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AP Rhetorical Terms

QuestionAnswer
Allegory Narrative form in which characters and actions have meanings outside themselves; characters are usually personifications of abstract qualities.
Allusion Figure of speech that makes a brief and casual reference to a historical or literary figure, event, or object to create a resonance in the reader or to apply symbolic meaning.
Ambiguity Use of language in which multiple meanings are possible.
Anachronism Use of historically inaccurate details in a text.
Analogy Comparison of two things that are alike in some respects. Metaphors and similies are two types.
Analysis The process in writing wherein one examines what the writer has done to create the effects she or he has gotten in a piece of writing.
Appeals to... : Rhetorical arguements in which the speaker appeals to authority, emotion, or logic.
Assonance Repition of identical or similiar vowel sounds, usually in successive or proximate words.
Catharsis Purification or cleansing of the spirit of the viewer or reader through the emotions of pity and terror as a witness to tragedy.
Cliche A commonplace expression that reveals the writers lack of imagination to use fresher, more vivid language.
Climactic The arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in order of increasing importance.
Colloquial/Colloquialism Ordinary language, vernacular.
Consonance The repetition of two or more consanants with a change in intervening vowels.
Deductive The reasoning process by which a conclusion is drawn from a set of premises and contains no more facts than these premises.
Deus Ex Machina As in Greek theater, use of an artifical device or contrived solution to solve a difficult situation, usually introduced suddenly and unexpectedly.
Devices A particular word pattern or combination of words used in a literary work to evoke a desired effect or arouse a desired reaction in a reader.
Ellipsis Deleberate omission of a word or words which are implied by the context. Also name of (...).
Epigraph Quote set at the beginning of a literary work or at it's divisions to set a tone or suggest a theme.
Epitaph A piece of writing in praise of a deceased person.
Ethos Appeal to moral elements of right and wrong, ethics.
Expletive A single word or short phrase intended to emphasize surrounding words.
Explication Interpretation or analysis of facts.
Genre The major catogory in which a literary work fits. Include prose, poetry, and drama.
Homily A serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice, a 'sermon'.
Hyperbole Overstatement characterized by exaggerated language.
Inductive Conclusion or type of reasoning whereby observation or information about a part of a class is applied to the class as a whole.
Inference The process of arriving at a conclusion from a hint, implication, or suggestion.
Juxtaposition Placing of two items side by side to create a certain effect, reveal an attitude, or accomplish some other purpose.
Logical Fallacies Errors in reasoning that occur in arguements.
Logos Use or appeal to reason to determine a characters actions or persuade to an argument.
Metaphor Implicit comparison or identifaction of one thing with another unlike itself without the use of a verbal signal such as like or as.
Nostalgia Desire to return in thought or fact to a former time.
Oxymoron A figure of speech that combines two apparently contradictory elements, as in 'jumbo shrimp'.
Paradox A statement that seems contradictory, but is actually true.
Paraphrase Putting someone else's ideas into your own words.
Parenthesis Inversion of some verbal unit in a position that interrupts the normal syntactical flow of the sentences. ( ) symbols.
Parallelism Recurrent syntactical similiarity where several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed alike to show that the ideas in parts or sentences equal in importance.
Parody A satirical imitation of a work of art for purpose of ridiculing its style or subject.
Pathos The use of or appeal to emotional or sentimental elements to describe a character's actions or persuade to an argument.
Persona The voice or figure of the author who tells and structures the story and who may or may not share the values of the actual author.
Personification Treating nonhuman objects as if they were a person by giving it human qualities.
Perspective A character's view of a situation or events in a story.
Propaganda Information or rumor deliberately spread to help or harm a person, group, or institution.
Realism Literary practice of attempting to describe life and nature without idealization and with attention to detail.
Reflective A piece of writing that gives considered thought to something.
Repetition Repeating or repeated action.
Retrospection Looking back on things past.
Rhetoric The art of using language effectively to serve the writer's purpose, orignially referred to speech-making. It now encompases composition, and is divided into exposition, narration, description, and arguementation.
Rhetorical device Particular use of word patterns and styles to clarify, make associations, and focues the writing in a piece of literature.
Rhetorical question Asking a question for the purpose of eliciting an answer but not for the purpose of asserting or denying something obliquely. A question not meant to be answered verbally.
Sarcasm A sharp caustic remark. A form of verbal irony that is harshly critical.
Satire Humorous, witty criticism of people's foolish, thoughtless, or evil behaviour.
Speaker The person- not necessarily the author- who is the voice of the poem or story.
Symbolism A person, place, thing, event, or pattern in a literary work that designates itself and at the same time figuratively represents something else.
Syntax The way words are put together to form phrases, cluases, and sentences.
Tone The attitude a literary work takes towards its subject and theme. Reflects author's attitude.
Transition Writer's ability to move the reader smoothly along the course of ideas.
Understatement Deliberate expression of an idea or event as less important that it actually is or was.
Wit In modern usage, intellectualy amusing language that surprises or delights.
Eulogy A speech or writing in praise of a person or thing; an oration in honor of a deceased person.
Euphemism Subsitituion of a milder or less direct expression for one that is harsh or blunt.
Created by: buiec on 2009-02-04



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