90 terms

AP Language Vocabulary

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Ad Hominem Argument
Latin for "to or against the person," this fallacy involves switching the argument from the issue at hand to the character of the other speaker
Ad Populum (bandwagon appeal)
This fallacy occurs when evidence boils down to "everybody's doing it, so it must be a good thing to do."
Allegory
The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning
Allusion
A direct or indirect reference to something that is commonly known. Allusions can be historical, literary, religious, or mythical.
Ambiguity
The multiple meanings of a word, phrase, sentence, or passage.
Analogy
A similarity or relationship between two things. An analogy can explain something unfamiliar by associating it with something more familiar.
antecedent
The word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun
Antithesis
A figure of speech that involves an opposition, or contrast, of ideas or words in a parallel construction.
Appeal to False Authority
This fallacy occurs when someone who has no expertise on a subject is cited as an authority.
Apostrophe
A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or personified abstraction.
Archaic Diction
Old-fashioned or outdated choice of words
Asyndenton
Omission of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
Attitude
A writer's position or emotion regarding the subject of the writing.
Caricature
A representation in which the subject's features are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.
Concession
An acknowledgement that an opposing argument may be true or reasonable.
Connotations
Meanings or associations that readers have with a word beyond its dictionary definition. Connotations are positive or negative.
Context
The circumstances, atmosphere, attitudes, and events surrounding a text.
Counterargument
An opposing argument to the one a writer is putting forward
Chiasmus
A figure of speech based on inverted parallelism. It is a rhetorical figure in which two clauses are related to each other through a reversal of terms.
Antimetabole
Repetition of words in reverse order. Antimetabole is a type of chiasmus, but not all chiasmus are a type of antimetabole.
Colloquialism
Slang or informality in speech or writing
Claim
Also called an assertion or a proposition, a claim states the argument's main idea or position. A claim differs from a topic or subject in that a claim has to be arguable.
Claim of Fact
A claim of fact asserts that something is true or not true. Ex. Test scores accurately measure a student's success!
Claim of Value
A claim of value argues that something is good or bad, right or wrong. Ex. Video games are corrupting today's youth.
Claim of Policy
A claim of policy proposes a change. Ex. Legalize marijuana!
Closed Thesis
A closed thesis is a statement of the main idea of the argument that also previews major points the writer intends to make. Ex. The three-dimensional characters, exciting plot, and complex themes of the Harry Potter series makes them legendary children's books.
conceit
A fanciful expression, usually in the form of an extended metaphor or a surprising analogy between two dissimilar objects.
Concrete detail
Specific details, facts, or examples used to support the main idea of a text.
denotation
The strict, literal, dictionary definition of a word.
diction
related to style, diction refers to the writer's word choices. Examples of diction include, formal or informal, ornate or plain.
didactic
didactic works have the primary aim of teaching or instructing, especially teaching moral or ethical principals
ethos
A speaker's expertise, knowledge, experience, sincerity, and common purpose with the audience are examples of how a speaker demonstrates they are credible and trustworthy.
euphemism
a more agreeable or less offensive substitute for generally unpleasant words or concepts
extended metaphor
a metaphor developed at great length
homily
This term literally means, "sermon," but more informally, it can include any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice.
hyperbole
a figure of speech using deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
imagery
the sensory details or figurative language used to describe, arouse emotion, or represent abstractions
infer
to draw a reasonable conclusion from the information presented. Inferences are not directly stated.
irony
the contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant; the difference between what appears to be and what is actually true.
juxtaposition
placing dissimilar items, descriptions, or ideas closely together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
logical fallacy
A mistake in verbal reasoning. The reasoning must be potentially deceptive.
metaphor
A figure of speech using implied comparison of unlike things. Metaphorical language makes writing more vivid, imaginative, thought-provoking, and meaningful.
mode of discourse: exposition
writing that intends to inform and demonstrate a point
mode of discourse: narration
writing that tells a story or relates a series of events
mode of discourse: description
writing that creates sensory images, often evoking a mood or atmosphere
mode of discourse: argumentation
writing that takes a stand on an issue and supports it with evidence and logical reasoning
onomatopoeia
a figure of speech in which natural sounds are imitated in the sound of words
parallelism/parallel construction/parallel structure
the grammatical or rhetorical framing of words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs to give structural similarity
parody
a work that closely imitates the style or content of another work with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule
pathos
a speaker's intent to inspire an emotional reaction in an audience
personification
a figure of speech in which the author endows an inanimate object with human qualities or characteristics
point of view--first person
The perspective from which a story is told.

