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78 terms

AP English Language & Composition

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Abstract
refers to language that describes concepts rather than concrete images (ideas and qualities rather than observable or specific things, people, or places)
Allegory
an extended narrative in prose or verse in which characters, events, and settings represent abstract qualities and in which the writer intends a second meaning to be read beneath the surface of a story; the underlying meaning may be moral, religious, political, social, or satiric
Anecdote
a short, simple narrative of an incident; often used for humorous effect or to make a point
Annotation
explanatory notes added to a text to explain, cite sources, or give bibliographical data
Antithesis
the presentation of two contrasting images. The ideas are balanced by word, phrase, clause, or paragraphs.
Aphorism
a short, often witty statement of a principle or a truth about life
Apostrophe
usually in poetry but sometimes in prose; the device of calling out to an imaginary, dead, or absent person or to a place, thing, or personified abstraction
Argumentation
writing that attempts to prove the validity of a point of view or an idea by presenting reasoned arguments
Cacophony; Dissonance
harsh, awkward, or dissonant sounds used deliberately in poetry or prose; the opposite of euphony
Caricature
descriptive writing that greatly exaggerates a specific feature of a person's appearance or a facet of personality
Colloquialism
a word or phrase (including slang) used in everyday conversation and informal writing but that is often inappropriate in formal writing
Coherence; Unity
quality of a pierce of writing in which all the parts contribute to the development of the central idea, theme, or organizing principle
Concrete Language
language that describes specific, observable things, people, or places, rather than ideas or qualities
Connotation
implied or suggested meaning of a word because of its association in the reader's mind
Consonance
repetition of identical consonant sounds within two or more words in close proximity, as in boost/best; it can also be seen within several compound words, such as fulfill and ping-pong
Conundrum
a riddle whose answer is or involves a pun; it may also be a paradox or difficult problem
Deduction
the process of moving from a general rule to a specific example
Denotation
literal meaning of a word as defined
Description
the picturing in words of something or someone through detailed observation of color, motion, sound, taste, smell, and touch; one of the four modes of discourse
Diction
word choice, an element of style; creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning
Didactic
writing whose purpose is to instruct or to teach. Usually formal and focuses on moral or ethical concerns. May be fiction of nonfiction that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model of correct behavior or thinking
Discourse
spoken or written language, including literary works; the four traditionally classified modes of discourse are description, exposition, narration, and persuasion
Emotion Appeal; Pathos
when a writer appeals to readers; emotions (often through pathos) to excite and involve them in the argument
Epigraph
the use of a quotation at the beginning of a work that hints at its theme
Ethical Appeal; Ethos
when a writer tries to persuade the audience to respect and believe him or her based on a presentation of image of self through the text. Aim is to gain an audience's confidence
Euphemism
a more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable.
Euphony
a succession of harmonious sounds used in poetry or prose; the opposite of cacophony
Example
an individual instance taken to be representative of a general pattern
Explication
the art of interpreting or discovering the meaning of a text. Usually involves close reading and special attention to figurative language
Exposition
the immediate revelation to the audience of the setting and other background information necessary for understanding the plot; also explanation; one of the four modes of discourse
Generalization
when a writer bases a claim upon an isolated example or asserts that a claim is certain rather than probable
Genre
a type of literary work, such as a novel or poem
Humor
anything that causes laughter or amusement
Hyperbole
deliberate exaggeration in order to create humor or emphasis
Image
a word or words, either figurative or literal, used to describe a sensory experience or an object perceived by the sense
Imagery
words or phrases that use a collection of images to appeal to one or more of the five senses in order to create a mental picture
Induction
the process that moves from a given series of specifics to a generalization
Inference
a conclusion one can draw from the presented details
Invective
a verbally abusive attack
Inversion
reversing the customary (subject first, then verb, then complement) order of elements in a sentence or phrase
Jargon
the special language of a profession or group. Usually has pejorative associations with the implication that it is evasive, tedious, and unintelligible to outsiders
Logical Appeal; Logos
when a writer tries to persuade the audience based on statistics, facts, and reasons. The process of reasoning
Lyrical
songlike; characterized by emotions, subjectivity, and imagination
Mode
the method or form of a literary work; the manner in which a work of literature is written
Mood
similar to tone, mood is the primary emotional attitude of a work (the feeling of the work; the atmosphere). Syntax is also a determiner of this because sentence strength, length, and complexity affect pacing
Narration
the telling of a story in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama; one of the four modes of discourse
Objectivity
an impersonal presentation of events and characters. It is a writer's attempt to remove himself or herself from any subjective, personal involvement in a story
Oversimplification
when a writer obscures or denies the complexity of the issues in an argument
Oxymoron
a figure of speech composed of contradictory words or phrases
Pacing
the movement of a literary piece from one point or one section to another
Parable
a short tale that teaches a moral; similar to but shorter than an allegory
Paradox
a statement that seems to contradict itself but that turns out to have a rational meaning
Parallelism
the technique of arranging words, phrases, clauses, or larger structures by placing them side by side and making them similar in form. Parallel structure may be as simple as listing two or three modifiers in a row to describe the same noun or verb; it may take the form of two or more of the same type of phrases that modify the same noun or verb; it may also take the form of two or more subordinate clauses that modify the same noun or verb
Parody
a work that ridicules the style of another work by imitating and exaggerating its elements
Pathetic Appeal; Pathos
When a writer tries to persuade the audience by appealing to their emotions. The aspects of a literary work that elicit sorrow or pity from the audience
Pedantic
a term used to describe writing that borders on lecturing
Persuasion
a form of argumentation, one of the four modes of discourse; language intended to convince through appeals to reason or emotion
Regionalism
an element in literature that conveys a realistic portrayal of a specific geographical locale, using the locale and its influences as a major part of the plot
Repetition
word or phrase used two or more times in close proximity
Rhetorical Modes
exposition, description, narration, argumentation
Rhetorical Question
one that does not expect an explicit answer
Sarcasm
harsh, caustic personal remarks to or about someone; less subtle than irony
Satire
a work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way
Speaker
the voice of a work; an author may speak as himself or herself as a fictitious person
Stereotype
a character who represents a trait that is usually attributed to a particular social or racial group and who lacks individuality
Style
an author's characteristic manner of expression - his or her diction, syntax, imagery, structure, and content all contribute
Subjectivity
a personal presentation of events and characters, influenced by the author's feelings and opinions
Syllogism
a form of reasoning in which two statements are made and a conclusion is drawn from them
Synecdoche
a figure of speech in which a party of something is used to represent a whole
Syntactic Fluency
ability to create a variety of sentence structures, appropriately complex and/or simple and varied in length
Syntactic Permutation
sentence structures that are extraordinarily complex and involved. They are often difficult for the reader to follow
Syntax
the grammatical structure of a sentence; the arrangement of words in a sentence
Theme
the central idea or "message" of a literary work
Thesis
the main idea of a piece of writing. It presents the author's assertion or claim.
Tone
the characteristic of emotion or attitude of an author toward the characters, subject, and audience
Transition
a word or phrase that links one idea to the next and carries the reader from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph
Understatement
the opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended
Voice
refers to two different areas of writing. One refers to the relationship between a sentence's subject and verb (active and passive).The second refers to the total "sound of a writer's style