ap lang rhetoric vocab

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Active Voice

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121 Terms

1

Active Voice

The subject of the sentence performs the action. This is a more direct and preferred style of writing in most cases. "Anthony drove while Toni searched for the house. " The opposite is passive voice - when the subject of the sentence receives the action. "The car was driven by Anthony. " Passive voice is often overused, resulting in lifeless writing. When possible, try to use ______

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Allusion

An indirect reference to something (usually a literary text, although it can be other things commonly known, such as plays, songs, historical events) with which the reader is supposed to be familiar.

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Alter-ego

A character that is used by the author to speak the author's own thoughts; when an author speaks directly to the audience through a character. In Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest, Shakespeare talks to his audience about his own upcoming retirement, through the main character in the play, Prospero.Do not confuse with persona.

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Anecdote

A brief recounting of a relevant episode. ____ are often inserted into fictional or non fictional texts as a way of developing a point or injecting humor.

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Antecedent

The word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun. The AP language exam occasionally asks for the ______ of a given pronoun in a long, complex sentence or in a group of sentences. "If I could command the wealth of all the world by lifting my finger, I would not pay such a price for it. " An AP question might read: "What is the ____ for "it!?

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Classicism

Art or literature characterized by a realistic view of people and the world; sticks to traditional themes and structures

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Comic relief

when a humorous scene is inserted into a serious story, in order to lighten the mood somewhat. The "gatekeeper scene" in Macbeth is an example of ______

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Diction

Word choice, particularly as an element of style.

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Colloquial

Ordinary or familiar type of conversation. A "_______" is a common or familiar type of saying, similar to an adage or an aphorism. (y’all, gonna, wanna)

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Connotation

Rather than the dictionary definition (denotation), the associations suggested by a word. Implied meaning rather than literal meaning. (For example, "policeman," "cop," and "The Man" all denote the same literal meaning of police officer, but each has a different __________.)

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Denotation

The literal, explicit meaning of a word, without its connotations.

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12

Jargon

The diction used by a group which practices a similar profession or activity. Lawyers speak using particular _______, as do soccer players

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Vernacular

  1. Language or dialect of a particular country. 2. Language or dialect of a regional clan or group. 3. Plain everyday speech

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14

Didactic

A term used to describe fiction, nonfiction or poetry that teaches a specific lesson or moral or provides a model of correct behavior or thinking.

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Adage

A folk saying with a lesson. "A rolling stone gathers no moss. pris." Similar to aphorism and colloquialism.

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Allegory

A story, fictional or non fictional, in which characters, things, and events represent qualities or concepts. The interaction of these characters, things, and events is meant to reveal an abstraction or a truth. Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is an allegory.

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Aphorism

A terse statement which expresses a general truth or moral principle. An ________ can be a memorable summation of the author's point. Ben Franklin wrote many of these in Poor Richard's Almanac, such as "God helps them that help themselves, " and "A watched pot never boils"

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18

Ellipsis

The deliberate omission of a word or phrase from prose done for effect by the author. Related to the three periods used to show omitted text in a quotation.

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Euphemism

A more agreeable or less offensive substitute for generally unpleasant words or concepts. Sometimes they are used for political correctness. "Physically challenged, " in place of "crippled." Sometimes a ____ is used to exaggerate correctness to add humor. "Vertically challenged" in place of "short."

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20

Figurative Language

writing that is not meant to be taken literally

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21

Analogy

a comparison of one pair of variables to a parallel set of variables. When a writer uses an _, he or she argues that the relationship between the first pair of variables is the same as the relationship between the second pair of variables. "America is to the world as the hippo is to the jungle. " Similes and metaphors are sometimes also _______.

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Hyperbole

Exaggeration. "My mother will kill me if I am late.

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Idiom

A common. often used expression that doesn't make sense if you take it literally. "I got chewed out by my coach.

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Metaphor

Making an implied comparison, not using "like," as," or other such words. "My feet are popsicles. " An extended ___ is when the ____ is continued later in the written work. If I continued to call my feet "my popsicles" in later paragraphs, that would be an extended _. A particularly elaborate extended _ is called using conceit.

