Terms from Past AP Poetry and Prose Essay Prompts

An attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience, generally conveyed through the choice of words or the viewpoint of a writer on a particular subject.

word choice
Refers to a writer’s selection of words based on meaning (both denotative and connotative), specificity, level of diction, tone, and audience. Also called diction, this an essential ingredient of style.

selection of detail
The details that the author reveals for the purpose of adding to the desired dominant impression. These details are selected based on what they tell the reader about the person, place or thing being described.

Examine methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of something, especially information, typically for purposes of explanation and interpretation.

The narrative voice in a poem that speaks of his or her situation or feelings.

poetic devices
Literary elements or techniques a poet uses to reinforce ideas and overall meaning in a poem.

Visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work.

figurative language
Uses words or expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation to be more effective, persuasive and impactful.

The physical structure of the poem: the length of the lines, their rhythms, their system of rhymes and repetition.

Style of speaking or writing determined by the choice of words by a speaker or a writer.

Make an idea, impression, or feeling known or understandable to someone.

complex attitude
A combination of the poet’s tone of voice, and the ideas he or she is trying to get across to the reader.

point of view
The perspective from which the story is told.

The overall organization of lines and/or the conventional patterns of sound.

A brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.

The overall feeling for the audience an author creates in his or her writing; also known as atmosphere.

narrative perspective
The position of the narrator to the story.

Describe the distinctive nature or features of.

The arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language.