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103 terms

Rhetorical Strategies and Stylistic Devices

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Diction
the word choices made by a writer (diction can be described as: formal, semi-formal, ornate,
informal, technical, etc.)
Figurative Lang.
language employing one or more figures of speech (simile, metaphor,imagery, etc.)
Rhetoric
the art of presenting ideas in a clear, effective, and persuasive manner ("Rhetoric is the art of speaking well.")
Rhetorical devices
literary techniques used to heighten the effectiveness of expression (allegory, anaphora, colloquilism,ect.)
Rhetorical Pattern
format or structure followed by a writer such as comparison/contrast or process
analysis (definition, description, compare & contrast)
Structure
the arrangement or framework of a sentence, paragraph, or entire work (coherence)
Style
the choices a writer makes; the combination of distinctive features of a literary work (when analyzing style, one may consider diction, figurative language, sentence structure, etc.)
Syntax
the manner in which words are arranged into sentences (The leaf falls off the tree, The tree falls off the leaf)
Theme
a central idea of a work (The best things in life are free)
Thesis
the primary position taken by a writer or speaker (The weather in Arizona is unpredictable, sometimes its sunny, other times its cloudy)
Tone
the attitude of a writer, usually implied, toward the subject or audience (angry, sad, happy, etc)
Absolute
a word free from limitations or qualifications("best," "all", "unique," "perfect")
Ad hominem argument
an argument attacking an individual's character rather than his or her position on an issue (hating a polititian not for where thay stand but for his pompous attitude)
Allegory
a literary work in which characters, objects, or actions represent abstractions (Santa Clause can be an allegory for generocity)
Allusion
a reference to another work of literature, person, or event (Shakespear, MLK Jr.)
Analogy
a comparison of two different things that are similar in some way (I am as graceful as a refrigerator falling down a flight of stairs.)
Anaphora
repetition of the same word or group of words at the beginning of successive clauses (Richard D. Bury: "In books I find the dead as if they were alive; in books I foresee things to come; in books warlike affairs are set forth; from books come forth the laws of peace.")
Anecdote
a brief narrative that focuses on a particular incident or event
(A parable from the bible)
Anthypophora
A figure of reasoning in which one asks and then immediately answers one's own rhetorical questions (or raises and then settles imaginary objections). Reasoning aloud. (And do you think I left him? Yes I did.)
Antithesis
a statement in which two opposing ideas are balanced (Give me liberty, or give me death)
Aphorism
a concise, statement that expresses succinctly a general truth or idea, often using rhyme or balance (we live to die)
Argumentation
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by reason and logic, and asserts a position, belief or conclusion (Pink flowers should be everyone's favorite, because they are the most beautiful)
Assonance
Repetition of similar vowel sounds, preceded and followed by different consonants, in the stressed syllables of adjacent words. (The sergeant asked him to bomb the lawn with hotpots.)
Asyndeton
a construction in which elements are presented in a series without conjunctions ("They spent the day wondering, searching, thinking, understanding.")
Balanced sentence
sentence—a sentence in which words, phrases, or clauses are set off against each other to emphasize a contrast (George Orwell: "If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.")
Cause/Effect
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by its analysis of why something happens, in contrast to Process, which describes how something happens. Often links situations and events in time, with causes preceding events.(Because he didn't show up, she dumped him in a text.)
Chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed
(The rain came down and up went the umbrella.)
Classification/Divison
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by division, which is the process of breaking a whole into parts, and classification, which is the often subsequent process of
sorting individual items into categories. (dividing music into different genres and classifying them)
Climax
generally, the arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in an order of increasing importance, often in parallel structure ("The concerto was applauded at the house of Baron von Schnooty, it was praised highly at court, it was voted best concerto of the year by the Academy, it was considered by Mozart the highlight of his career, and it has become known today as the best concerto in the world.")
