Glossary of Rhetorical Terms - AP English Language and Composition Terms Review (Mrs. Mills's Terms)

  1. -A narrative in which the characters, behavior, and even the setting demonstrate multiple levels of meaning and significance.
    Allegory
  2. -Use of a person, place, thing event, or pattern that figuratively represents or "stands for" something else.
    Symbol or Symbolism
  3. -A syntactical structure in which conjunctions are omitted in a series, usually producing more rapid prose.
    Asyndeton

    *For example: "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered)," supposedly said by Julius Caesar.

    The definition of asyndeton is the writing style of leaving out several conjunctions (such as "as" or "and") from a sentence or a group of related sentences. An example of asyndeton is someone writing the following, "She spoke.
  4. -An argumentative ploy where the arguer sidesteps the question or the conflict, evades or ignores the real question.
    Begging the question
  5. -A literary, historical, religious, or mythological reference. For example, one might contrast the life and tribulations of Frederick Douglass to the trials of Jobe.
    Allusion
  6. -A figure of speech and generally a syntactical structure wherin the order of the terms in the first half of a parallel clause is reversed in the second.
    Chiasmus

    *For example: 'He thinks I am but a fool. A fool, perhaps I am'.
  7. -In argumentation, an assertion of something as fact.
    Claim
  8. -The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, usually in successive or proximate words.
    Assonance 

    *The alliteration example also demonstrates this: "She sells sea shells by the sea shore."
  9. -The regular repetition of the same words or phrases at the beginning of successive phrases of clauses.
    Anaphora

    *The following is an example: "To raise a happy, healthful, and hopeful child, it takes a family, it takes teachers; it takes a clergy; it takes business people; it takes those who protect our health and safety; it takes community leaders' it takes all of us" (Hillary Clinton, National Convention Address, 1996)
  10. -Term identifying the diction of the common, ordinary folks, especially in a specific region or area.
    Colloquialism
  11. -A concise statement designed to make a point or illustrate a commonly held belief.
    Aphorism

    *For example: "Spare the rod and spoil the child."
  12. -A mode of discourse in which two or more things are compared, contrasted, or both.
    Compare and Contrast

    *On the 1993 English Language exam, students were asked to contrast two marriage proposals taken from literature, analyzed for the use of the narrators made of rhetorical devices and their argumentative success.
  13. -A comparison of two very unlike things that is drawn out within a piece of literature, in particular an extended metaphor within a poem.
    Conceit
  14. -The juxtaposition of sharply contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words, phrases, grammatical structure, or ideas.
    Antithesis 

    *For example: Alexander Pope reminds us that "To err is human to forgive divine."
  15. -An address or invocation to something inanimate.
    Apostrophe
  16. -The implied, suggested, or underlying meaning of a word or phrase.
    Connotation

    *It is opposite of denotation which is the "dictionary definition" of the word.
  17. -The manner in which a writer combines and arranges words, shapes ideas, and utilizes syntax and structure.
    Style

    • *It is the distinctive manner of expression.
    •       *This is often queried on the English Language test. In particular, when two passages on the same topic are presented, you must, pay the most attention to this.
  18. -An accepted manner, model, or tradition.
    Convention
  19. -The method of argument in which specific statements and conclusions are drawn from general principals: movement from the general to specific.
    Deductive Reason or Deduction
  20. -The specific word choice an author uses to persuade or convey tone, purpose, or effect.
    Diction
  21. -Writing or speech that has an instructive purpose or a lesson. It is often associated with a dry, pompous presentation, regardless of its innate values to the reader/listener.
    Didactic

    • *From the from the Geek, meaning "good teaching"
    •       *Some of Aesop's fables are an example of this kind of writing.
  22. -The central or dominant idea or focus of a work.
    Theme

    *The statement a passage makes about its subject.
  23. -In rhetoric, the repetition of a phrase at the end of successive sentences.
    Epistrophe

    • *Opposite of Anaphora!!!
    •      *For example: "If women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work, their families will flourish." (Hillary Clinton, October 1, 1995)
  24. -Writing in praise of a dead-person, most often inscribed upon a headstone.
    Epitaph
  25. -An indirect, kinder, or less harsh or hurtful way of expressing unpleasant information.
    Euphemism 

    *For instance: Downsized instead of fired.
  26. -A series of comparison within a piece of writing.
    Extended Metaphor

    *If they are consistently one concept this is also known as conceit.
  27. -(also known as retrospection) an earlier event is inserted into the normal chronology of the narration.
    Flashback
  28. -The attitude the narrator/writer takes toward a subject and theme.
    Tone
  29. -A type or class of literature, such as epic, narrative, poetry, biography, history.
    Genre
  30. -A sermon, but more contemporary uses include any serious talk, speech, or lecture on moral or spiritual life.
    Homily

    *John Donne was known for these!
  31. -Overstatement characterized by exaggerated language, usually to make a point or draw attention.
    Hyperbole

    *If in a state of exhaustion you say, "I'm really beat"
  32. -Broadly defined, any sensory detail or evocation in a work; more narrowly the use of figurative language to evoke a feeling to call to mind an idea, or to describe an object.
    Imagery 

    *Basically, it involves any or all of the five senses.
  33. -A conclusion or proposition arrived at by considering facts, observations, or some other specific data.
    Inductive Reasoning
  34. -The contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant. The intended meaning is often the opposite of what is stated, often suggesting light sarcasm.
    Irony
  35. -What the author/narrator says is actually the opposite of what is meant.
    Verbal Irony
  36. -When events end up the opposite of what is expected.
    Situational Irony
  37. -In drama and fiction, facts or situations are known to the reader or audience but not to the characters.
    Dramatic Irony
  38. -Parallel structure in which the parallel elements are similar not only in grammatical structure, but also in length.
    Isocolon

