Literary Terms

  1. Ad Hominem
    A claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument
  2. Ad Misericordiam/Bathos
    Insincere ond/or excessively sentimental demonstration of pathos
  3. Allegory
    Rhetorical strategy of extending a metaphor through an entire narration so that objects, persons, and actions in the text are equated with meanings that lie outside the text
  4. Alliteration
    Repetition of the same sound or letter at the beginning of consecutive words or syllables
  5. Allusion
    An indirect reference, often to another text or historic event
  6. Anadiplosis
    Repetition of the last word of one line or clause to begin the next
  7. Analogy
    Extended comparison between two seemingly dissimilar things
  8. Anaphora
    Repetition of words at the beginning of successive clauses
  9. Anecdote
    Short account of an interesting event
  10. Annotation
    Explanatory or critical notes added to the text
  11. Antecedent
    Noun to which a later pronoun refers
  12. Antimetabole
    Repetition of words in an inverted order to sharpen a contrast
  13. Antithesis
    Parallel structure that juxtaposes contrasting ideas
  14. Approval to False Authority
    Person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject
  15. Aphorism
    Short, astute statement of a general truth
  16. Apostrophe
    Figure of speech in which some absent or nonexistent person or thing is addressed as if present and capable of understanding
  17. Appositive
    Word or phrase that renames a nearby noun or pronoun
  18. Archaic Diction
    Use of words common to an earlier time period; antiquated language
  19. Argument
    Statement put forth and supported by evidence
  20. Aristotelian Triangle
    Diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the relationship among the speaker, the subject, and the audience
  21. Assertion
  22. Assonance
    Repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words
  23. Assumption
    Beelief or statement taken for granted without proof
  24. Asyndeton
    Leaving out conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses
  25. Attitude
    Speaker's position on subject as revealed through his or her tone
  26. Audience
    One's listener or readership; those to whom a speech or piece of writing is addressed
  27. Authority
    A reliable, respected source - someone with knowledge
  28. Bandwagon
    Threat of rejection by one's peers is substituted for evidence in an "argument"
  29. Begging the Question
    Making an argument, the conclusion of which is based on an unstated or unproven assumption
  30. Bias
    Predjudice or predisposition toward one side of a subject or issue
  31. Cacophony
    Harsh, discordant mixture of sounds
  32. Chiasmus
    Repetition of ideas in inverted order
  33. Cite
    Identifying a part of a piece of writing as being derived from a source
  34. Claim
    Assertion, usually supported by evidence
  35. Cliche
    Trite or overused expression or idea
  36. Close Reading
    Careful reading that is attentive to organization, figurative language, sentence structure, vocabulary, and other literary and structural elements of the text
  37. Colloquial/ism
    Informal or conversational use of language
  38. Common Ground
    Shared beliefs, values, or positions
  39. Complex Sentence
    Includes one independent clause and at least one dependent clause
  40. Conceit
    Elaborate or strained figure of speech, usually a metaphor or simile
  41. Concession
    Reluctant acknowledgement or yielding
  42. Connotation
    That which is implied by a word, as apposed to the word's literal meaning
  43. Context
    Words, events, or circumstances that help determine meaning
  44. Contradictory Premises
    Argument that draws a conclusion from inconsistent or incompatible premises
  45. Coordination
    Grammatical equivalence between parts of a sentence, often through a coordinating conjunction such as and, or but
  46. Counterargument
    A challenge to a position; on opposing argument
  47. Credible
    Worthy of belief; trustworthy
  48. Cumulative Sentence
    An independent clause followed by subordinate clauses or phrases that supply additional details
  49. Declarative Sentence
    A sentence that makes a statement
  50. Deduction
    Reasoning from general to specific
  51. Denotation
    Literal meaning of a word; it's dictionary definition
  52. Dialectical Journal
    Double-column journal in which one writes a quotation in one column and reflections on that quotation in the other column
  53. Diction
    Word choice
  54. Dicto Simplicter
    General rule is treated as universally true regardless of the circumstances
  55. Didactic
    Writing that has the primary purpose of teaching a lesson or moral
  56. Documentation
    Biographic information about the sources used in a piece of writing
  57. Dogmatism
    Pushing one doctrine as the only possible approach at a topic
Card Set
Literary Terms
AP Language and Composition key terms 2012-13