a figure of speech in which a part of something is used to represent the whole or, occasionally, the whole is used to represent a part. Ex: To refer to a boat as a “sail.”
when one kind of sensory stimulus evokes the subjective experience of another. Ex: The sight of red ants makes you itchy.
The way an author chooses to join words into phrases, clauses, and sentences. Syntax is similar to diction, but you can differentiate them by thinking of syntax as groups of words, while diction refers to individual words.
The central idea or message of a work, the insight it offers into life. Usually theme is unstated in fictional works, but in nonfiction, the theme may be directly stated, especially in expository or argumentative writing.
Similar to mood, tone describes the author’s attitude toward his material, the audience, or both. Tone is easier to determine in spoken language than in written language.
a word or phrase that links different ideas. Used especially, although not exclusively, in expository and argumentative writing, transitions effectively signal a shift from one idea to another.
the ironic minimizing of fact, understatement presents something as less significant than it is. The effect can frequently be humorous and emphatic.
in modern usage, intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights.
In expository writing, the thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that directly expresses the author’s opinion, purpose, meaning, or position. Expository writing is usually judged by analyzing how accuracly, effectively, and throughly a writer has proven a thesis.
Reasoning that begins with a general principle and concludes with a specific instance that demonstrates the general principle.
an argument in which one conclusion is not explicitly stated.
An act or instance of placing close together or side by side,especially for comparison or contrast.
The stress and intonation patterns of an utterance, determined by pitch, stress, and juncture.
An artful variation from expected modes of expression of thoughts and ideas; artful diction.
(In Jungian psychology) a collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches.
The non-literal, associative meaning of a word; the implied, suggested meaning. Connotations may involve ideas, emotions, or attitudes.
In fiction, a foil is a character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character.
The device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning. In some allegories, for example, an author may intend the characters to personify an abstraction like hope or freedom. The allegorical meaning usually deals with moral truth or a generalization about human existence.
The opposition or contrast of ideas; the direct opposite.
From the Greek for “good speech,” euphemisms are a more agreeable or less offensive substitute for a generally unpleasant word or concept. The euphemism may be used to adhere to standards of social or political correctness or to add humor or ironic understatement. Saying “earthy remains” rather than “corpse” is an exampe of euphemism.
An emotionally violent, verbal denunciation or attack using strong, abusive language.
A statement that appears to be self-contradictory or opposed to common sense but upon closer inspection contains some degree of truth or validity.
From the Greek for “orator,” this term describes the principle s governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively.
To draw a reasonable conclusion from the information presented. When a multiple choice question asks for an inference to be drawn from a passage, the most direct, most reasonable inference is the safest answer choice If an inference is implausible, it’s unlikely to be the correct answer.
A work that closely imitates the style of content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule.
A figure of speech describing the omission of a conjunction: “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
The use of slang or in formalities in speech or writing.
A direct or indirect reference to something which is presumably commonly known, such as an event, book, myth, place, or work of art.
The major category into which a literary work fits. The basic divisions of literature are prose, poetry, and drama. However, it is a flexible term.
The repetition of sounds, especially initial consonant sounds in two or more neighboring words.
The strict, literal, dictionary definition of a word, devoid of any emotion, attitude, or color.