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designating qualities or characteristics apart from specific objects or events; it is the opposite of concrete


a narrative, either in verse or prose, in which character, action, and sometimes setting represent abstract concepts apart from the literal meaning of a story. The underlying meaning usually has a moral, social, religious, or political significance, and the characters are often personifications of abstract ideas such as charity, hope, greed, and so on.


the repetition of initial identical consonant sounds or any vowel sounds in successive or closely associated syllables, especially stressed syllables.


a brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or ficitious, or to a work of art


a process of reasoning that assumes if two subjects share a number of specific observable qualities then they may be expected to share qualities that have not beenobserved; the process of drawing a comparison between two things based on a partial similarity of like features


one of the devices of repetition in which the same expression is repeated at the beginning of two or more lines, clauses, or sentences


the inversion of the usual, normal, or logical order of the parts of a sentence


the word to which a pronoun refers

anticipating audience response

a rhetprocal technique often used to convince an audience is that of anticipating and stating the arguments that one's opponent is likely to give and then answering these arguemnts even before the opponent had a chance to voice them


a figure of speech characterized by strongly contrasting words, clauses, sentences, or ideas, as in "Man proposes, God disposes"; a balancing of one term against another for emphasis


a concise statement of a principle or precept given in pointed words


a figure of speech in which someone (usually, bu not always absent), some abstract quality, or a nonexistent personage is directly addressed as though present


closely linked with the tone of a piece; can also be the underlying feeling behind a tone

call to action

writing that urges people to action or promotes change


the techniques a writer uses to create and reveal fictional personalities in a work of literature, by describing the character's appearance, actions, thoughts, and feelings


a type of balance in which the second part is balanced against the first but with the part reversed


a method of sorting, grouping, collecting, and analyzing things by categories based on features shared by al members of a class or group


a method of breaking down an entire whole into separate parts or sorting a group of items into nonoverlapping categories


a time worn expression that through overuse has lost its power to evoke concrete images


a word or phrase made, invented, or fabricated

colloquial expressions

words or phrases characteristic or appropriate ot ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing


a rhetorical technique for pointing out similarities or differences

compound/complex sentence

a sentence that contains two or more independent clauses and at least one subordinate clause


an elaborate and surprising figure of speech comparing two very dissimilar things; usually involves intellectual cleverness and ingenuity


pertains to actual things, instances, or experiences; opposite of abstract


a method of argumentation in which the speaker or writer defends her own views and /or attacks the view of others


a method for specifying the basic nature of anyphenomenon, idea, or thing


the specific, exact meaning of a word, independent of its emotional colorationor associations


the emotional implications the words may carry, as distinguished from their denotative meanings


the choice of words in a work of literature and an element of style important to the work's effectiveness


in general language, used to distort and manipulate rather than to communicate


methods of drawing attention and diverting attention


the omossion of a word or words necessary for complete construction, but understood in the context

emotional appeal

exploiting the readers' feelings of pity or fear to make a case; this fallacy draws solely on the readers' pathos and not on logic

ethical appeal

the most subtle and often the most powerful becuase it comes from the character and reputation. not words


the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own group and culture


the substitution of an inoffensive, indirect, or agreeable expression for a word or phrase perceived as socially unacceptable of unnecessarily harsh


writing that seeks to clarify, expkain, or inform using one or several of the following methods: process analysis, definition, classification and division, comparision and contrast, and cause-and-effect analysis

figurative language

the use of words outside their literal or usual meanings, used to add freshness and suggest associations and comparisons that create effective images; includes elements of speech such as hyperbole, irony, metaphor, personification, and simile


a figure of speech in which conscious exaggeration is used without the intent of literal persuasion


the use of language to cnvey sensory experience, most often through the creation of pictorial images through figurative language


a use of words, a grammatic construction peculiar ot a given language, or an expresion taht cannot be translated literally into a second language


a mode of speech in whcih words express a meaning opposite to teh intended meaning


usually refers to a specialized language providing a shorthand method of quick communication between in the same field; often used to disguise the inner working of a particular trade or profession from public scrutiny


placing two (sometimes completely different) ideas side by side or close together;

lending credence

lend opponent some credit for ideas; can persuade audience that she is fair; strengthens argument


a form of understatement in which a thing is affirmed by stating the negative of its opposite

logical fallcies

methods of pseudoreasoning that may occur accidentally or may be intentionally contrived to lend plausibility to an unsound argument; include: a shift in definition, ad hominem, begging the question, false analogy, non equitur, red herring, slippery slope, straw man

ad hominem

an attack against the character of the person instead of the issue

non sequitur

the introduction of irrelevant evidence to support a claim

red herring

use fo an irrelevant point to divert attention from the real issue

slippery slope

failure to provide evidence showing that one event will lead to a chain of events of a catastrophe nature

logical reasoning

the idea that there are principles governing correct or reliable inferences

loose sentence

a sentence grammaticaly complete at some point (or points) before the end; opposite of periodic sentence

lyrical drama

a term used for a dramatic poem in which the form of drama is used to expres lyric themes (author's own emotions or ideas of life) instead of relying on a story as the basis of the action


a figure of speech involving an implied comparison


a figure of speech characterized by the subsitution of a term naming an object closely associated with the word in mind for the word itself


the overall atmosphere of a work


recurrent images, words, objects, phrases, or actions that tend to unify the work


the story of events and/or experiences that tells what happened


the use of words that by their sound suggest their meaning


a self-contradictory combination of words or smaller verbal units; usually noun-noun, adjective-adjective, adjective-noun, adverb-adverb, or adverb-verb


a phrase or statement that while seemingly contradictory or absurd may actually be well-founded or true


the arrangement of parts of a sentence, sentences, paragraphs, and larger units of cmposition that one element of equal importance with another is similarly developed and phrased

periodic sentence

a sentence not grammatically complete before its end; opposite of a loose sentence


attributing human characteristics to nonhuman things

point of view

a term used in the analsis and criticism of fiction to describe the wayin which the reader is presented with the materials of the story or, regarded from another angle, the vantage point from which the author presents the actions of the story


the repetition of conjections in close succession for rhetorical effect

process analysis

a method of clarifying the nature of something by explaining how its works in separate, easy-to-understand steps


a rhetorical device reiterating a word or phrase, or rewording the same idea, to secure emphasis

rhetorical question

asked solely to produce an effect and not to elicit a reply

rhetorical strategies

strategies used to produce an effect


a technique that ridicules both people and societal institutions, using iron wit, and exaggeration


a figure of speech involving a comparision using like or as

simple sentence

a complete sentence that is neither compound nor complex

spin (redefining)



the author's characteristic manner of expression; includes: the types of words used, their placement, and distinctive features of tone, imagery, figurative, language, sound, and rhythm


a formula for presenting an argument logicaly


something concrete (such as an object, person, place, or event) that stands for or represents something abstract (such as sn idea, quality, concept, or sondition)


a type of figurative language in which the whole is used for the part of the part used for the whole


the pattern or structure of the word order in a sentence or phrase: the study of grammatical structure


the voice the writer has chosen to project to relate ot readers


the implied personality the author chooses to adopt

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