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This is the third set for AP 11 literary and rhetorical terms


two contradictory words joined together; a condensed form of paradox


a seemingly contradictory statement or idea which resolves itself upon further logical investigation


rewording another person's statements for the purpose of clarification; approximately the same length as the original


sequence of events rendered in a narrative or drama


beginning of a narrative or drama; establishes setting, voice, characters, and conflict

rising action

second stage in development of narrative or drama; tension builds as characters struggle to resolve conflict


turning point in narrative or drama; main conflicts are at their high points and solution is emminent

falling action

stage in narrative or drama that shows the immediate effects of the climax,


final part of a narrative or drama; conflict is resolved and remaining questions usu. answered; aka denoument


giving human characteristics to inanimate objects or animals

point of view

the perspective from which a story is told


describes a point of view that includes all of the characters' thoughts and feelings


describes a point of view that is restricted to one character

first person

describes a point of view in which the narrator tells the story from his/ her own perspective using the pronouns I, we, my, etc.

third person

describes a point of view in which the narrator uses the pronouns he, she, it, etc., but not I or me.


writing in paragraphs, as opposed to verse


a phrase that deliberately exploits confusion between two similarly-sounding words or homophones


the central character in a story


the art of using language effectively and convincingly, especially to persuade or argue

rhetorical appeals

the ways in which a writer can influence his/ her audience; there are 3: logos, ethos, and pathos


appeal to reason (think logic)


appeal to moral and values (think ethics)


appeal to emotion (think sympathy)

rhetorical fallacies

flawed logic that makes an argument invalid

rhetorical question

a technique wherein an author poses a question that does not require an answer; the answer is implicit and the question results in an emotional effect


writing that pokes fun at its subject in order to point out flaws in people or society; uses exaggeration, irony, and sarcasm


the time and place of a scene in a story

short story

a work of fiction that can be read in one sitting


the way an author suprises us by manipulating sound, meaning, and structure; can be expressed w/ an adjective, but is better when described and supported (contrast with tone and voice)


sentence structure (Here are some types: simple, compound, complex, periodic, cumulative)


an insight about human life that an author of fiction, drama, or poetry conveys to the reader; is 1-2 sentences long, contains main ideas, and is universal

stated theme

a quote from the text that gives an insight about human life; author writes it

implied theme

the reader interprets the insight on human life that a story conveys; reader discovers it


the main point of an essay (nonfiction), expressed in a 1-2 sentence statement and including the main ideas in the body of the paper

tragic hero

a literary character who, though being well-liked, makes an error in judgment or fatal flaw and brings about his demise


the author's attitude toward his/ her subject, usu. described with an adjective (contrast w/ style)


lines of poetry, as opposed to writing in prose


the persona an author takes on when writing; unique to one author or one story only (contrast w/ style)

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