Rhetorical Terms - Diction

  1. act - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker or writer uses to describe what happened or happens in a particular situation.
    Ex: "With the cunning typical of its breed, the automobile never breaks down while entering a filling station with a large staff of idle mechanics. It waits´┐Ż" (Russell Baker)
  2. agency - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker or writer uses to describe the means by which something happened or happens in a particular situation.
    Ex: "As a general rule, any object capable of breaking down at the moment when it is most needed will do so. The automobile is typical of the category." (Russell Baker)
  3. agent - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker uses to describe the person or persons involved in taking action in a particular situation.
    Ex: "Thus [the automobile] creates maximum misery, inconvenience, frustration, and irritability among its human cargo, thereby reducing its owner's life span." (Russell Baker)
  4. anecdote - A brief narrative offered in a text to capture the audience's attention or to support a generalization of claim.
    Ex: "A good man, gray on the edges, an assistant manager in a brown starched and ironed uniform, is washing the glass windows of the store...Good night, m'ijo! he tells a young boy coming out after playing the video game..." (Dagoberto Gilb)
  5. compound sentence - A sentence with two or more independent clauses.
    Ex: Canada is a rich country, but it still has many poor people.
  6. conclusion (of syllogism) - The ultimate point or generalization that a syllogism expresses.
    Ex: All mortals die. All men are mortals. All men die.
  7. contraction - The combination of two words into one by eliminating one or more sounds and indicating the omission with an apostrophe.
    Ex: "Do not" becomes "don't." "Should have" becomes "should've."
  8. contraries - See contradiction.
    Ex: The book is red. The book is not green. If the book is read, then the book is not green. If the book is not red, then the book may be green.
  9. data (as evidence) - Facts, statistics, and examples that a speaker or writer offers in support of a claim, generalization, or conclusion.
    Ex: Conserve electricity. 42% of America's carbon dioxide emissions come from electricity generation.
  10. deductive reasoning - Reasoning that begins with a general principle and concludes with a specific instance that demonstrates the general principle.
    Ex: "Gravity makes things fall. The apple that hit my head was due to gravity."
  11. delivery - The presentation and format of a composition.
    Ex: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, is formatted by chapters, which either present general information about farmers or the specific story of Joe and his family.
  12. editing - The final observation, before delivery, by a writer or speaker of a composition to evaluate appropriateness and to locate missteps in the work.
    Ex: For process papers, I edit my work many times before submitting a final draft.
  13. efferent reading - Reading to garner information from a text.
    Ex: For history, I perform efferent reading of the textbook.
  14. enthymeme - Logical reasoning with one premise left unstated.
    Ex: We cannot trust this man, for he has perjured himself in the past. (Missing: Those who perjure themselves cannot be trusted.)
  15. euphemism - An indirect expression of unpleasant information in such way as to lesson its impact.
    • Ex 1: "Passed way" for "died."
    • Ex 2: "You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of a sideline, you understand"(Fitzgerald 87).
  16. image - A passage of text that evokes sensation or emotional intensity.
    Ex: "Waves crashing on the ocean look like knives."
  17. inference - A conclusion that a reader or listener reaches by means of his or her own thinking rather than by being told directly by a text.
    Ex: I infer that America became isolationist during the 1920s because of the horrors of World War I.
  18. memory - Access to information and collective information.
    Ex: I will use my memory to remember these terms.
  19. narrative intrusion - A comment that is made directly to the reader by breaking into the forward plot movement.
    Ex: Narrator: The dog ran very fast across the street, dodging two cars.
  20. point of view - The perspective or source of a piece of writing. A first-person point of view has a narrator or speaker who refers to himself or herself as "I." A third-person point of view lacks "I" in perspective.
    Ex: The Great Gatsby is written in first-person point of view.
  21. ratio - Combination of two or more elements in a dramatistic pentad in order to invent material.
  22. reading - The construction of meaning, purpose, and effect in a text.
    Ex: I am reading The Great Gatsby.
  23. reading journal - A log in which readers can trace developing reactions to what they are reading.
    Ex: I am maintaining a character log while reading The Great Gatsby.
  24. rhetorical choices - The particular choices a writer or speaker makes to achieve meaning, purpose, or effect.
    Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby chooses to use imagery, similes, and metaphors often.
  25. stock settings - Stereotypical time and place settings that let readers know a text's genre immediately.
    Ex: For science fiction, if the text takes place in the future, on another planet, or in another universe.
Card Set
Rhetorical Terms - Diction
Rhetorical Terms - Diction