AP Literary Terms

Allegory
The expression through symbolism of truths or generalizations about human experience.

Alliteration
The repetition of initial sounds in adjacent words or syllables.

Inference
To derive as a conclusion from facts or premises.

Narrative
To recite the details of a story; a story told in the first person

Persuasive Devices
Presents a coherent argument in which evidence leads to relevant conclusions.

Predicate Adjective
Tells something abouth the subject, following (;) a linking verb.

Point of View (P.O.V.)
Decscribes grammatical/person perspective.

Syllogism
Form of argument that contains major premise, minor premise, and conclusion.

Resources of Language
Refers to devices of composition available to a writer (diction, syntax, etc.)

Denotation
The meaning one conveys or intends to convey especially by language; the dictionary meaning of a word.

Wit
The ability to relate seemingly disparate things so as to illuminiate or amuse.

Irony
To express the opposite of what one really means.

Loose Sentence
A sentence where the main clause is stated and subordinate follows.

Diction
Choice of words with regard to correctness, clearness or effectiveness.

Symbolism
Object that signified or reflected greater meaning.

Allusion
A reference to someone or something that is known from history, literature, religion, politics, sports, science, or some other branch of culture.

Ambiguity
The quality or state of being ambiguous; capable of understanding in more than one way.

Rhetorical Features
Refers to how a passage is constructed.

Syntax
Sentence structure.

Stylistic Devices
All elements in language that contribute to style– diction, syntax, tone, attitude, figures of speech, connotations and repetition.

Didactic
Stories intended to instruct, inform, or teach a moral lesson.

Euphemism
The substitution of a mild or pleasant expression for one offensive or unpleasant.

Antecedent
Earlier in time or order; the prologue of a story or event.

Colloquial
Local jargon; of relating to, or characteristic of conversation and especially of familiar and unformal conversation.

Mood
A constant state of mind or predominant emotion.

Theme
Central meaning or dominant idea.

Personification
Giving human like qualitities to non-living objects.

Periodic Sentence
A sentence in which the main clause is left unfinished until the end in order to create the effect of anticipation or suspense.

Extended Metaphor
A metaphor that is extended or developed over a number of lines or with several examples.

Persuasive Essay
Presents a coherent arugument in which evidence leads to relevant conclusions.

Metonymy
A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated.

Homily
Sermon; a speech about God or religion.

Invective
An abusive expression or speech.

Figurative Language
A word or phrase that departs from everyday literal language for the sake of comparison, emphasis, clarity, or freshness.

Thesis
Theory expressed as a statement for discussion.

Figures of Speech
An expression that uses language in a non-literal way, such as a metaphor or a simile.

Tone
Authors implicit attitude toward the reader or the people

Predicate Nominative
A noun or prounoun which follows the verb and describes or renames the subject.

Attitude
A mental position with regard to a fact or state.

Generic Convention
A general agreement between states on a matter of common concer; tradititons for each genre.

Analogy
Inference that if two or more things agree in some respects they will probably agree in others.

Aphorism
A short saying stating the general truth.

Rhetorical Modes
Describes the variety, conventions, and purposes of major kinds of writing.

Rhetoric
Undue use of exaggeration.

Parody
A humorous or satirical imitation.

Parallelism
The quality or state of being similar in essential parts.

Genre
A distinctive type of category of literary composition.

Concrete Detail
Details in which the words are arranged to suggest visual representation of the subject.

Sarcasm
Ironical taunt.

Transtition
A movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, style or idea to another.

Repetition
Repeating of a word within a sentence of poetical lines/literature.

Descriptive Detail
Details that use our senses to create a mood or emotion.

Devices
Something in a literary work designed to achieve a particular artistic effect.

Prose
Prose is an ordinary form of spoken or written language without metrical structure.

Understatement
To represent as less than is the case.

Satire
The use of irony or sarcasm to denounce vice, folly, etc; the use of wit.

Semantics
The meaning of a word.

Language
The form of manner or verbal expression.

Paradox
A statement that seems contrary to common sense and yet is perhaps true.

Oxymoron
A combination of contradictory words.

Pedantic
Makes a show of knowledge; an adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overl scholarly, academic, or bookish; the use of BIG WORDS.

Hyperbole
Extravagant exaggeration used as a figure of speech.

Imagery
Figurative language; the art of making images through details.

Apostrophe
A rhetorical device which is uded to directly address an absent or imaginary person or object as if alive and present and could reply.

Atmosphere
A prevailing emotional tone or attitude, especially one associated with a specific place or time.

Narrative Devices
Tools of a story teller; includes ordering events to create a climax.

Style
Verbal identity of a writer based on syntax and diction.

Narrative Technique
Identifiable rule of thumb that is employed in literature and storytelling.

Subject Compliment
Phrase or clause that follow linking verb and compliments or completes the subject of a sentence.

Subordinate Clause
Has both a subject and verb; cannot stand alone and make sense.

Clause
A separate part of an article or document; a group of words consisting of a subject and its predicate.

Conceit
An elaborate metaphor that compares two extremely different things.

Metaphor
A word for one idea or thing is used in place of another to suggest likeness between them; comparison without the use of “like” or “as”.

Onomatopoeia
Formation of words in imitation of natural sounds.

Connotation
A meaning in addition to or apart from the thing explicitly named or described by a word.