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Metonymy

Replacing an actual word or idea, with a related word or concept. "Relations between London and Washington have been strained, " does not literally mean relations between the two cities, but between the leaders of The United States and England. _______ is often used with body parts: "I could not understand his tongue, " means his language or his speech.

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Synecdoche

A kind of metonymy when a whole is represented by naming one of its parts, or vice versa.

  • The cattle rancher owned 500 head.

  • check out my new wheels

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Simile

Using words such as "like" or "as" to make a direct comparison between two very different things. "My feet are so cold they feel like popsicles. "

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Synesthesia

a description involving a "crossing of the senses." Examples: "A purplish scent filled the room." "I was deafened by his brightly-colored clothing."

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Personification

Giving human-like qualities to something that is not human. "The tired old truck groaned as it inched up the hill. "

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30

Foreshadowing

When an author gives hints about what will occur later in a story.

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31

Genre

The major category into which a literary work fits. The basic divisions of literature are prose, poetry, and drama. However, genres can be subdivided as well (poetry can be classified into lyric, dramatic, narrative, etc.). The AP Language exam deals primarily with the following _____: autobiography, biography, diaries, criticism, essays, and journalistic, political, scientific, and nature writing.

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Gothic

Writing characterized by gloom, mystery, fear and/or death. Also refers to an architectural style of the middle ages, often seen in cathedrals of this period

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Imagery

Word or words that create a picture in the reader's mind. Usually this involves the five senses. Authors often use _____ in conjunction with metaphors, similes, or figures of speech.

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Invective

A long, emotionally violent, attack using strong, abusive language.

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35

Irony

When the opposite of what you expect to happen does.

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Verbal irony

When you say something and mean the opposite/something different. For example, if your gym teacher wants you to run a mile in eight minutes or faster, but calls it a "walk in the park" it would be _______. If your voice tone is bitter, it's called sarcasm.

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Dramatic irony

When the audience of a drama, play, movie, etc. knows something that the character doesn't and would be surprised to find out. For example, in many horror movies, we (the audience) know who the killer is, which the victim-to-be has no idea who is doing the slaying. Sometimes the character trusts the killer completely when (_______) he/she shouldn't.

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Situational irony

Found in the plot (or story line) of a book, story, or movie. Sometimes it makes you laugh because it's funny how things turn out. (For example, Johnny spent two hours planning on sneaking into the movie theater and missed the movie. When he finally did manage to sneak inside he found out that kids were admitted free that day).

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Juxtaposition

Placing things side by side for the purposes of comparison. Authors often use ___________ of ideas or examples in order to make a point. sweet and sour, night and day

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Mood

The atmosphere created by the literature and accomplished through word choice (diction). Syntax is often a creator of ______ since word order, sentence length and strength and complexity also affect pacing and therefore _____. Setting, tone, and events can all affect the _________.

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Motif

a recurring idea in a piece of literature. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the idea that "you never really understand another person until you consider things from his or her point of view" is a ________, because the idea is brought up several times over the course of the novel.

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Oxymoron

When apparently contradictory terms are grouped together and suggest a paradox - "wise fool," "eloquent silence," "jumbo shrimp."

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Pacing

The speed or tempo of an author's writing. Writers can use a variety of devices (syntax, polysyndeton, anaphora, meter) to change the _______ of their words. An author's ________ can be fast, sluggish, stabbing, vibrato, staccato, measured, etc.

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Paradox

A seemingly contradictory situation which is actually true. "You can't get a job without experience, and you can't get experience without getting a job."

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Parallelism

Sentence construction which places equal grammatical constructions near each other, or repeats identical grammatical patterns. ______ is used to add emphasis, organization, or sometimes pacing to writing. "Cinderella swept the floor, dusted the mantle, and beat the rugs.

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Anaphora

Repetition of a word, phrase, or clause at the beginning of two or more sentences or clauses in a row. This is a deliberate form of repetition and helps make the writer's point more coherent. "I came, I saw, I conquered." "Give me liberty or give me death."

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Chiasmus

When the same words are used twice in succession, but the second time, the order of the words is reversed. "Fair is foul and foul is fair. " "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. "

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Antithesis

Two opposite or contrasting words, phrases, or clauses, or even ideas, with parallel structure. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

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Parenthetical Idea

Parentheses are used to set off an idea from the rest of the sentence. It is almost considered an aside...a whisper, and should be used sparingly for effect, rather than repeatedly. _____ can also be used to set off dates and numbers. "In a short time (and the time is getting shorter by the gallon) America will be out of oil."

