AP Language and Composition Vocab 1

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  1. abstract
    Refers to language that describes concepts rather than concrete images
  2. Ad Hominem
    In an argument, an attack on the person rather than on the opponent's ideas. It comes from the Latin meaning "against the man."
  3. allegory
    A work that functions on a symbolic level
  4. Alliteration
    The repetition of initial consonant sounds, such as "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers"
  5. Allusion
    A reference contained in a work
  6. Analogy
    A literary device employed to serve as a basis for comparison. It is assumed that what applies to the parallel situation also applies to the original circumstance. In other words, it is the comparison between two different items.
  7. anecdote
    A story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate a point
  8. antecedent
    The word, phrase, or clause to which a pronoun refer. The AP English Language and Composition exam often expects you to identify the antecedent in a passage.
  9. antithesis
    The presentation of two contrasting images. The ideas are balanced by word, phrase, clause, or paragraph. "To be or not to be..." "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.."
  10. argument
    A single assertion or a series of assertions presented and defended by the writer
  11. attitude
    The relationship an author has toward his or her subject, and/or his or her audience
  12. balance
    A situation in which all parts of the presentation are equal, whether in sentences or paragraphs or sections of a longer work
  13. cacophony
    Harsh and discordant sounds in a line or passage in a literary work
  14. character
    Those who carry out the action of the plot in literature. Major, minor, static, and dynamic are types of characters.
  15. colloquial
    The use of slang in writing, often to create local color and to provide an informal tone. Huckleberry Finn is written in a colloquial style.
  16. comic relief
    The inclusion of a humorous character or scene to contrast with the tragic elements of a work, thereby intensifying the next tragic event
  17. conflict
    A clash between opposing forces in a literary work, such as man vs. man; man vs. nature; man vs. god; man vs. self
  18. connective tissue
    Those elements that help create coherence in a written piece
  19. connotation
    The interpretive level of a word based on its associated images rather than its literal meaning
  20. deduction
    The process of moving from a general rule to a specific example
  21. denotation
    The literal or dictionary meaning of a word
  22. dialect
    The re-creation of regional spoken language, such as a Southern dialect. Zora Neale Hurston uses this in such works as Their Eyes Were Watching God.
  23. diction
    The author's choice of words that creates tone, attitude, and style, as well as meaning
  24. Didactic
    Writing whose purpose is to instruct or to teach. A didactic work is usually formal and focuses on moral or ethical concerns.
  25. discourse
    A discussion on a specific topic
  26. ellipsis
    An indication by a series of three periods that some material has been omitted from a given text. It could be a word, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or a whole section. Be wary of the ellipsis; it could obscure the real meaning of the piece of writing.
  27. epigraph
    The use of a quotation at the beginning of a work that hints at its theme. Hemingway begins The Sun Also Rises with two epigraphs. One of them is "You are all a lost generation" by Gertrude Stein.
  28. euphemism
    A more acceptable and usually more pleasant way of saying something that might be inappropriate or uncomfortable. "He went to his final reward" is a common euphemism for "he died." Euphemisms are also often used to obscure the reality of a situation. The military uses "collateral damage" to indicate civilian deaths in a military operation.
  29. euphony
    The pleasant, mellifluous presentation of sounds in a literary work
  30. exposition
    Background information presented in a literary work
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AP Language and Composition Vocab 1
2014-03-25 15:33:47
AP Language Composition

AP Language and Composition Vocab 1
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