Glossary of ADV American Lit Rhetorical Devices

Start Studying! Add Cards ↓

what person it is written in
(I, he, she, you, we, they)
metaphor or similie, comparison
reference to something related but in an external context, requires previous knowledge
"principle expressed tersely in a few telling words or any general truth conveyed in a short and pithy sentence"
appeal to emotion, logic, audience, authority
pathos tactic
formal justification or defense
a figure of speech in which someone absent or dead or something nonhuman is addressed as if it were alive and present and could reply
Atmosphere (or mood)
the feelings evoked in audience/reader by the language, ideas, etc.
a harsh, unpleasant sound in verse or prose or speech
an assertion of a fact or a demand as a right
Figure wherein a rhetor concedes a disputed point or leaves a disputed point to the audience to decided
way it is written, slant, accent, prononciation, word choice,
double entendre
an idea or saying that can be interpreted in two different ways
a descriptive word about a person or thing.
substitution of an agreeable or at least non-offensive expression for one whose plainer meaning might be harsh or unpleasant
A figure of speech that uses a representative term to stand for a larger thing or idea
the feeling or atmosphere evoked in a scene
the character who tells the story
the verbal sound mimics the sound of the actual sound
a statement that seems contradictory, but which is actually true
one or more phrases or clauses that follow the same grammatical structure
a characterized figure who may stand in for the author but who does not necessarily share the author’s values
Rhetorical question
A question asked for dramatic effect. It may or may not demand an answer
in poetry, fiction and drama not the voice of the writer, but the voice of the character, or persona, whose voice we hear
the diction, syntax, imagery, content, and structure that make up a writer’s unique manner of writing
figurative language in which a part of detail of something is used to stand for the whole
the speaker or writer's attitude toward self, subject matter and/or audience portrayed through language (NOT INFO!)
Interrupted or suspended, word order
(s/v/…/o: I ran, slowly but methodically, to the store.
Periodic sentence
a sentence that presents its main idea at the end of the sentence, for emphasis
Loose sentence
a sentence that presents its main idea at the beginning of the sentence followed by modifying phrases and clauses
Ad Hominem
Discrediting the argument because of the person
Argument from authority (Ad verecundiam)
1. The official-sounding (or -looking) expert 2.A doctor (of education) recommends a medical treatment
3. Have to apply the same rules of vetting, including appropriateness of expertise
4. Using an authority (Bible, Jefferson) to support dozens of sometimes contradictory positions–not necessarily true to the source
Tautology/Circular Reasoning
using conclusions to prove premises
Argument from ignorance
Any conclusion can be reached regarding unanswerable questions
false dilemma
Conclusions based on wrongly limited options
Slippery slope/Thin edge of the wedge
Relatively minor events steam-roll to greater effects
straw man
Substituting a false or exaggerated claim for the opponent’s actual argument and then attacking those claims as though they fully represent the opponent’s position
Genetic fallacy
Discrediting an argument based on its origin
Attributing the values of the parts to the whole
The combination of correct parts does not, necessarily, create a correct whole
Presenting contradictory positions
Drawing conclusions from scant or insufficient evidence
1.Ignoring the central and more complex aspects of an argument.
2.Claim an either/or situation when in fact other alternatives also exist.
Tu Quoque (Thou, also)
Reversing an argument onto an opponent
Cause and effect (Post Hoc ergo propter hoc)
B follows A, therefore A causes B
False analogy
A leading to B is just like C leading to D
Statistics don’t lie
Statistical evidence can be manipulated or misinterpreted
Appeal to the crowd (ad populim)
1. Snob appeal, mob appeal
2. Only the best use x. Everyone uses x.
3. Use of myth or symbol–wrapped in flag and cross
4. Attribution to the anonymous “they” (Holocaust)
Slippery slope
Predicting grave consequences as inevitable although they not necessarily certain

Add Cards

You must Login or Register to add cards