63 terms

AP Language and Composition Terms

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abstract language
language expressing a quality apart from a specific object or event; opposite of concrete language
ad hominem
"against the man"; attacking the arguer rather than the argument or issue
ad populum
"to the people"; playing on the prejudices of the audience
analogy
a comparison in which a thing is inferred to be similar to another thing in a certain way because it is similar to the thing in other ways
appeal to tradition
a proposal that something should continue because it has traditionally existed or been done that way
argument
a process of reasoning and advancing proof about issues on which conflicting views may be held; also, a statement or statements providing support for a claim
audience
those who will hear an argument; more generally, those to whom a communication is addressed
authoritative warrant
a warrant based on the credibility or trustworthiness of the source
authority
a respectable, reliable source of evidence
backing
the assurances upon which a warrant or assumption is based
begging the question
making a statement that assumes that the issue being argued has already been decided
cause and effect
reasoning that assumes one event or condition can bring about another
claim
the conclusion of an argument; what the arguer is trying to prove
claim of fact
a claim that asserts something exists, has existed, or will exist, based on data that the audience will accept as objectively verifiable
claim of policy
a claim asserting that specific courses of action should be instituted as solutions to problems
claim of value
a claim that asserts some things are more or less desirable than others
cliche
a worn-out idea or overused expression that is no longer capable of producing a visual image or provoking thought about a subject
comparison warrant
a warrant based on shared characteristics and circumstances of two or more things or events; an analogy is a type of comparison, but the things or events being compared in an analogy are not of the same class
concrete language
language that describes specific, generally observable, persons, places, or things; in contrast to abstract language
connotation
the overtones that adhere to a word through long usage
credibility
the audience's belief in the arguer's trustworthiness
deduction
reasoning by which we establish that a conclusion must be true because the statements on which it is based are true
definition
an of the meaning of a term, concept, or experience; may be used for clarification, especially of a claim, or as a means of developing an argument
definition by negation
defining a thing by saying what it is not
ethos
the qualities of character, intelligence, and goodwill in an arguer that contribute to an audience's acceptance of the claim
euphemism
a pleasant or flattering expression used in place of one that is less agreeable but more possibly accurate
evidence
facts or opinions that support an issue or claim; may consist of statistics, reports or personal experience, or views of experts
extended definition
a definition that uses several different methods of development
fact
something that is believed to have objective reality, a piece of information regarded as verifiable
factual evidence
support consisting of data that is considered objectively verifiable by the audience
fallacy
an error in reasoning based on faulty use of evidence or incorrect inference
false analogy
assuming without sufficient proof that if objects or processes are similar in some ways, then they are similar in other ways as well
false dilemma
simplifying a complex problem into an either/or dichotomy
faulty emotional appeals
basing an argument on feelings, especially pity or fear- often to draw attention away from the real issues or conceal another purpose
faulty use of authority
failing to acknowledge disagreement among experts or otherwise misrepresenting the trustworthiness of sources
generalization
a statement of general principal derived inferentially from a series of examples
hasty generalization
drawing conclusions based on insufficient or unrepresentative evidence
induction
reasoning by which a general statement is reached on the basis of particular examples
inference
an interpretation based on observations, facts, and prior knowledge
motivational appeal
an attempt to reach an audience by recognizing their needs and values and how these contribute to their decision making
motivational warrant
a type of warrant based on the needs and values of an audience
need
whatever is required, whether psychological or physiological, for the survival and welfare of a human being
non sequitur
"it does not follow"; using irrelevant proof to buttress a claim
picturesque language
words that produce images in the minds of the audience
policy
a course of action recommended or taken to solve a problem or guide decision
post hoc
mistakenly inferring that because one event follows another they have a casual relation; from post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this); also called doubtful cause
qualifier
a restriction placed on the claim to state that it may not always be true as stated
refutation
an attack on an opposing view in order to weaken it, invalidate it, or make it less credible
reservation
a restriction placed on the warrant to indicate that unless certain conditions are met, the warrant may not establish a connection between the support and the claim
sign warrant
a warrant that offers an observable datum as an indicator of a condition
slanting
selecting facts or words with connotations that favor the arguer's bias and discredit alternatives
slippery slope
predicting without justification that one step in a process will lead unavoidably to a second, generally undesirable step
slogan
an attention-getting expression used largely in politics or advertising to promote support of a cause or product
statistics
information expressed in numerical form
stipulative definition
a definition that makes clear that it will explore a particular area of meaning of a term or issue
straw man
disputing a view similar to, but not the same as, that of the arguer's opponent
style
choices in words and sentence structure that make a writer's language distinctive
substantive warrant
a warrant based on beliefs about the reliability of factual evidence
support
any material that serves to prove an issue or claim; in addition to evidence, it includes appeals to the needs and values of the audience
syllogism
a formula of deductive argument that consists of three propositions: a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
two wrongs make a right
diverting attention from the issue by introducing a new point, e.g., by responding to an accusation with a counter-accusation that makes no attempt to refute the first accusation
values
conceptions or ideas that act as standards for judging what is right or wrong, worthwhile or worthless, beautiful or ugly, good or bad
warrant
a general principle or assumption that establishes a connection between the support and the claim
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