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Parody

An exaggerated imitation of a serious work for humorous purposes. It borrows words or phrases from an original, and pokes fun at it. This is also a form of allusion, since it is referencing a previous text, event, etc. The Simpsons often parody Shakespeare plays. Saturday Night Live also ______ famous persons and events. Do not confuse with satire.

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51

Persona

the person assumed to be speaking in a story

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52

Poetic device

used manipulate the sound of words, sentences or lines in poetry

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53

Assonance

The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds. "From the molten-golden notes"

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54

Consonance

The repetition of the same consonant sound at the end of words or within words. "Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door"

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Onomatopoeia

The use of a word which imitates or suggests the sound that the thing makes. Snap, rustle, boom, murmur

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56

Internal rhyme

When a line of poetry contains a rhyme within a single line "To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!"

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Slant rhyme

When a poet creates a rhyme, but the two words do not rhyme exactly - they are merely similar. "I sat upon a stone, / And found my life has gone."

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End rhyme

When the last word of two different lines of poetry rhyme. "Roses are red, violets are blue, / Sugar is sweet, and so are you."

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Rhyme Scheme

The pattern of a poem's end rhymes. For example, the following lines have a rhyme scheme of a b a b c dc d. Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May. And summer's lease hath all too short a date.Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines And often is his gold complexion dimmed And every fair from fair sometime declines By chance or nature's changing course untrimmed

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60

Stressed and unstressed syllables

In every word of more than one syllable, one of the syllables is stressed, or said with more force than the other syllable(s). In the name "Nathan," the first syllable is stressed. In the word "unhappiness," the second of the four syllables is stressed.

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Meter

A regular pattern to the syllables in lines of poetry.

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Free verse

Poetry that doesn't have much meter or rhyme.

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lambic pentameter

Poetry that is written in lines of 10 syllables, alternating stressed and unstressed syllables. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?"

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Polysyndeton

When a writer creates a list of items which are all separated by conjunctions. Normally, a conjunction is used only before the last item in a list. Examples of _________: "I walked the dog, and fed the cat, and milked the cows."

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65

Pun

When a word that has two or more meanings is used in a humorous way. "My dog has a fur coat and pants!" "I was stirred by his cooking lesson"

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Rhetoric

The art of effective communication.

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Rhetorical Question

Question not asked for information but for effect. "The angry parent asked the child, 'Are you finished interrupting me?'" In this case, the parent does not expect a reply, but simply wants to draw the child's attention to the rudeness of interrupting.

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68

Satire

A work that reveals a critical attitude toward some element of life to a humorous effect. It targets human vices and follies, or social institutions and conventions. Good _ usually has three layers: serious on the surface; humorous when you discover that it is _ instead of reality; and serious when you discern the underlying point of the author.

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Romanticism

Art or literature characterized by an idealistic, perhaps unrealistic view of people and the world, and an emphasis on nature. Does not rely on traditional themes and structures (see classicism).

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70

Sarcasm

A generally bitter comment that is ironically or satirically worded. However, not all satire and irony are __. It is the bitter, mocking tone that separates _ from mere verbal irony or satire.

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71

Sentence

A ______ is group of words (including subject and verb) that expresses a complete thought.

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Appositive

A word or group of words placed beside a noun or noun substitute to supplement its meaning. "Bob, the lumber yard worker, spoke with Judy, an accountant from the city."

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Clause

A grammatical unit that contains both a subject and a verb. An independent _____ expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a sentence. A dependent, or subordinate _____ cannot stand alone as a sentence and must be accompanied by an independent ________. (Example: "Other than baseball, football is my favorite sport." In this sentence, the independent ______ is "football is my favorite sport" and the dependent ______ is "Other than baseball"

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74

Compound sentence

Contains at least two independent clauses but no dependent clauses.

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Complex sentence

Contains only one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

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Cumulative sentence

(also called a loose sentence) When the writer begins with an independent clause, then adds subordinate elements. "He doubted whether he could ever again appear before an audience, his confidence broken, his limbs shaking, his collar wet with perspiration. " The opposite construction is called a periodic sentence.

