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2016-17 Advanced Placement English Language and Composition


Rhetoric: The art and logic of a written or spoken argument.
Rhetorical Devices: Language tools an author uses to deliver an argument,
Rhetorical Purpose: The aim of a piece of rhetoric: for instance, to persuade or analyze or expose

1. Alliteration
The repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginnings of words.

2. Allusion
A literary reference to another thing, idea, person, or other literary work.

3. Anaphora
The repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of two or more sentences in a row. This deliberate
form of repetition helps make the writers point more coherent. I have a dream said MLK Jr in his display
of anaphora.

4. Anecdote
A short tale told to demonstrate or illustrate a central idea or argument. It is NOT always humorous.

5. Antecedent
Every pronoun refers back to a previous noun or pronoun the antecedent. It is the noun or pronoun from
which another pronoun derives its meaning.

6. Antithesis
An opposition or contrast of ideas that is often expressed in balanced phrases or clauses. For example,
Whereas she was boisterous, I was reserved. This is a balance of two antithetical observations.

7. Apostrophe
A figure of speech in which an absent person or personified object is addressed by a speaker. For example,
love is personified and addressed as though present in the sentence, Oh, Love, where have you gone?

8. Assonance/Consonance
Assonance is a type of internal rhyming in which vowel sounds are repeated. Othe pots rocky, pocked
surface. Consonance is a type of internal rhyming in which consonant sounds are repeated.

9. Cacophony
A discordant and harsh mixture of sounds.

10. Connotation
A words emotional meaning. Connotation can vary depending on the experience of the interpreter of the word.

11. Denotation
The literal or dictionary definition of a word.

12. Euphemism
A mild or pleasant-sounding expression that substitutes for a harsh, indelicate, or simply less pleasant idea. A
euphemism softens the impact of what is being discussed.

13. Hyperbole A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used to achieve emphasis. It is the opposite of
14. Irony
Situational irony occurs when the outcome of a situation is the opposite of what is expected. Not only is it the
opposite, there is also some kind of inherent twist. For instance, it is situationally ironic that the presence of a
fence between two backyards in Robert Frosts Mending Fences keeps a friendship alive.
Dramatic irony occurs in fictional stories, and it exists when the reader/audience knows something that the
characters in the story do not know.

15. Juxtaposition
When two contrasting things ideas, words or sentence elements are placed next to each other for
comparison. It sheds light on both parts of the comparison.

16. Metonymy
A figure of speech in which something is referred to by using the name of something that is associated with it.
For example, a crown, which is associated with royalty, is used as a metonym for royal authority: The edict
issued today by the Crown forbids grazing in the commons.

17. Onomatopoeia
An effect created by words that have sounds that reinforce their meaning. Boom sounds like what it
describes, the loud sound of, say, a cannon going off.

18. Oxymoron
It combines two contradictory words in one expression. The results of this combination are often unusual or

19. Paradox
A seeming contradiction that in fact reveals some truth, such as, The more you find out, the less you know. It
doesnt make sense on the surface, but there is underlying truth.

20. Parody
Parody is an effort to ridicule or make fun of a literary work or an author by writing an imitation of the work or
of the authors style. Its goal is primarily to entertain.

21. Persona
The character created by the voice and narration of the speaker of a text. It implies a fictional representation or
an act of disguise (that the speaker is not the author, but a created character).

22. Personification
A figure of speech in which ideas or objects are described as having human qualities or personalities.

23. Pun
A play on words created by using a word that has 2 different meanings, or using two different words with
similar meanings, for a playful effect.

24. Sarcasm/Verbal Irony

Typically, stating something to mean the opposite. Sarcasm can be hard to detect in written form, as it relies
heavily on vocal tone, non-verbal communication, etc.

25. Satire
The ridicule or mocking of ideas, persons, events or doctrines. Or making fun of human weaknesses. Satire has
a more serious purpose than parody, whose purpose is merely to mock a particular style or text through
mimicry. Satire aims to point out flaws.
26. Speaker
The speaker is the narrator of a story, poem or drama. This is not necessarily the AUTHOR, who creates the
voice of the speaker. The speaker is a fictional persona.

27. Synecdoche
Using a part to represent a whole. Lend me your ears or several hands on the ranch.

28. Tone
The writer or speakers attitude toward a subject. Tone is created through the words and details the writer has
chosen. The tone could described as matter-of-fact, sympathetic, playful, indignant, etc.

29. Tricolon
A sentence consisting of three parts of equal importance and length, usually three independent clauses. I came,
I saw, I conquered.

