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155 Terms

1

abstract

(n.) An abbreviated synopsis of a longer work of scholarship or research. (adj.) Dealing with or tending to deal with a subject apart from a particular or specific instance.

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2

ad hominem

Latin for "against the man." A fallacy that appeals to emotion and feeling instead of rational intellect as it resorts to attacking one's opponent instead of their argument.

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3

adage

A saying or proverb containing a truth based on experience and often couched in metaphorical language. Example: A rolling stone gathers no moss.

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4

allegory

A story in which a second meaning is to be read beneath the surface.

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5

alliteration

The repetition of one or more initial consonants in a group of words or lines in a poem.

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6

allusion

A reference to a person, place, or event meant to create an effect or enhance the meaning of an idea.

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7

ambiguity

A vagueness of meaning; a conscious lack of clarity meant to evoke multiple meanings or interpretations.

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8

anachronism

A person, scene, event or other element that fails to correspond with the appropriate time or era.

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9

analogy

A comparison that points out similarities between two dissimilar things; a passage that points out several similarities between two unlike things is called an extended analogy.

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10

anecdote

A brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of literature.

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11

annotation

A brief explanation, summary, or evaluation of a text or work of literature.

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12

antagonist

A character or force in a work of literature that, by opposing the protagonist, produces tension or conflict.

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13

antecedent

A word to which a pronoun refers.

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14

antithesis

A rhetorical opposition or contrast of ideas by means of a grammatical arrangement of words, clauses, or sentences.

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15

aphorism

A short, pithy statement of a generally accepted truth or sentiment.

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16

apostrophe

A locution that addresses a person or personified thing not present.

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17

archetype

An abstract or ideal conception of a type; a perfectly typical example; an original model or form.

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18

assonance

The repetition of two or more vowel sounds in a group of words in prose or poetry.

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19

bathos

Insincere or overdone sentimentality.

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20

bibliography

A list of works cited or otherwise relevant to a particular subject.

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21

bombast

Inflated, pretentious language.

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22

burlesque

A work of literature meant to ridicule a subject; a grotesque imitation.

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23

cacophony

Grating, inharmonious sounds.

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24

canon

The works considered the most important in a national literature or period; works widely read and studied.

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25

caricature

A grotesque or exaggerated likeness of striking qualities in persons and things.

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26

circumlocution

Literally, "talking around" a subject; i.e., discourse that avoids direct reference to a subject.

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27

clause

A structural element of a sentence, consisting of a grammatical subject and a predicate.

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28

independent clauses

sometimes called main clauses, they stand on their own as complete sentences

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29

dependent clauses

are used as nouns or modifiers, are incomplete sentences and cannot stand alone grammatically; they are sometimes called subordinate clauses; those that function as adjectives, nouns, or adverbs are known, respectively, as adjective, noun, and adverbial clauses

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30

climax

The high point, or turning point, of a story or play.

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31

comparison and contrast

A mode of discourse in which two or more things are compared and contrasted. Comparison often refers to similarities, contrast to differences.

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32

conceit

A witty or ingenious thought; a diverting or highly fanciful idea, often stated in figurative language.

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33

concrete detail

A highly specific, particular, often real, actual, or tangible detail; the opposite of abstract.

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34

connotation

The suggested or implied meaning of a word or phrase.

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35

consonance

The repetition of two or more consonant sounds in a group of words or a unit of speech or writing.

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36

critique

An analysis or assessment of a thing or situation for the purpose of determining its nature, limitations, and conformity to a set of standards.

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37

cynic

One who expects and observes nothing but the worst of human conduct.

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38

deductive reasoning

A method of reasoning by which specific definitions, conclusions, and theorems are drawn from general principles.

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39

denotation

The dictionary definition of a word.

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40

description

A rhetorical mode; Creation of a picture using words in order to explain observations about objects, people, events, and scenes.

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41

diction

The choice of words in oral and written discourse.

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42

didactic

Having an instructive purpose; intending to convey information or teach a lesson, usually in a dry, pompous manner.

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43

digression

That portion of discourse that wanders or departs from the main subject or topic.

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44

dramatic irony

A circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character.

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45

elegy

A poem or prose selection that laments or meditates on the passing or death of someone or something of value.

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46

ellipsis

Three periods (...)indicating the omission of words in a thought or quotation.

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47

elliptical construction

A sentence containing a deliberate omission of words.

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48

empathy

A feeling of association or identification with an object or person.

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49

euphemism

A mild or less offensive usage for a harsh or blunt term. Example: "Enhanced interrogation techniques" for "torture"

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50

exegesis

A detailed analysis or interpretation of a work of prose or poetry.

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51

exposé

A factual piece of writing that reveals weaknesses, faults, frailties, or other shortcomings.

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52

exposition

The background and events that lead to the presentation of the main idea or purpose of an essay or other work; setting forth the meaning or purpose of a piece of writing or discourse.

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53

explication

The interpretation or analysis of a text.