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Periodic sentence

When the main idea is not completed until the end of the sentence. The writer begins with subordinate elements and postpones the main clause. "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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Simple sentence

Contains only one independent clause.

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Declarative sentence

States an idea. It does not give a command or request, nor does it ask a question. "The ball is round."

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Imperative sentence

Issues a command. "Kick the ball."

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Interrogative sentence

Sentences incorporating _____ pronouns (what, which. who, whom, and whose. "To whom did you kick the ball?"

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Style

The choices in diction, tone, and syntax that a writer makes. ______ may be conscious or unconscious.

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83

Symbol

Anything that represents or stands for something else. Usually a ______ is something concrete such as an object, actions, character... that represents something more abstract. Examples of symbols include the Whale in Moby Dick, the river and the jungle in Heart of Darkness, and the Raven in "The Raven."

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Syntax

the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences

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85

Theme

The central idea or message of a work. The ______ may be directly stated in nonfiction works, although not necessarily. It is rarely stated directly in fiction.

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Thesis

The sentence or groups of sentences that directly expresses the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or proposition. It should be short and clear. (also see argument)

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Tone

A writer's attitude toward his subject matter revealed through diction, figurative language and organization. To identify _, consider how the piece would sound if read aloud (or how the author wanted it to sound aloud). _ can be: playful, serious, businesslike, sarcastic, humorous, formal, somber, etc.

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88

Understatement

The ironic minimizing of fact, ___________ presents something as less significant than it is. The effect can frequently be humorous. "Our defense played valiantly, and held the other team to merely eight touchdowns in the first quarter."

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Litotes

a particular form of understatement, generated by denying the opposite of the statement which otherwise would be used. Depending on the tone and context of the usage, _________ either retains the effect of understatement (Hitting that telephone pole certainly didn't do your car any good or becomes an intensifying expression (The flavors of the mushrooms, herbs, and spices combine to make the dish not at all disagreeable).

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90

Argument

An ____________ is a piece of reasoning with one or more premises and a conclusion. Essentially, every essay is an__________ that begins with the conclusion (the thesis) and then sets up the premises. An ______________ (or the thesis to an ___________) is also sometimes called a claim, a position, or a stance.

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Premises

Statements offered as reasons to support a conclusion

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Conclusion

the end result of the argument - the main point being made. In an argument one expects that the ________ will be supported with reasons or premises. Moreover, these premises will be true and will, in fact, lead to the ______.

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93

Aristotle's appeals

The goal of argumentative writing is to persuade an audience that one's ideas are valid, or more valid than someone else's. The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided all means of persuasion (appeals) into three categories - ethos, pathos, and logos.

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94

Ethos

(credibility) means being convinced by the credibility of the author. We tend to believe people whom we respect. In an appeal to ethos, a writer tries to convince the audience the he or she someone worth listening to, in other words an authority on the subject, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect. (Also see the fallacy of appeal to authority.) An argument that relies too heavily on ethos, without any corroborating logos, can become a fallacy.

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95

Pathos

(emotional) means persuading by appealing to the reader's emotions. (Also see the fallacy of appeal to emotion). An argument that relies too much on emotion, without any corroborating logos, can become a fallacy.

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Logos

(logical) means persuading by the use of reasoning, using true premises and valid arguments. This is generally considered the strongest form of persuasion.

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Concession

Accepting at least part or all of an opposing viewpoint. Often used to make one's own argument stronger by demonstrating that one is willing to accept what is obviously true and reasonable, even if it is presented by the opposition. Sometimes also called multiple perspectives because the author is accepting more than one position as true. Sometimes a ________ is immediately followed by a rebuttal of the __________

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98

Conditional Statement

an if-then statement and consists of two parts, an antecedent and a consequent. "If you studied hard, then you will pass the test. " often used as premises in an argument

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Contradiction

occurs when one asserts two mutually exclusive propositions, such as, "Abortion is wrong and abortion is not wrong." Since a claim and its ________ cannot both be true, one of them must be false.

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Counterexample

an example that runs counter to (opposes) a generalization, thus falsifying it.

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