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40 terms

AP Seminar Rhetorical/Language Devices

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Allegory
The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning.
Alliteration
The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words.
Allusion
A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work or art.
Analogy
A similarity or comparison between two different things or the relationship between them.
Anaphora
Deliberate repetition of a word or phrase.
Anecdote
A story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate a point.
Antithesis
The opposition or contrast of ideas: the direct opposite. The ideas are balanced by word, phrase, clause, or paragraphs.
Aphorism
A terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or a moral principle.
Apostrophe
A figure of speech that directly addresses an absent or imaginary person or a personified abstraction, such as liberty or love.
Asyndeton
Lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses, or words.
Colloquialism
The use of slang or in-formalities in speech or writing. Not generally acceptable for formal writing, colloquialisms give a work a conversational tone.
Deduction
The process of moving from a general rule to a specific example.
Dialect
The re-creation of regional spoken language, such as a Southern dialect.
Diction
The author's choice of words that creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning, especially with regard to their correctness, clearness, or effectiveness.
Epistrophe
The repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences.
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 text.
Figurative Language
An intentional departure from the normal order or meaning of words. Not meant to be taken literally, but is used to intensify the work and stir the readers' imagination.
Imagery
The author's use of sensory related words to project a picture and evoke the readers' emotions. Deals with the five senses: sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing.
Induction
The process that moves from a given series of specifics to a generalization.
Irony
Indicates an intention opposite of what is actually stated. A recognition of reality different from its appearance.
Logos
Refers to the use of logic, reasons, facts, statistics, data, and numbers used to carefully connect the reasons to supporting evidence.
Metaphor
A direct comparison between dissimilar things.
Metonymy
A figure of speech in which a representative term is used for a larger idea.
Narration
The telling of a story in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama. One of the modes of discourse.
Oxymoron
An image or idea of contradictory terms (bittersweet, pretty ug;y).
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 structure 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.
Pathos
An appeal to emotion that can be used as a means to persuade.
Personification
The assigning of human qualities to inanimate objects or concepts.
Polysyndeton
The use of a conjunction between each word, phrase, or clause.
Repetition
Word or phrase used two or more times in close proximity.
Rhetoric
The entire process of written communication.
Rhetorical Question
A question used to pose an idea to be considered by the speaker or audience but does not require an explicit answer.
Simile
An indirect comparison that uses the words "like" or "as" to link the differing items in comparison.
Symbol
Something in a literary work that stands for something else.
Synecdote
A figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative of the whole.
Syntactical Inversion
The reversing of the customary order of elements in a sentence or phrase.
Syntax
The way in which words are combined to make a sentence. Deals with the grammatical structure of the sentence and word order.
Tone
Reveals the author's attitude toward the subject.
Understatement
The opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique fr developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.