Study sets, textbooks, questions
Upgrade to remove ads
Arts and Humanities
AP Language and Composition Terms
Terms in this set (64)
the device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent and abstraction in addition to the the literal meaning. In some allegories, for example, an author may intend the characters to personify an abstraction like hope or freedom. The allegorical meaning usually deals with moral truth or a generalization about human existence.
The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words (as in "she sells sea shells") The repetition can reinforce meaning, unify ideas, supply a musical sound, and/or echo the sense of the passage.
A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art. Allusions can be historical, literary, religious, topical, or mythical.
The multiple meanings, either intentional or unintentional, of a word, phrase, sentence, or passage.
A similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them. An analogy can explain something unfamiliar by associating it with or pointing out its similarity to something more familiar.
One of the devices of repetition, in which the same expression (word or words) is repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences. *If repeated 3 times exactly, it is called Tri Colon.
A short narrative detailing particulars of an interesting episode or event.
The word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun.
A terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle. An aphorism can be a memorable summation of the author's point. (If authorship is unknown, it is considered to be a folk proverb).
A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love. It is an address to someone or something that cannot answer. The effect may add familiarity or emotional intensity.
The emotional mood created by the entirety of a literary work, established partly by the setting and partly by the author's choice of objects that are described. Frequently it foreshadows events and can create mood.
perspective or tone an author adopts in a specific work; explains the real nature of the characters and story.
a grammatical unit that contains both a subject and a verb.
the use of slang or informalities in speech or writing. Not generally acceptable for formal writing, colloquialisms give a work a conversational, familiar tone.
a fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or surprising analogy between seemingly dissimilar objects.
The nonliteral, associative meaning of a word; the implied, suggested meaning. Connotations may involve ideas, emotions, or attitudes.
The strict, literal, dictionary definition of a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color.
Related to style, diction refers to the author's word choices especially with regard to their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness. For the AP exam, you must be able to describe an author's diction (formal or informal, ornate or plain) and understand the ways in which diction can complement the author's purpose.
From Greek, literally means 'teaching'. Didactic works have the primary aim of teaching or instructing, especially the teaching of moral or ethical principles.
Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible.
from Greek, "good speech". Serve as a more agreeable or less offensive substitute for a generally unpleasant or inappropriate word or concept. The euphemism may be used to adhere to standards of social or political correctness or to add humor or ironic understatement.
a type of essay. The purpose of exposition is to explain something.
A metaphor developed at great length, occurring frequently throughout the work.
Writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning and is usually meant to be imaginative and vivid.
Figure of Speech
A device used to produce figurative language. Can include: apostrophe, hyperbole, irony, metaphor, metonymy, oxymoron, paradox, personification, simile, synecdoche, understatement.
The major category into which a literary work fits.
Literally means "sermon", but more informally can include any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice.
A figure of speech using deliberate exaggeration or overstatement. Hyperboles often have a comic effect; however, a serious effect is also possible. Often, hyperbole produces irony.
The sensory details or figurative language used to describe, arouse emotion, or represent abstractions. On the AP exam, pay attention to HOW an author creates imagery and WHAT the effect of this imagery is on the audience.
to draw a reasonable conclusion from the information presented. When a multiple-choice question asks for an inference to be drawn from a passage, the most direct, most reasonable inference is the safest answer choice. NOTE: if the answer choice is directly stated, is is NOT inferred and is wrong.
an emotionally violent, verbal denunciation or attack using strong, abusive language.
the contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant. the difference between what appears to be and what actually is true. Irony is used for many reasons, but often it's used to create poignancy or humor. (1) verbal irony: the words literally state the opposite of the writer's (or speaker's) true meaning. (2) situational irony: events turn out the opposite of what was expected. (3) dramatic irony: facts or events are unknown to a character in a play or piece of fiction but are known to the reader, audience, or other characters in the work.
Logos is a Greek word meaning logic. Logos is a literary device that can be defined as a statement, sentence or argument used to convince or persuade the targeted audience by employing reason or logic. Logos mostly employs the utilization of inductive and deductive reasoning methods to be effective. Inductive reasoning - Inductive reasoning involves a specific representative fact or case which is drawn towards a conclusion or generalization. However, inductive reasoning requires reliable and powerful evidence that is presented to support the point. Deductive reasoning - Deductive reasoning involves generalization at the initial stage and then moves on towards the specific case. The starting generalization must be based on reliable evidence to support it at the end.
A type of sentence in which the independent clause comes first, followed by dependent grammatical units such as phrases and clauses. A work containing many loose sentences often seems informal, relaxed, and conversational.
