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Advanced Placement Literary Terms
terms for AP English Language and Composition
104
English
12/08/2010

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Term
Antecedent
Definition
is a noun, word, phrase, or clause that is replaced by a pronoun
Term
Apotheosis
Definition
occurs in literature when a character or a thing is elevated to such a high status that it appears godlike.
Term
Antipathy
Definition

is an aversion or dislike

 

Term
Analyze
Definition

is to seperate a subject into its parts

 

Term
Analysis
Definition

is the act or result of analyzing which is seperating a subject into its parts

 

Term
Asyndeton
Definition

is the ommission of conjunctions in a sentence

 

Term
Compare and Contrast
Definition
are two methods of development usually found together. They examine the similarities and differences between two things to reveal their nature
Term
Conclusion
Definition
is a sentence or paragraph that bring an essay to a successful and logical end.
Term
Critical thinking, reading, and writing
Definition
are a group of interlocking skills that each seek the meaning beneath the surface of a statement, poem, picture, etc
Term
Deductive reasoning/deduction
Definition
is the method of reasoning from the general to the particular. From what we already know to what we want to know.
Term
Effect
Definition
is the result of an action or event, usually considers withe cause as a method of development. Effect can also describe the impression a sentence or whole work makes on the reader
Term
Anaphora
Definition
is the repetition of a word or expression at the beginning of a successful sentence
Term
Anecdote
Definition
is a brief narrative or retelling of a story or event. It may be used as an essay opener or closer, for example, or just for entertainment.
Term
Epistrophe
Definition
is the repetition of a word or expression as the end of a sentence.
Term
Essay
Definition
is a short nonfiction composition in one central theme or subject in which the writer may offer personal views
Term
Evidence
Definition
is the factual basis for an arguement or an explanation
Term
Grammar
Definition
is a set of rules that specify how a given language is used correctly
Term
Inductive Reasoning
Definition
is the process of reasoning to a conclusion about a whole class by examing some of its members
Term

Introduction

Definition

is the opening of a written work which often contains a thesis

 

Term
Juxtapostition
Definition
is the act of placing two or more things side by side for comparison to make a point
Term
Logos
Definition
refers to the use of reason as a controlling principle in an arguement
Term
Overview
Definition
is a brief summary of a whole work
Term
Semantics
Definition
is a branch of linguistics that studies the meaning of words, their historical and psychological development, their connotations, and their relation to one another
Term
Selection of detail
Definition
is the specific words, incidents, images, or events the author uses to create a scene or narrative
Term
Speaker
Definition
is the narrator of a poem
Term
synonym
Definition
is a word that has the same or nearly the same meaning as another word
Term
Paraphrase
Definition
is to put another writer's thoughts into your own words
Term
paratactic/ parataxic
Definition
is the placing of clauses or phrases one after another without coordinating or subordinating connectives
Term
Person
Definition
is the grammatical distinction between the speaker, the one spoken to, and the one spoken about
Term
Tension
Definition
in a work of literature is a feeling of excitement or expectation the reader or audience feels because of the conflict, mood, or atmosphere of the work
Term
Texture
Definition
describes the way the elements of a work of prose or poetry are joined together
Term
Litotes
Definition
is an understatement used for effect
Term
Archetype
Definition
is a plot that repeats basic historical or primitive life patters
Term
Ballad
Definition
is a simple narrative verse that tells a story that is sung or recited
Term
Bard
Definition
is a poet. It used to be poets who related stories of heroes to the accompaniment of a musical instrument
Term
Bathos
Definition
is the use of ludicrous, commonplace language; the use of insincere or overdone sentimentality
Term
Belles-lettres
Definition
is a body of literature that is inherently artistic as opposed to scientific discourse
Term
blank verse
Definition
is unrhymed lines of verse
Term
bombast
Definition
is inflated language; the use of high-sounding language for a trivial subject
Term
burlesque
Definition
is a literary composition that aims to provoke laughter by riduculing a serious work
Term
Cacophony
Definition
is the use of inharmonious sounds in close conjunction to create an effect
Term
Carpe Diem
Definition
means "Sieze the day" a motif in poety that refers to the views that one should enjoy life to the fullest while one is able
Term
Catharsis
Definition
is a cleansing of the spirit of the spectator at a tragedy through experiencing pity and terror
Term
Classic
Definition
is a highly regarded work of literature or other art form that has withstood the test of time
Term
classical works
Definition
has orderly qualities that usually imply objectivity, simplicity, formality, and restraint
Term
Cliche
Definition
is an overused or trite expression
Term
Climax
Definition
is the high point or turning of a story
Term
Concrete terms
Definition
refers to things that have actual existance, that can be seen or known
Term
Consonance
Definition
is the repetition of two or more consonant sounds in group of words or a line of poetry
Term
Denotation
Definition
is the dictionary definition of a word or phrase
Term
Denouement
Definition
is the final resolution of the strands of plot complications or problems
Term
Deus ex machine
Definition
is the employment of artificial devices or gimmicks that the author uses to solve a difficult situation
Term
Diction
Definition
is the selection of words in oral or written discourse
Term
Dionysian
Definition
refers to the sensual, pleasure-seeking qualities of man and nature
Term
dramatic irony
Definition
is a truth known by the audience and reader but not by the characters in a story or play
Term
dramatic monologue
Definition
is  a type of poem or prose in which the speaker gives an account of a dramatic moment in his/her life and reveals his/her  character
Term
elegy
Definition
is a poem or piece of prose lamenting or meditation on the death of a person or pet
Term
Ellipsis
Definition
are three periods (...) indicating the ommission of words
Term
light verse
Definition
is a type of poetry meant to entertain or amuse. Some are to satirize or parody
Term
Limerick
Definition
is a form of light verse that is nonsensical, containing five lines and a prescribed rhythm or rhyme scheme
Term
loose sentence
Definition
is a sentence that follows the order of subject verb object
Term
lyric
Definition
is subjective, reflective poetry that reveals the poet's thoughts and feelings to create a single, unique impression
Term
Maxim
Definition
is a saying or proverb expressing common wisdom or truth
Term
Melodrama
Definition
is a literary account that appeals to the emotions to the extreme
Term
Meter
Definition
is the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables.
Term
Middle English
Definition
is the language spoke in England between A.D. 1150 through A.D. 1500
Term
Mode
Definition
is an attribute or quality of work which follows a certain technique or pattern
Term
Montage
Definition
is a quick succession of images or pictures to express an idea; used primarily in films
Term
Moral
Definition
is the lesson a reader infers from a story, poem, or other piece of literature
Term

