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AP Nonfiction Terms

AP Nonfiction Terms and Vocabulary

absolute a term applied to anything that cannot be modified, qualified, or limited (unique, never, always, perfect)
abstract language language describing ideas and qualities rather than observable or specific things, people or places (love, honor, liberty)
acerbic acid in temper, mood, or tone
adjective words that describe nouns or pronouns telling which one, what kind, and how many
adverb a word ususally serving as a midifier and expressing some relation of manner/quality/place/time/degree/number/cause/opposition/affirmation/denial and also serving to connect and express comment on clause content
alliteration the purposeful repition of initial consonant sounds
allusion a reference to something/one well known
analogy explanation based upon a comparison that explains or describes one subject by pointing out its similarities to another subject
anaphora repitition device, in which the same word/expression is repeated at the beginning of 2+ lines/clauses/sentences for effect
anecdote a short, often autobiographical, narrative told to achieve a purpose such as to prvide an example/illustration/thematic truth
antecedent the word preceding a pronoun to which it refers
antithesis a direct contrast of structurally parallel word groupings, to contrast; in argumentation, a second argument/principle brought forward to oppose a first proposition or thesis
aphorism staement of general principle, memorably espressed by condensing much wisdom into few words
apostrophe figure of speech in which a speaker directly addresses an inanimate object, absent person, or personified quality
attitude the author's feelings toward a subject that is revealed by the tone
avarice greed
chiasmus parallel structure in inverted form (not a-b-a-b but, a-b-b-a)
conceit elaborate, complex metaphor or simile comparing two extremely dissimilar things
circular reasoning form of fallacy, 'begging the question', may seem OK but merely assumes what it is trying to prove
concrete example characterized by or belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events that are specific, particular, real, tangible
cumulative sentence aka loose sentence, makes sense if ended before the actual end, begins with the main idea(s) and expands adding details/particulars
cynicism having/showing atitude of contemptous distrust of human nature and motives reflecting belief that human conduct primarily motivated by self-interest
deductive reasoning inference in which the conclusion follows grom general premises (general -> specific)
detached exhibiting an aloof objectivity, ususally free from prejudice or self-interest
didactic term used to describe writing/stories that teaches a lesson/moral or provides an example of correct behavior/thinking. tone intended to instruct or moralize
elevated language being morally or intellectually on a high plane
ellipsis the deliberate omission of word(s) implid by context and parallel structure
fanciful marked by unrestrained imagination rather than by reason and experience
hyperbole a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement
imagery descriptive or figurative language used to appeal to the senses
indict to charge with a fault, offense, or crime
inductive reasoning inference of a generalized conclusion from particular instances (specific -> general)
jocular jesting, playful, jolly
loose sentence aka cumulative sentence, makes sense if brought to a close before its actual ending
metaphor a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else
metaphysical of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses
metonymy figure of speech in which the name of one object is subsituted for that of another closely related object
mock epic a narrative poem that parodies the epic form and is usually used for satire
objective independent of individual bias or subjectivity
oxymoron a two-word figure of speech that combines two opposing/contradicting ideas
parable a short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle
paradox an assertion semmingly opposed to common sense, but may still have truth in it
paralleliam the repitition of grammatical structure
periodic sentence a sentence that places the main idea/ central thought at the end of the sentence, after all introductory elements, creates suspense
personification a type of figurative language in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics
pun a play on words based on different meanings of words that sound alike
proselytize to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause
prudence good judgment; sagacity or shrewdness in management of affairs
qualifier a word (like usually, almost, often) or word group that limits or modifies the meaning of another word(s)
simile figure of sppech that uses like or as to make a comparison between basically unlike objects
subjective modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background; biased
subjunctive mood expressed by verb forms (plural) that represent a state not as fact but as contigent or possible such as with doubt or desire (I wish i were you, if I were you,...)
surreal having the intense irrationality of a dream, unlike/beyond reality
syllepsis a construction in which one word seems to be in the same grammatical relation to 2+ words but, in fact, one is not (He lost both his coat and his temper) one is literal the other figurative
syllogism a form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion (If A is true, and B is true, than C must be true)
synecdoche a form of metaphor in which a part of something is used to stand for the whole thing
synesthesia the concurrent response of 2+ of the senses to the stimulation of one (blue note, loud shirt)
tautology unnecessary repitition of words (free gift, future plans)
verbal a verb not acting as a verb but as a describer, an adjective, or a noun
Created by: dianae3