguished subject, person, or idea, to a joke or absurdity


verse written in three-foot syllables


a foot with one stressed syllable followed by one unstressed syllable as in the word "heather"

two wrongs make a right

diverting attention from the issue by introducing a new point, e.g., by respinding to an accusation with a counter-accusation that makes no attempt to refute the first accusation


deliberately representing something as much less than it really is. Jonathan Swift wrote, "Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance."


conceptions or ideas that act as standards for judging what is right or wrong, worthwhile or worthless, beautiful or ugly, good or bad


the language or dialect common to a specific area, time, or people


both the generic term for any poetry, and a unit of poetry like a stanza, line, etc


a brief scene, sketch, passage, etc. usually of a "delicate" or "sweet" nature


in writing, a metaphor drawn from the spoken, encompassing the writer's tone, style, and manner


a general principle or assumption that establishes a connection between the support and claim


the use of one word to modify two or more words, but used for different meanings. For example: He closed the door and his heart on his lost love.

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