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AP English

Rhetoric Devices and Terms commonly seen on the AP English Language Exam

allusion An instance of indirect reference
ambiguity The quality or state of being ambiguous; doubtfulness or uncertainty, particularly as to the signification of language, arising from its admitting of more than one meaning; an equivocal word or expression
analogy A resemblance of relations; an agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances or effects, when the things are otherwise entirely different
anaphora A repetition of a word or of words at the beginning of two or more successive clauses
antithesis The direct or exact opposite
apostrophe The direct address of an absent or imaginary person or of a personified abstraction, especially as a digression in the course of a speech or composition
attitude The posture, action, or disposition of a figure or a statue
detail To relate in particulars; to particularize; to report minutely and distinctly; to enumerate; to specify; as, he detailed all the facts in due order
diction Choice and use of words in speech or writing
ethos The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement
euphemism The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive
figure of speech An expression that uses language in a nonliteral way, such as a metaphor or synedoche, or in a structured or unusual way, such as anaphora or chiasmus, or that employs sounds, such as alliteration or assonance, to achieve a rhetorical effect.
hyperbole A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect
imagery The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas
logos logic, reasoning
metaphor a figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity
mood Temper of mind; temporary state of the mind in regard to passion or feeling; humor; as, a melancholy mood; a suppliant mood
organization the arrangement of a work of literature
oxymoron conjoining contradictory terms
paradox a nonsensical underlying truth
pathos quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow);
perspective a way of regarding situations or topics
point of view A manner of viewing things; an attitude
repetition The act or process or an instance of repeating or being repeated
rhetorical question A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect
sentence structure the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences
simile a comparison using "like" or "as"
syntax That part of grammar which treats of the construction of sentences; the due arrangement of words in sentences in their necessary relations, according to established usage in any language
tone the quality of a person's voice
understatement a statement that is restrained in ironic contrast to what might have been said
Ad hominem "against the man" When a writer personally attacks his or her opponents instead of their arguments
Allegory A story, fictional or nonfictional, in which characters, things, and events represent qualities or concepts; they reveal an abstract truth
Anecdote A brief recounting of a relevant episode; usually inject humor or develop a point
Asyndeton Commas used with no conjunction
Begging the question often called circular reasoning, begging the question occurs when the believablity of the evidence depends on the believability of the claim
Didactic used to describe fiction or nonfiction that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model of correct behavior or thinking
Elliptical Sentence structure which leaves out something in the second half.
Epigraph When a writer uses the same term in two different senses in an argument
Inversion subject first, then verb, then complement; the element that is first is emphasized
Freight-train sentence consisting of three or more very short independent clauses joined by conjunction
Non-sequiter When on statement isn't logically connected to another
Polysyndeton Sentence with uses "and" or another conjunction without commas
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc When a writer implies that because one thing follow another, the first caused the second. But sequence is not cause.
Red herring When a writer raises an irrelevant issue to draw attention away from the real issue
Persona A writer oftens adopts a fictional voice (or mask) to tell a story.
Satire A work that reveals a critcial attitude toward some element of human behavior by portraying it in an extreme way. Satire targets groups rather than individuals
Straw Man When a writer argues against a claim that nobody actually holds or is universally considered weak. Setting up a straw man diverts attention from the real issue
Tricolon Sentence consisting of three parts of equal importance and length, usually three independent clauses
Syntactic Permutation Sentence structures that are extraordinarily complex and involved. Often difficult for a reader to follow
Aphorism A terse statement which expresses a general truth or moral principle. Can be a memorable summation of the author's point.
Connotation The nonliteral, associative meaning of a wrod; the implied suggested meaning
denotation the strict literal meaning ; devoid of any emotion , attitude or color
syllogism a deductive system of formal logic that presents two premises- first one a major and the second a minor
Created by: Carlooloo18