Colloquilism
informal words or expressions not usually acceptable in formal writing. (What's good y'all)
Compare/Contrast
Contrast—a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by, in its narrowest
sense, how two or more things are similar (compare) and/or how two or more things are different(contrast).(We both like ice cream but he likes chocolate and I like strawberry)
Complex sentence
a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause(There are dreams that cannot die)
Compound sentence
a sentence with two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by one or more conjunctions(Joe waited for the train, but the train was late)
Compound-complex sentence
a sentence with two or more principal clauses and one or more subordinate clauses (Rachael Ray explained how cookies are made, and we practiced her techniques at home)
Conceit
a fanciful, particularly clever extended metaphor (Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 and John
Donne's "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" are examples)
Concrete details
details that relate to or describe actual, specific things or events(soft, stench, red, loud or bitter)
Connotation
the implied or associative meaning of a word (slender vs. skinny; cheap vs. thrifty)
Cumulative(loose) sentence
a sentence in which the main independent clause is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases (He stopped the man in his tracks, forgetting he had no time to go back, so he had to chose another route, something much different than the first, he couldn't afford to lose his family.)
Declarative sentence
a sentence that makes a statement or declaration (The children were happy to see you.)
Deductive reasoning
reasoning in which a conclusion is reached by stating a general principle and
then applying that principle to a specific case (The sun rises every morning; therefore, the sun will rise on
Tuesday morning.)
Definition
a pattern of writing or speaking which strives to inform the audience on what a term means and how it is different from other terms in its class. (color combining red and blue: a dark color that is formed as a pigment by combining red and blue)
Denotation
the literal meaning of a word (lungs; the organs we use to breathe)
Description
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by physical descriptions of a person, place or thing. It is a pattern that relies on the five senses to inform it.(He wore a fancy cashmere coat with penny sized gold buttons)
Dialect
a variety of speech characterized by its own particular grammar or pronunciation, often associated with a particular geographical region ("Y'all" = Southern dialect)
Didactic statement
having the primary purpose of teaching or instructing
(Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1711), which offers a range of advice about critics and criticism)
Dissonance
harsh, inharmonious, or discordant sounds (Clash, Clink)
Ellipsis
the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from
the context ("Some people prefer cats; others, dogs.")
Epigram
a brief, pithy, and often paradoxical saying (A government with lots of rules, has lots of corruption.)
Epigraph
a saying or statement on the title page of a work, or used as a heading of a chapter or other section of a work (the epigraph of E. L. Doctorow's "Ragtime" reads: "Do not play this piece fast. It is never right to play Ragtime fast.")
Ethos
the persuasive appeal of one's character, or credibility(I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV)
Euphemism
an indirect, less offensive way of saying something that is considered unpleasant (mobile community" instead of trailer park)
Exclamatory sentence
a sentence expressing strong feeling, usually punctuated with an exclamation mark ("I can't believe it! Reading and writing actually paid off!")
exemplification
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by using one or more particular cases, or examples, to illustrate or explain a general point or an abstract concept. (a poem)
Hyperbole
intentional exaggeration to create an effect. (His brain is size of a pea.)
idiom
an expression in a given language that cannot be understood from the literal meaning of the words in the expression; or, a regional speech or dialect ("fly on the wall", "cut to the chase", etc.)
imagery
the use of figures of speech to create vivid images that appeal to one of the senses (The autumn colored dry, crinkley leaves slowly fall down to the yellow grass.)
imperative sentence
a sentence that gives a command. (Go away! Please go away)
implication
a suggestion an author or speaker makes (implies) without stating it directly. (the author/speaker implies; the reader/audience infers.)
inductive reasoning
deriving general principles from particular facts or instances ("Every cat I have ever seen has four legs; cats are four-legged animals.)
inference
a conclusion on draws (infers) based on premises or evidence (She dropped the chip because the bag is in her hands)
interrogative sentence
a sentence that asks a question. (Where were you this morning at 9 am?)
Invective
an intensely vehement, highly emotional verbal attack (You're a liar!)
Inverted syntax
a sentence constructed so that the predicate comes before the subject (ex: In the woods I am walking.)
irony
the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually occurs (situational, verbal, dramatic) (She was drinking a coke bottle when the cola truck passed by.)
Jargon
the specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or profession (MOTD - Message Of The Day)
Juxtaposition
placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast ('pretty ugly')
Litotes
a type of understatement in which an idea is expressed by negating its opposite (describing a particularly horrific scene by saying, "It was not a pretty picture."
Logos
appeal to reason or logic (high school dropout rate for black and Hispanic males is the highest, with rates at ...)