A figure of speech using implied comparison of seemingly unlike things or the substitution of one for the other, suggesting some similarity. Metaphorical language makes writing more vivid, imaginative, thought provoking, and meaningful.
from Greek meaning "changed label" or "substitute name". A figure of speech in which the name of one object is substituted for that of another closely associated with it. The substituted term generally carries more emotional impact.
(1) grammatical: deals with verbal units and a speaker's attitude. The indicative mood is used only for factual sentences. The subjunctive mood is used to express conditions contrary to fact. (2) literary: meaning the prevailing atmosphere or emotional aura of a work. Setting, tone, and events can affect mood.
the telling of a story or an account of an event or series of events.
A figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sounds of words. In AP, note the effect on mood, atmosphere, tone, and audience.
from Greek meaning "pointedly foolish". A figure of speech wherein the author groups apparently contradictory terms to suggest a paradox.
A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity.
(parallel construction or parallel structure): from Greek meaning "beside one another". It refers to the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs to give structural similarity. This can involve, but is not limited to, the repetition of a grammatical element such as a preposition or verbal phrase. Common effects are to act as an organizing force to attract the reader's attention, add emphasis and organization, or simply provide a musical rhythm.
A work that closely imitate the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule. As comedy, parody distorts or exaggerates distinctive features of the original. As ridicule, it mimics the work by repeating and borrowing words, phrases, or characteristics in order to illuminate weaknesses in the original.
Pathos is a quality of an experience in life or a work of art that stirs up emotions of pity, sympathy and sorrow.
An adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or bookish.
A sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end. This independent clause is preceded by a phrase or clause that cannot stand alone. The effect of a periodic sentence is to add emphasis and structural variety.
A figure of speech in which the author presents or describes concepts, animals, or inanimate objects by endowing them with human attributes or emotions. used to make these abstractions, animals, or objects appear more vivid to the reader.
Point of View
Literature: the perspective from which a story is told. First person, third person, omniscient, limited omniscient.
one of the major divisions of genre, prose refers to fiction and nonfiction, including all its forms. In prose, the printer determines the length of the line; in poetry, the poet determines the length of the line.
The duplication, either exact or approximate, of any element of language, such as a sound, word, phrase, clause, sentence, or grammatical pattern.
From the Greek for "orator", this term describes the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively.
4 most common: (1) exposition: explain and analyze information by presenting an idea, relevant evidence, and appropriate discussion. (2) argumentation: to prove the validity of an idea, or point of view, by presenting sound reasoning, discussion, and argument that thoroughly convince the reader. Persuasive writing is a type of argumentation having an additional aim of urging some form of action. (3) description: to re-create, invent, or visually present a person, place, event, or action so that the reader can picture it being described. (4) narration: to tell a story or a series of events.
from Greek meaning "to tear flesh". Involves bitter, caustic language that is meant to hurt or ridicule someone or something. It may use irony as a device, but not all ironic statements are sarcastic (intended to ridicule).
a work that targets human vices and follies or social institutions and conventions for reform and ridicule.
the branch of linguistics that studies the meaning of words, their historical and psychological development, their connotations, and their relation to one another.
the consideration of style has two purposes: (1) an evaluation of the sum of the choices an author makes in blending diction, syntax, figurative language, and other literary devices. we can analyze and describe an author's personal style and make judgments on how appropriate it is to the author's purpose. (2) classification of authors to a group and comparison of an author to similar authors.
from Greek "reckoning together". A syllogism (or syllogistic reasoning or syllogistic logic) is a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises (the first one called 'major' and the second one called 'minor') that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion. A syllogism's conclusion is valid only if each of the two premises is valid.
generally, anything that represents itself and stands for something else.
the way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences.
the central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life. Usually theme is unstated in fictional works, but in nonfiction, the theme may be directly stated, especially in expository or argumentative writing.
In expository writing, the thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that directly expresses the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or position.
Similar to mood (but generally 'deeper') tone describes the author's attitude toward the material, audience, or both. Considering how a work would sound if it were read aloud can help in identifying an author's tone.
The ironic minimizing of fact, understatement presents something as less significant than it is. The effect can frequently be humorous and emphatic. Understatement is the opposite of hyperbole.
an attitude that may lie under the ostensible tone of the piece.
Recommended textbook explanations
myPerspectives: English Language Arts, California (Grade 10, Volume 1)
Collections: Grade 11
Holt McDougal Literature: Grade 9 (Common Core)
The Language of Literature - American Literature
Andrea B. Bermundez, Arthur N. Applebee
Sets with similar terms
APEL Literary Terms
AP Language Terminology
Other Quizlet sets
Economics Mid-Term Study Guide
Chapter 01: Perspectives of Pediatric Nursing Hock…
General Genetics Chapter 5
Physiology Lab Final