literary devices 2016

ad hominem argument

an argument that appeals to emotion rather than reason, to feeling rather than to intellect

allegory

a symbolic narrative created to parallel and illuminate a separate set of moral, philosophical, political, religious, or social situations

alliteration

the repetition of consonant sounds in a sequence of nearby words

allusion

a reference, explicit, or indirect, to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art

ambiguity

the use of a single word or expression to signify two or more distinct references, or to express two or more diverse attitudes or feelings

analogy

a point by point comparison made between two things for the purpose of clarifying the less familiar of the two subjects

antecedent

the word a pronoun stands for, usually used before or in close proximity to that person

antithesis

two contrasting ideas juxtaposed for effect

aphorism

the pithy and pointed statement of a serious maxim opinion, or general truth

apostrophe

a direct and explicit address to an absent person or non-human entity

caricature

in verbal description, the distortion or exaggeration, for comic effect of a person's physical features or other characteristics

chiasmus

a rhetorical device in which two or more clauses are balanced against each other by the reversal of their structures in order to produce an artistic effect

colloquialism

informal speech, characteristics of spoken language or writing that seeks the effect of everyday speech

conceit

a figure of speech which establishes a striking parallel, usually elaborate, sometimes farfetched, between two very dissimilar things or situations

connotation

an association that a word calls to mind in addition to its dictionary meaning; the emotional, psychological or social overtones or implications that words carry; such as, in the difference between the synonyms childish and childlike

denotation

a word's exact, specific meaning, independent of other associations the word calls to mind

diction

word choice, sentence structure, phrases, figurative language

didactic

work of literature which as a moral or teaches a lesson

euphemism

an inoffensive expression used in place of a blunt one felt to be disagreeable or harsh

figurative language

writing of speech not meant to be interpreted literally

figures of speech

literary devices that communicate ideas beyond the literal meaning of the words; common types include hyperbole, metaphor, personification, and simile

genre

literary form

generic conventions

descirbes traditions for each genre

hyperbole

a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement as a means of emphasis

imagery

the descriptive language used in literature to recreate sensory experiences

inferences

that which is discovered by reasoning, conclusions

invective

an emotionally violent, verbal denunciation or attack using strong, abusive language

irony

an event or outcome that is the opposite of what would be naturally expected

juxtaposition

a poetic and rhetorical device in which normally unassociated ideas, words, or phrases are placed next to one another, often creating an effect of surprise and wit

loose sentence

a type of sentence in which the main idea, is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases

metaphor

a figure of speech in which on things is spoken of as though it were something else

extended metaphor

a metaphor that is developed at length and that involves several points of comparison

metonymy

the literal term for one thing is applied to another with which it is closely associated (referring to the President as "the White House")

mood

the feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage

onomatopoeia

the use of words that imitate sounds

oxymoron

the paradoxical utterance conjoining two terms that in ordinary usage are contraries

paradox

a statement that seems to be contradictory but that actually presents the truth

parody

imitaiton of the words, style and ideas of an exaggerated way as to make them ridiculous

pathos

that quality in a work of art which evokes feelings of tenderness, pity, or sorrow

pendantic

an adjective that describes words, phrases, or general tone that is overly scholarly, academic, or bookish

repetition

the act or instance of repeating a certains literary element, word, or phrase

rhetoric

use of language for persuasion in speaking or writing, especially in orotory

rhetorical question

a sentence in grammatical form of a question which is not asked in order to receive a reply

personification

a type of figurative language in which a non-human subject is given human characteristics

point of view

the perspective, or vantage point, from which a story is told

prose

a direct, unadorned form of language, written or spoken in ordinary usage; it is not restricted in rhythm, measure, or rhyme

pun

a play on words that are either identical in sound

sarcasm

crude and taunting use of apparent praise for dispraise

satire

the literary art ridiculing a subject by making it ridiculous and evoking attitudes of amusement or contempt

simile

a figure of comparisons sometimes using "like" with nouns and "as" with clauses

style

the modes and devices of expression in prose for verse; thus, diction, grammatical constructions, figurative language, alliteration, and other sound patterns all enter into style

syllogism

a logical scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion which must logically be true if the premises are true

syntax

the way that sequences of words are ordered into phrases, clauses, and sentences

theme

a general concept or doctrine which an imaginative work is designed to incorporate and make persuasive to the reader; a significant idea in a literary text

thesis

the argument one attempts to prove or defend in a scholarly essay

tone

the techniques and modes of presentation an author uses to reveal or create attitudes in a literary piece

transitions

changes in thought or direction of an idea

understatement

restraint of lack of emphasis in a expression, as for rhetorical effect

wit

intellectually amusing language that surprises and delights

foreshadowing

the use, in a literary work, of clues that suggest events that have yet to occur

narrative

a literary work that tells a story

logos

a literary device that can be defined as a statement, sentence, or argument used to convince or persuade the targeted audience by employing reason or logic

narrative devices

the tools of a storyteller, such as ordering events so that they build to a climactic moment or withholding information until a crucial or appropriate moment

ethos

represents credibility or an ethical appeal which involves persuasion by the character involved

parallelism

the use of successive verbal constructions in poetry or prose that correspond in grammatical structure, sound, meter, meaning, etc

attitude

a mental position or feeling with regard to a fact or statement, attitude is usually discussed in terms of author, character, objects, ideas, etc

devices

refers to the typical structures used by writers in their works to convey his or her message(s) in a simple manner to his or her readers

sentence structures

the way a sentence is arranged grammatically

predicate adjectives

a subject complement, a word or group of words that follows a linking verb or verb phrase

homily

moralizing talk or writing, homilist