A play on words that often has a comic effect. Associated with wit and cleverness. A writer who speaks of the "grave topic of American funerals" may be employing an intentional or unintentional pun.
Reductio ad Absurdum
The Latin for "to reduce to the absurd." This is a technique useful in creating a comic effect (see Twain's "At the Funeral") and is also an argumentative technique. It is considered a rhetorical fallacy, because it reduces an argument to an either/or choice.
Refers to the entire process of written communication. Rhetorical strategies and devices are those tools that enable a writer to present ideas to an audience effectively.
One that does not expect an explicit answer. It is used to pose an idea to be considered by the speaker or audience. (Francois Villon [in translation] asks, "Where are the snows of yesteryear?")
A comic technique that ridicules through caustic language. Tone and attitude may both be described as sarcastic in a given text if the writer employs language, irony, and wit to mock or scorn.
A mode of writing based on ridicule, that criticizes the foibles and follies of society without necessarily offering a solution. (Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels is a great satire that exposes mankind's condition.)
The time and place of a literary work
An indirect comparison that uses the word like or as to link the differing items in the comparison. ("Your eyes are like stars.")
The specific instructions a playwright includes concerning sets, characterization, delivery, etc.
A unit of a poem, similar in rhyme, meter, and length to other units in the poem.
The organization and form of a work
The unique way an author presents his ideas. Diction, syntax, imagery, structure, and content all contribute to a particular style.
Reducing the original text to tis essential parts
The format of a formal argument that consists of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion
Something in a literary work that stands for something else. (Plato has the light of the sun symbolize truth in "The Allegory of the Cave.")
A figure of speech that utilizes a part as representative of the whole. ("All hands on deck" is an example.)
The grammatical structure of prose and poetry
Location a number of sources and integrating them into the development and support of a writer's thesis/claim
The underlying ideas the author illustrates through characterization, motifs, language, plot, etc.
Simply, the main idea of a piece of writing. It presents the author's assertion or claim. the effectiveness of a presentation is often based on how well the writer presents, develops, and supports the thesis.
The author's attitude toward his subject
A word or phrase that links one idea to the next and carries the reader from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph
The opposite of exaggeration. It is a technique for developing irony and/or humor where one writes or says less than intended.
Can refer to two different areas of writing. The first refers to the relationship between a sentence's subject and verb (active voice and passive voice). The second refers to the total "sound" of a writer's style.