    *For example: The Biblical admonition, "Many are called, but few are chosen,"
  39. -The location of one thing adjacent to another to create an effect reveal an attitude or accomplish some other purpose.
    Juxtaposition
  40. -A figure of speech that emphasizes its subject by conscious understatement, for instance, the understated "not bad" as a comment about something especially well done.
    Litote

    For example: George Orwell wrote, "Last week I saw a woman flayed and you would hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse"
  41. -(a term from syntax)  A long sentence that starts with its main clause, which is followed by several dependent clauses and modifying phrases.
    Loose Sentence

    *For example: "The child ran, frenzied and ignoring all hazards, as if being chased by demons."
  42. -One thing pictured as if it were something else, suggesting a likeness or analogy.
    Metaphor
  43. -A figure of speech in which an attribute or commonly associated feature is used to name or designate something, as in "Buckingham Palace announced today...
    Metonymy
  44. -The way in which information is presented in written or spoken form.
    Mode of Discourse or Rhetorical Mode 

    • *The Greeks believed there were only four modes of discourse: narration, description, exposition (cause and effect, process analysis, comparison/contrast), and argumentation. 
    •       *Contemporary thought often includes other modes, such as personal observation and narrative reflection.
  45. -A feeling or ambience resulting from the tone of a piece as well as the writer/narrator's attitude and point of view.
    Mood

    *It is a "feeling" that establishes the atmosphere in a work of literature or other discourse.
  46. -Describes words, phrases, or tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or bookish.
    Pedantic
  47. -A mode of discourse that tells a story of some sort and it is based on sequences of connected events, usually presented in a straightforward, chronological framework.
    Narrative
  48. -A word capturing or approximating the sound of what it describes.
    Onomatopoeia 

    *"Buzz" is a good example!!!
  49. -A figure of speech that combines two apparently contradictory elements.
    Oxymoron

    *For example: "Wise fool," "Baggy tights," or "Deafening silence."
  50. -The use of similar forms in writing for nouns, verbs, phrases, or thoughts.
    Parallel Structure or Parallelism 

    • *For example: "Lane enjoys reading, writing, and skiing."
    •      *In prose, parallel, recurrent syntactical similarity where several parts of a sentence or several sentences are expressed alike to show that their ideas are equal in importance. 
    •            *A Tale of Two cities opens with 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.'
  51. -A long sentence in which the main clause is a not completed until the end.
    Periodic Sentence

    • *For example: "Looking as if she were being chased by demons, ignoring all hazards, the child ran"
    •       *For example: "The child, who looked as if she were being chased by demons, frenzied and ignoring all hazards, ran"
  52. -A statement that seems contradictory but may probably be true.
    Paradox
  53. -A figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole.
    Synecdoche
  54. -The sequential repetition of a similar initial sound, usually applied to consonants, usually in closely proximate stressed syllables.
    Alliteration

    *For instance: "She sells sea shells by the sea shore."
  55. -A direct, explicit comparison of one thing to another, usually using the words like or as to draw the connection.
    Simile 

    *For instance: Charles Dickens wrote: 'There was a steamy mist in all the hollows, and it had roared in its forlornness up the hill like an evil spirit!"
  56. -The way words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences, sentence structure and how it influences the way the reader receives a particular piece of writing.
    Syntax
  57. -The ordinary form of written language without metrical structure in contrast to verse and poetry.
    Point of View
  58. -Attempting to describe nature and life without idealization and with attention to detail.
    Realism

    • *Mark Twain is an author of this school.
    •       *Thoreau, with his romantic outlook toward nature is not.
  59. -The art "of using words to persuade in writing or speaking. All types of writing may seek to persuade and rhetoricians study these genres for their persuasive qualities.
    Rhetoric
  60. -The ordinary form of written language without metrical structure in contrast to verse poetry.
    Prose
  61. -A question that is asked simply for the sake of stylistic effect and is not expected to be answered.
    Rhetorical Question
  62. -A form of verbal irony in which apparent praise is actually critical. It can be light, and gently poke fun at something, or it can be harsh, caustic, and mean.
    Sarcasm
  63. -A work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the aim of comic effect or ridicule.
    Parody
  64. -Addition and emphasis which intentionally employs a series of conjunctions.
    Polysyndeton
  65. -The sentence or group of sentences that directly expresses the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or position.
    Thesis
  66. -A word or phrase that links different ideas.
    Transition
  67. -An attitude that may lie under the ostensible tone of the piece.
    Undertone
  68. -Intellectually amazing language that surprises and delights. It is humorous while suggesting the speaker's verbal power.
    Wit
  69. -Multiple meanings, intentional or unintentional of a word, phrase, sentence, or passage.
    Ambiguity
  70. -A short narrative detailing particulars of an interesting episode or event.
    Anecdote
  71. -A play on words.
    Pun
  72. -A rhetorical device that involves a succession of sentences, phrases, and clauses of grammatically equal length.
    Isocolon
  73. -An assertion of the truth of something.
    Claim
  74. -An adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.
    Epithet
  75. -The word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun.
    Predicate Nominative
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Glossary of Rhetorical Terms - AP English Language and Composition Terms Review (Mrs. Mills's Terms)
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[after Raphael gets a mention from April on the news] Donatello: I think he's blushing. Raphael: I am NOT. Donatello: I think he's actually turning red. [Raphael chucks a Sai into the floor between Donatello's legs] Donatello: Hmm, maybe not.
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