1st person--tells the story with the pronoun "I" and is a character in the story.
point of view--third person limited omniscient
Uses "he," "she," and "it."

Limited omniscient--the narrator presents the feelings and thoughts of only one character
prose
Prose refers to fiction and nonfiction. Prose is written in ordinary language and most closely resembles everyday speech.
repetition
The duplication of any element of language, such as sound, word, phrase, sentence, or grammatical pattern.
rhetoric
Greek for "orator"

describes the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively
logos
employs logical reasoning, combining a clear idea with well-thought-out and appropriate examples and details
rhetorical appeals
The persuasive device by which a writer tries to sway the audience's attention and response to a given work.
oxymoron
a paradox made up of two seemingly contradictory words
persona
the face or character that a speaker shows to his or her audience
polemic
An aggressive argument that tries to establish the superiority of one opinion over all others.

Ex. No concession to other arguments.
polysyndeton
The deliberate use of multiple conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
propaganda
The spread of ideas and information to further a cause
Qualifier
words used to temper a claim, making it less absolute

Ex. usually, probably, maybe, in most cases, most likely
scheme
artful syntax; a deviation from the normal order of words
second-hand evidence
evidence that is accessed through research, reading, and investigation
trope
artful diction; a figure of speech such as metaphor, simile, hyperbole, metonymy, or synecdoche
metonymy
a figure of speech in which something is represented by another thing that is related to it or emblematic of it.
synecdoche
figure of speech that uses a part to represent the whole.

Ex. "All hands on deck!"
Zeugma
The use of a word to modify two or more words when it is appropriate to use only one of them or is appropriate to use each but in a different way.

Ex. "To wage war and peace" or "On his fishing trip he caught three trout and a cold."
rhetorical question
a question that is asked merely for effect and does not expect a reply
satire
a work that targets human vices and follies, or societal institutions and conventions for reform or ridicule
simile
an explicit comparison, using "like" or "as"
style
An evaluation of a sum of choices an author makes in blending diction, syntax, figurative language, and other literary devices.
syllogism
A deductive system of formal logic that presents to premises--the first one called major and the second minor--that inevitably lead to a sound conclusion.
symbol
An object, action, character, scene, or idea that represents something more abstract.
syntax
the way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences
theme
the central idea or message of a work.

Themes should be expressed in complete sentences by combining the topic with a verb. Ex. Forgiveness is earned through sacrifice.
thesis
The thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that directly express the author's opinion, purpose, meaning or proposition.
tone
tone describes the author's attitude toward his or her material, the audience, or both.
mood
The dominant impression or emotional atmosphere evoked by a text.

Ex. Mood is how "you" feel after reading a text.
transition
a word or phrase that links different ideas or effectively signals a shift from one idea to another.
rhetorical strategies
A global term that refers to all the strategies an author can use.

Ex. structure, purpose, style
begging the question
A fallacy in which a claim is based on evidence or support that is in doubt. It "begs" a question whether the support itself is sound.
Either/Or (false dilemma)
In this fallacy, the speaker presents two extreme options as the only possible choices.
First-hand evidence
Evidence based on something the writer knows, whether it's from personal experience or observations.
Hasty generalization
A fallacy in which a faulty conclusion is reached because of inadequate information.

Ex. Smoking isn't bad for you; my aunt smoked a pack a day and lived to be 90.
Hortative Sentence
Sentence that exhorts, urges, entreats, implores, or calls to action.

Ex. "Let both sides explore what problem unite us..."
occasion
the time and place a speech is given or a piece is written
open thesis
an open thesis is one that does not list all of the points the writer intends to cover in an essay.

Ex. The popularity of the Harry Potter books demonstrates that both young and old readers value the fanciful world of wizardry.
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