Motif

 

Definition
is a device that serves as a unifying agent in conveying a theme
Term
Myth
Definition
is an imaginative world created by an author with beliefs and values that came from some viewpoints that people no longer believe
Term
Narrative
Definition
is a form of verse or prose that tells a story
Term
Nonsequitur
Definition
is a statement or idea that fails to follow logically from the one before
Term
Ode
Definition
is a lyric verse usually marked by serious, respectful, and exalted feelings toward the subject
Term
old English
Definition
is the language spoken in what is now England during the year A.D. 450 through A.D. 1150
Term
Omniscent narrator
Definition
is a narrator with unlimited awareness, understanding, and insight of character, setting, background and other elements
Term
Empathy
Definition
is a feeling of association or identification with an object, experiencing its sensations and responding with similar feelings
Term
Epic
Definition
is a narrative poem that tells of the adventures of a hero important to its nation or race
Term
Epigram
Definition
is the ingenious, witty, thoughtful, provocative statement
Term
Euphony
Definition
is the use of pleasant, harmonious words to create an effect
Term
Exegesis
Definition
is a detailed analysis or interpretation of a poem, parable, or other piece of discourse
Term
Existentialism
Definition
is a view of life that emphasizes existance as opposed to essence
Term
Expose
Definition
is a piece of writing meant to reveal or expose weakness, faults, frailties, or other shortcomings
Term
Explication
Definition
is the interpretation or analysis of text
Term
Expressionism
Definition
is a form of art that depicts the inner essence of man and projects his view of the world as colored by that essence
Term
Fable
Definition
is a short story designed to teach a useful lesson; its characters are usually animals or inanimate things
Term
Falling action
Definition
is the action in a play or story that occurs after the climax
Term
Fantasy
Definition
is the creation of unreal worlds and people bearing a relation to the real
Term
Flashback
Definition
is returning to an earlier time for the purpose of clarifying present actions or circumstances
Term
Foreshadowing
Definition
is when the author provides hints of things to come later in a story or play
Term
Free Verse
Definition
is a kind of poetry without rhymed lines or regular rhythm
Term
Genre
Definition
is a term used to describe literary forms such as tragedy, comedy, novel, and essay
Term
Haiku
Definition
is a verse form from Japan in which there are three lines of five, seven, five syllables, often depicting images from nature
Term
Hamartia
Definition
is a term for the protagonist's tragic flaw or tragic error of judgement
Term
Hubris
Definition
is a term for the pride of a tragic hero that leads him to ignore or overlook warnings of impending disaster or to break moral laws
Term
humanism
Definition
is an attitude that emphasizes human interests; an optimistic view of human potential
Term
humor
Definition
is the quality in action, speech, or writing that excites amusement
Term
Idyll
Definition
is a lyric poem that describes a kind of ideal life or place
Term
Imagery
Definition
is the use of words to represent what can be seen, felt, smelled, tasted, or touched
Term
impressionism
Definition
is the presentation of the salient features of a scene event or person as they appear to the author at that time
Term
Invective
Definition
is in satirical writing the use of denunciatory, angry, and insulting language
Term
Lampoon
Definition
is a violent and scurrilous satirical attack against a person or institution
Term
Ad hominem arguement
Definition
is an arguement that appeals to emotion rather than reason, to feeling rather than intellect
Term
Allegory
Definition
is the device of using character and/or story elements symbolically to represent an abstraction in addition to the literal meaning