AP Lang Summer Vocab


A narrative in which the characters, behavior, and even the setting demonstrate multiple levels of meaning and significance.
Ex: Animal Farm or The Wizard is Oz


Sequential religion of a similar initial sounds, usually applied to consonants.
Ex: Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.


A literary, historial, religious, or mythological reference
Ex: Chocolate was her achilles' heel.


The regular repetition of the same words or phrases at the beginning of successive phrases of clauses.
Ex: I have a dream speech


The juxtaposition of sharply contrasting ideas in balanced or parallel words, phrases, grammatical structure, or ideas.
Ex: "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." -MLK


A brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life.
Ex: spare the rod and spoil the child


A figure of speech wherein the speaker speaks directly to something nonhuman
Ex: "mirror mirror on the wall

Appeals to authority, emotion, or logic

Rhetorical arguments in which the speaker claims to be an expert in a field
Ex: Doctors all over the world recommend this type of treatment


Repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds
Ex:she sells sea shells by the sea shore


A syntactical structure in which conjunctions are omitted in a series
Ex: "I came, I saw, I conquered.


The sense expressed by the tone of voice or the mood of a piece of writing
Ex: All the trees died, but no one cares because they were only sour lemon trees. Sour lemon trees are unimportant anyways, so they can all die.... gives a negative attitude

Begging the question

An argumentative ploy where the argued sidesteps the question or the conflict, evading or ignoring the real question
Ex: killing people is wrong, so the death penalty is wrong


That which has been accepted as authentic
Ex: the Bible


A figure of speech and generally a syntactical structure wherein the order of the terms in the first half of a parallel clause is reversed in the second
Ex: "He thinks I am but a fool. A fool, perhaps I am.


In argumentation, an assertion of something as fact.
Ex: 48% of medical students are women


A term identifying the diction of common, ordinary folks, especially in a specific region or area.
Ex: coke vs pop

Comparison and Contrast

A mode of discourse in which two or more things are compared, contrasted, or both.
Ex: comparing life to a bowl of grapes


A comparison of two unlikely things that is drawn out within a piece of literature
Ex: Dead as a doornail


The implied, suggested, or underlying meaning of a word or phrase
Ex: "He's just a Cunningham" -To kill a Mockingbird


The repetition of two or more consonants with a change in the intervening vowels
Ex: pitter- patter


An accepted manner, model, or tradition
Ex: Aristotle's conventions of tragedy


An assessment or analysis of something
Ex: I give you a 9/10 on that performance

Deductive reasoning

Method of argument in which specific statements and conclusions are drawn from general principles
Ex: if a=b and b=c, then a=c


The language and speech idiosyncrasies of a specific area, region, or group
Ex: Huck in Huckleberry Finn speaks with a more southern dialect.


The specific word choice an author uses to persuade or convey tone, purpose, or effect.
Ex: Formal (Hello young man) vs informal (hey kid)


When writing has instructive purpose or a lesson
Ex: a How- to Manuel


A poem that laments the death of a person, or one that is simply sad and thoughtful.
Ex: Thomas Gray's Elegy


Repetition of a phrase at the end of successive sentence
Ex: Lincoln's Gettysburg Address


Writing in praise of a dead person, most often inscribed upon a headstone
Ex: He was a wonderful soldier and will always be remembered


The appeals of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writing, or narrator
Ex: We've been making this car for over 30 years


Speech or written passage in praise of a person
Ex: On Mr. William Shakespeare


An indirect, kinder, or less harsh or hurtful way of expressing unpleasant information
Ex: nicer to say that a person was given a pink slip rather has been terminated


Writing that explains its own meaning or purpose
Ex: Star Wars

Extended metaphor

Series of comparisons within a piece of writing
Ex: Romeo and Juliet

Figurative language/ figure of speech

Has levels of meaning expressed through figures of speech
Ex: Her hair was silk


An earlier event is inserted into the normal chronology of the narration
Ex: The Bible


Type or class of literature
Ex: fiction


A sermon, but more contemporary uses include any serious talk, speech, or lecture
Ex: speaking about greed


Overstatement characterized by exaggerated language
Ex: I'm so hungry I can eat a horse


Involved senses to evoke a feeling, to call to mind an idea, or to desire an object.
Ex: the dusty clouds peppered the sky

Inductive Reasoning

reasoning from detailed facts to general principles
Ex: Harold is a grandpa. Harold is bald. Therefore all grandpas are bald.


A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning
Ex: this man is caring a briefcase and is wearing a suit... he must be a businessman

Verbal Irony

A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant
Ex: sarcasm

Situational Irony

Events end up the opposite of what is expected
Ex: The boy in the Striped Pajamas

Dramatic Irony

when a reader is aware of something that a character isn't
Ex: Romeo and Juliet


Parallel structure in which the parallel elements are similar not only in grammatical structure, but also in length
Ex: buy one, get one


special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or group and are difficult for others to understand.
Ex: medical jargon


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.
Ex: the relationship between light and darkness in Romeo and Juliet


A figure of speech that emphasizes its subject by conscious understatement
Ex: he's HARDLY a Jimi Hendrix


A comparison without using like or as
Ex: her hair was silk


A figure of speech in which something is referred to by using the name of something that is associated with it
Ex: The Buckingham palace announced today...

Mode of Discourse

the way in which information is presented in written or spoken form
Ex: narration

loose sentence/periodic sentence

A type of sentence in which the main idea comes first, followed by dependent grammatical units such as phrases and clauses
Ex: the child ran, ignoring all hazards, as if being chased by demons


Feeling or atmosphere that a writer creates for the reader
Ex: eery


The telling of an event or series of events.
Ex: a story... The Grinch who stole Christmas


words that imitate sounds
Ex: buzz


A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase.
Ex: deafening silence, wise fool


a statement that seems contradictory but is actually true
Ex: This statement is false

Parallel Structure

the repetition of words or phrases that have similar grammatical structures
Ex: I like readING, writING, and playING


Appeal to emotion
Ex: speech using "poor starving children" or I have a dream speech

Periodic Sentence

A sentence that presents its central meaning in a main clause at the end.
Ex: Looking as if she were being chased by demons, ignoring all hazards, the child ran.


giving human characteristics to nonhuman things
Ex: the wind whispered