30. Understatement
The opposite of hyperbole, this occurs when an author assigns less significance to an event or thing than it
deserves. Describing a monsoon as a bit of wind is understatement. The effect can be comical.

31. Zeugma
A particular breech of sense in a sentence. Occurs when a word is used with two adjacent words in the same
cosntruction, but only makes sense with one of them. She carried a grocery bag and the key to my heart. The
verb carried is used in two different ways that same odd in juxtapositionone is literal, one is figurative.

Other concepts or rhetorical elements you need to know

Diction = word choice. Simply, the words a writer chooses to use. Diction could be colloquial, formal, forceful,

Syntax = sentence structure. You would analyze sentence length, the order of words (traditional or inverted),
use of parallel structure, repetition, etc.

Imagery = details, description, and figurative language (simile, metaphor, etc) used to create an image.
From Alice Walkers Everyday Use:
She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know. . . . Dee
wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green
suit she'd made from an old suit somebody gave me. She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts. Her
eyelids would not flicker for minutes at a time. . . .Dee next. A dress down to the ground, in this hot weather. A dress so
loud it hurts my eyes. There are yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. I feel my whole face
warming from the heat waves it throws out. Earrings gold, too, and hanging down to her shoulders.

Style (Ernest Hemingway vs. William Faulkner)

From Hemingways Big Two-hearted River Part I: [Nick] came down a hillside covered with stumps into a meadow.
At the edge of the meadow flowed the river. Nick was glad to get to the river. He walked upstream through the meadow.
His trousers were soaked with the dew as he walked.

From Faulkners Barn Burning: There was something about his wolflike independence and even courage when the
advantage was at least neutral which impressed strangers, as if they got from his latent ravening ferocity not so much a
sense of dependability as a feeling that his ferocious conviction in the rightness of his own actions would be of advantage
to all whose interest lay with his.
Grammar and Syntax Terminology
1. Appositive
A word or phrase that follows a noun or pronoun for emphasis or clarity. Appositives are usually set off by
commas. The luxury train, The Orient Express, crosses Europe in just twenty-six hours. In this sentence,
The Orient Express is the appositive for train.

2. Balanced Sentence
A sentence consisting of two or more clauses that are parallel in structure.

3. Complex Sentence **See the last 2 pagea for more details on complex sentences
A sentence with an independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

4. Compound Sentence
A sentence of two or more coordinate independent clauses, often joined by a conjunction or conjunctions, or
joined by a semicolon.

Coordinating Conjunctions (you will typically need a comma in front of the conjunction) :
for but and or nor yet so

Basketball is my favorite sport to watch, but football is my favorite sport to play.

You will have to finish the project, or your group will get a failing grade.

Susan loves to swim; her brother likes to dive.
Jason was highly respected; he was always such a responsible person.

5. Inversion/Anastrophe
Variation of standard syntactical order.
Standard Order: The hills are alive with the sound of music.

Inverted: (Yoda-ish) With the sounds of music, alive the hills are.
6. Loose Sentence
A sentence structure in which a main clause is followed by subordinate phrases and clauses. Contrast with
periodic sentence.

7. Parallel Sentence Structure A literary technique that relies on the use of the same syntactical structures
(phrases, clauses, sentences) in a series in order to develop an argument or emphasize an idea. We will be
loyal to the very endat sea, on land, in the air. The parallel phrases emphasize the loyalty and determination
of this group of people.

8. Periodic Sentence Structure

A sentence in which the main clause or its predicate is withheld until the end; for example, Despite heavy
winds and nearly impenetrable ground fog, the plane landed safely.

Independent clause is a group of words that

1. can stand alone as a sentence
2. has a subject and a predicate

Subject (what or who the sentence is about) might be: person, place, thing, quality or idea.

Predicate: explains something about the subject; the predicate contains either a state-of-being verb or
an action verb. In the sentence below, the subject is in bold; the predicate is underlined.
Example: Alex cooked a delightful dinner.

Dependent Clause
A dependent clause is a group of words with a subject and predicate that cannot stand alone.

A dependent marker word (or subordinating conjunction) is a word added to the beginning of an independent
clause that makes it into a dependent clause. Some common dependent markers are: after, although, as, as if,
because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever,
whether, and while. (From Purdue OWL: Dependent Marker Word)

Example: When Jim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, it was very noisy.

A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
I like Sally because she is funny.
Kathy will be late for dinner since the meeting is still in progress.

Sequencing Complex Sentences

Dependent Clause First (comma needed)
When I get to Phoenix, you will be sleeping.
After the players practiced, they went out for a pizza.

Independent Clause First (comma not needed)

You will be sleeping when I get to Phoenix.
The players went out for a pizza after they practiced.