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54

fallacy, fallacious reasoning

An incorrect belief or supposition based on faulty data, defective evidence, false information, or flawed logic that are often used unintentionally.

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55

farce

A comedy that contains an extravagant and nonsensical disregard of seriousness, although it may have a serious, scornful purpose.

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56

figure of speech, figurative language

Contrasts literal language; writing that is not meant to be taken literally.

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57

frame

A structure that provides a premise or setting for a narrative or other discourse.

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58

genre

A term used to describe literary forms, such as novel, play, and essay.

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59

hubris

Excessive pride that often affects tone.

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60

hyperbole

Overstatement; gross exaggeration for rhetorical effect.

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61

idyll

A lyric poem or passage that describes a kind of ideal life or place.

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62

imagery

A word or phrase representing that which can be seen, touched, tasted, smelled, or felt.

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63

indirect quotation

A rendering of a quotation in which actual words are not stated but only approximated or paraphrased.

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64

inductive reasoning

A method of reasoning in which a number of specific facts or examples are used to make a generalization.

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65

inference

A conclusion or proposition arrived at by considering facts, observations, or some other specific data.

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66

invective

A direct verbal assault; a denunciation; casting blame on someone or something.

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67

irony

A mode of expression in which the intended meaning is the opposite of what is stated, often implying ridicule or light sarcasm; a state of affairs or events that is the reverse of what might have been expected.

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68

lampoon

A mocking, satirical assault on a person or situation.

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69

litotes

A form of understatement in which the negative of the contrary is used to achieve emphasis or intensity. Example: "Not bad" for "good" "She's no beauty" for "She's ugly."

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70

loose sentence

A sentence that follows the customary word order of English sentences, i.e., subject-verb-objects. The main idea of the sentence is presented first and is then followed by one or more subordinate clauses. AKA a cumulative sentence.

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71

maxim

A saying or proverb expressing common wisdom or truth. Example: It's better to be safe than sorry. You're never too old to learn.

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72

melodrama

A literary form in which events are exaggerated in order to create an extreme emotional response.

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73

metaphor

A figure of speech that compares unlike objects. Example: My husband can eat a mountain of mashed potatoes.

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74

extended metaphor

When several characteristics of the same objects are compared over the course of a literary work.

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75

metonymy

A figure of speech that uses the name of one thing to represent something else with which it is associated. Example: The White House issued an executive order. Let me give you a hand.

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76

mock epic

A parody of traditional epic form.

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77

mock solemnity

Feigned or deliberately artificial seriousness, often for satirical purposes.

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78

mood

The emotional tone or prevailing atmosphere in a work of literature or other discourse, usually through diction choices, syntax, setting and/or events.

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79

moral

A brief and often simplistic lesson that a reader may infer from a work of literature.

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80

motif

A phrase, idea, or event that through repetition serves to unify or convey a theme in an essay or other discourse.

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81

narrative

A rhetorical mode that answers "what happened" to tell real or fictional stories, to relate historical events, present personal experiences or support event analysis.

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82

naturalism

A term often used as a synonym for realism; also a view of experience that is generally characterized as bleak and pessimistic.

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83

non sequitur

A statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before. Latin for "does not follow"

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84

objective

(adj.) Of or relating to facts and reality, as opposed to private and personal feelings and attitudes.

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85

omniscient narrator

A narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight of characters, setting, background, and all other elements of the story.

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86

onomatopoeia

The use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning.

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87

oxymoron

A term consisting of contradictory elements juxtaposed to create a paradoxical effect. Examples: Jumbo shrimp; Pretty ugly; Cruel kindness

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88

parable

A story consisting of events from which a moral or spiritual truth may be derived.

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89

paradox

A statement that seems self-contradictory but is nevertheless true. Example: "You can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job."

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90

parallel structure/balanced sentences

Sentence construction which places equal grammatical constructions near each other; repeated grammatical construction. Used to add emphasis, organization, and pacing to writing.

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91

parody

An imitation of a work meant to ridicule its style and subject.

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92

paraphrase

A version of a text put into simple, everyday words or summarized for brevity.

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93

pathos

One of Aristotle's three persuasive appeals directed toward the audience's emotions.

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94

pedantic

Used to describe words, phrases, and tones that is too narrowly academic instead of broad and humane; excessive use of big words to "show off".

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95

periodic sentence

A sentence that departs from the usual word order of English sentences by expressing its main thought only at the end. In other words, the particulars in the sentence are presented before the idea they support. Example: His confidence broken, his limbs shaking, his collar wet with perspiration, he doubted whether he could ever again appear before an audience.

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96

persona

The role or facade that a writer assumes or depicts to a reader or other audience.

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97

personification

A figure of speech in which objects and animals are given human characteristics.

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98

proverb

A short pithy statement of general truth that condenses common experience into memorable form. Example: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

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99

pseudonym

A false name or alias used by writers.

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100

pulp fiction

Novels written for mass consumption, often emphasizing exciting and titillating plots.

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