Malapropism
the mistaken substitution of one word for another word that sounds similar ("The doctor wrote a subscription.")
Maxim
a concise statement, often offering advice; an adage (it is a general rule that equity does not aid a party at fault.)
Metaphor
a direct comparison of two different things (Her eyes are bright stars)
Metonymy
substituting the name of one object for another object closely associated with it ("The pen [writing] is mightier than the sword [war/fighting].)
Mood
the emotional atmosphere of a work (If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack. To sit in the synagogue and pray.")
Motif
a standard theme, element, or dramatic situation that recurs in various works (In the poem "The Raven," by Edgar Allan Poe, for example, the word nevermore is a motif appearing at the end of each stanza)
Narraration
is a dominant pattern of writing or speaking which strives to tell a story by presenting events in an orderly, logical sequence. Conventionally utilizes the first or third person perspective. (I have discovered that when reflecting on my childhood, it is not the trips that come to mind, instead there are details from everyday doings;)
Non sequitur
an inference that does not follow logically from the premises (literally, "does not
follow")
Paradox
an apparently contradictory statement that actually contains some truth ("Whoever loses
his life, shall find it.")
Parallelism
the use of corresponding grammatical or syntactical forms (I looked to the left and walked. She looked to the right and ran.)
Parody
a humorous imitation of a serious work (Weird Al Yankovich's songs, and the Scary Movie series are examples)
Parenthetical Comment
a comment that interrupts the immediate subject, often to quality or explain ()
Pathos
the quality in a work that prompts the reader to feel pity
(I felt sad for him when he told me about his childhood)
Pedantic
often used to describe a writing style, characterized by an excessive display of learning or scholarship, characterized by being narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously learned (what he understands is in his understanding)
Personification
endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics (The house was vacant and lonely)
Philippic
a strong verbal denunciation. The term comes from the orations of Demosthenes against Philip of Macedonia in the fourth century. (your speech mad me want to kill myself)
Polysyndeton
the use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural (John Henry Newman: "And to set forth the right standard, and to train according to it, and to help forward all students towards it according to their various capacities, this I conceive to be the business of a University.")
Process
a pattern of writing or speaking which is characterized by it's explanation of how to do something or how something occurs. It presents a sequence of steps and shows how
those steps lead to a particular result. (Can be seen often in recipes or directional manuals, a discussion of steps)
Rhetorical question
a question asked merely for rhetorical effect and not requiring an answer (Do you think I care?)
Sarcasm
harsh, cutting language or tone intended to ridicule (You're as smart as Albert Einstein ever was)
Satire
the use of humor to emphasize human weaknesses or imperfections in social institutions (Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, The Simpsons, etc.)
Scheme
an artful deviation from the ordinary arrangement of words (anaphora, anastrophe, antithesis are some examples of schemes)
Sibilance
having, containing, or producing the sound of or a sound resembling that of the s or the sh in sash. ("And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain.")
Similie
comparing with the use of like and as (The sun is like a yellow ball)
Simple sentence
a sentence consisting of one independent clause and no dependent clause (I ran to the store.)
Solecism
non standard grammatical usage; a violation of grammatical rules (ex: unflammable; they was)
Stream of Consciousness
a technique characterized by the continuous unedited flow of conscious
experience through the mind recorded on paper. (Often used in "interior monologue," when the reader is privy to a character or narrator's thoughts.)
Syllepsis
a construction in which one word is used in two different senses ("After he threw the ball, he threw a fit.")
Syllogrism
a three-part deductive argument in which a conclusion is based on a major premise and a minor premise ("All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal.")
Synecdoche
using one part of an object to represent the entire object (for example, referring to a car simply as "wheels")
Synesthesia
describing one kind of sensation in terms of another ("a loud color," "a sweet sound")
Tautology
needless repetition which adds no meaning or understanding
("Widow woman", "free gift")
Trope
an artful deviation from the ordinary or principal signification of a word (hyperbole, metaphor, and personification are some examples of tropes)
Understatement
the deliberate representation of something as lesser in magnitude than it (The sun is as hot as my stove top)
Vernacular
the everyday speech of a particular country or region, often involving nonstandard usage (native language, navajo)