AP English Language Literary Devices

Topics: ArtComedy

Type:

Sample donated:

Last updated: May 8, 2019

syllogistic reasoning
a major premise, followed by a minor premise that leads to a conclusion

Pathos
appeal to emotion

equivocation
also called “circular reasoning”, a type of fallacy in which a statement is not literally false but cleverly avoids an unpleasant truth.

satire
type of writing that ridicules society or a person

begging the question
form of argumentation in which someone assumes that parts or all of what someone claims is a fact

ad hoc argument
type of explanation given for some event, used when someone has already attempted to explain and that explanation has been disputed

faulty analogy
illogical or misleading comparison between two things

appeal to ignorance
belief in something based on the fact that it has not been proved false

jargon
technical terms associated with a certain profession

rhetorical strategies
The way a piece is organized (compare & contrast, cause & effect, chronological, definition, stream of consciousness)

modes of discourse
ways of communication (narration, persuasion, exposition, analysis, description)

understatement
figure of speech in which the writer deliberately makes an event seem less important or serious than it actually is

analogy
a comparison between two things

rhetorical question
a question asked for effect and does not require an answer

didactic
a type of tone, intended to teach a moral lesson

pun
form of word play which suggests two or more meanings

metonymy
a figure of speech in which a word is substituted with another closely related to it

oxymoron
figure of speech in which seemingly contradictory terms appear next to each other

imagery
figurative description that helps the reader form a mental image

chiasmus
figure of speech in which two or more clauses are related to each other through a reversal of structures (type of syntax)

synecdoche
a part is used to represent a whole

paradox
a statement that first appears to contradict itself, but reveals a truth

maxim
a short, easily remembered expression of a basic principle or wisedom

parallelism
similarity of structure in a pair or series of related words

terse
type of tone, sparing in the use of words, abrupt

trope
a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or phrase

apposition
when a noun or noun phrase is placed with another for definition or explanation

inductive reasoning
reasoning from details to general principles

deductive reasoning
reasoning from the general to the particular

florid/flowery
using unusual words or complicated rhetorical constructions

homogeneous diction
uniform structure or composition

heterogeneous/heteroclite diction
abnormal, irregular, varied structure

extended metaphor
a comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences or paragraphs

anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of sentences

euphemism
mild or indirect word for one that is too harsh or blunt

hyperbole
an exaggeration for emphasis

litotes
form of understatement in which the affirmative is expressed by the negation of its contrary

onomatopoeia
the use of words that imitate a sound

alliteration
the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely placed words

apostrophe
an exclamatory phrase in a speech or poem that addresses a person or thing that is absent or dead

personification
giving something that is nonhuman human characteristics

extended simile
a simile elaborated in detail

antithesis
sharply contrasting ideas are balanced in parallel structure (“united we stand, divided we fall”)

assonance
the repetition of the sound of a vowel in non-rhyming stressed syllables

verbal irony
what is said is opposite of what is meant

dramatic irony
difference between what the readers/audience know and what the characters know

utopian
novel that describes an idealistic society

epiphany
sudden revelation or insight

polemic
strong verbal or written attack on someone or something

relative clause
a clause introduced by a relative pronoun

quixotic
unrealistic, impractical, idealistic

pedantic
words or phrases or tone that is scholarly

morphology
the study of the forms of words

fallacy
faulty reasoning, misleading or unsound argument

syntax
arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language

lexicon
the complete set of meaningful units in a language (dictionary)

genre
category of writing or artistic composition characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject.

rhetoric
the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing

rogatio
a form of rhetorical question in which a question is posed, and then answered by the speaker

denotation
the literal meaning of a word

aphorism
a concise statement of a principle or truth

hackneyed
lacking in freshness or originality

periodic sentence
a complex sentence that has no subordinate or trailing elements following its principal clause (“Yesterday, when I was outside, walking down the street, as the sun was setting, I saw them”)

allegory
literature in which figures or events are symbolic of greater truths

logos
appeal to logic

fluid
employing a smooth and easy style of writing, the writing flows

sardonic
skeptically humorous, mocking

ornate
marked by elaborate rhetoric

malapropism
the unintentional misuse of words

parody
literary work that imitates a work or author for comedy or ridicule

ad hominem
type of fallacy in which the opponent’s character is attacked.

(“Don’t trust Megan. She likes to make children cry.”)

refutation
the act of proving wrong or false

diction
an author’s choice of words

panegyric
formal or elaborate praise

bombast
pretentious inflated writing

allusion
implied or indirect reference in literature to another piece of literature, art, or culture.

non sequitur
Latin for “it does not follow”, in inference that does not follow from the premises

quaestro
a string of questions asked in rapid succession

ethos
appeal to ethics, distinguishing character, sentiment, morals

anachronism
a person or thing that is chronologically out of place

epiphet
an adjective or phrase that describes a quality of a person or thing

connotation
an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its literal meaning

percontatio
a question asked in a tone of amazement

bandwagon appeal
the argument is that everyone is doing something, so you should too

vindicated
to prove to be right

leonine
a type of English verse with internal rhyme within one line

frenetic
fast-paced, frantic

euphony
harmonious succession of words

vernacular
the terminology used by a certain group of people by location, culture, or occupation

cacophony
harsh discordant mixture of sounds

colloquialism
informal speech

rhetorical stance
rhetorical position taken by a writer on a topic

isocolon
a succession of main clauses of approximately equal length and corresponding syntax (“I came, I saw, I conquered.”)

lampoon
harsh satire directed against an individual

verisimilitude
resembling reality

archaic
old fashion language

prosaic
commonplace, not challenging

harbinger
something that foreshadows a future event

timorous
fearful

trepidation
fear or alarm

nascent
beginning to exist

conflagration
destructive fire

copious
large in amount, abundant

prodigious
extraordinary, wonderful

venerated
revered, treated in high regard

pragmatic
pertaining to a practical point of view

paradigm
a standard or typical example

anthropomorphism
the representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits

period
an interval of time

false dichotomy
a fallacy in which only a few alternatives are considered when there are actually other options

faulty causality
assumption that because one event follows another, the first event causes the later event.

causal reasoning
the idea that any cause leads to a certain event

scare tactics
using fear, panic, or prejudice to win an emotional argument

wry
distorted in meaning

innocuous
harmless

diatribe
an attack or criticism

unctuous
excessively smooth or smug; trying too hard to give an impression of earnestness, sincerity, or piety

hedonism
doctrine that places the pursuit of pleasure as the highest good

atheism
the belief in no God

abet
to support, assist, or encourage

archetype
an original model on which something is patterned

dichotomy
division into two mutually exclusive groups

acerbic
acidic in temper or mood

gothic
characterized by or emphasizing a gloomy setting and grotesque or violent events; such a literary or artistic style;

supercilious
patronizingly haughty

dogma
something held as an established opinion

discourse
an extended expression on a thought

homily
a short sermon

obfuscate
to darken

byzantine
relating to the Byzantine empire, intricate and involved

anomaly
irregularity

egregious
flagrant, obvious, and distinguished

pugilistic
relating to fighting or boxing

vituperative
using abusive language

post hoc, ergo propter hoc
faulty causal relationship

hasty generalization
based argument on insufficient evidence

red herring
having little relevance to the argument, misleading

opposing a straw man
writer chooses to refute the opponent’s weakest argument

either or
reduces complex issues to black or white choices

slippery slope
suggests that one step will inevitably lead to a more eventually negative result

dogmatism
no discussion

ad hominem
attacks person

Choose your subject

x

Hi!
I'm Jessica!

Don't know how to start your paper? Worry no more! Get professional writing assistance from me.

Click here