AP English 11 Literary Terms

Allegory
an expressive style that uses fictional characters and events to describe some subject by suggestive resemblances

Allusion
a reference to another work of literature, person, or event

Anaphora
repetition of a word or phrase as the beginning of successive clauses

Antithesis
the juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas to give a feeling of balance

Aristotelian Triangle
a diagram that represents a rhetorical situation as the relationship among the speaker, the subject, and the audience

Assertion
a declaration that is made emphatically (as if no supporting evidence were necessary)

Asyndeton
lack of conjunctions between coordinate phrases, clauses or words

Chiasmus
a statement consisting of two parallel parts in which the second part is structurally reversed

Claim
an assertion that something is true or factual

Classical Model
describes decision making with complete information

Concede
admit; acknowledge as being true (often reluctantly); yield; grant; Ex. concede a goal

Connotation
the implied or associative meaning of a word

Counterargument
an argument offered in opposition to another argument

Deduction
the process of moving from a general rule to a specific example

Denotation
The dictionary definition of a word

Diction
a writer’s or speaker’s choice of words

Epistrophe
repetition of the ends of two or more successive sentences, verses, etc.

Ethos
The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator

Hyperbole
an exaggeration

Induction
reasoning from detailed facts to general principles

Juxtaposition
placing two elements side by side to present a comparison or contrast

Logos
an appeal based on logic or reason

Metaphor
a comparison without using like or as

Metonymy
a figure of speech in which one word is substituted for another with which it is closely related

Oxymoron
a figure of speech consisting of two apparently contradictory terms

Parallelism
phrases or sentences of a similar construction/meaning placed side by side, balancing each other

Pathos
a style that has the power to evoke feelings

Persona
an actor’s portrayal of someone in a play

Personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes

Polysyndeton
the use, for rhetorical effect, of more conjunctions than is necessary or natural

Propaganda
information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause

Pun
a humorous play on words

Refutation/ Refute
an attack on an opposing view in order to weaken it, invalidate it, or make it less credible/ prove to be false or incorrect

Rhetoric
study of the technique and rules for using language effectively (especially in public speaking)

Simile
a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with ‘like’ or ‘as’)

Symbol
an object that is used to represent something else (usually a larger, philosophical and more important idea)

Synchises
balanced pair of phrases or clauses in which the order of the first pair is repeated in the second pair

Synechdoche
Uses a part to explain a whole or a whole to explain a part. ex. Lend me an ear.

Tautology
needless repetition of an idea by using different but equivalent words; a redundancy

Theme
a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in a literary or artistic work

Thesis
the primary position taken by a writer or speaker

Tricolon
Sentence consisting of three parts of equal importance and length, usually three independent clauses.

Tone
the quality of something (an act or a piece of writing) that reveals the attitudes and presuppositions of the author

Understatement
the opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.

Zeugma
use of a word to govern two or more words though appropriate to only one