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Rhetorical Strategies for the AP Language Exam

26 must-know rhetorical strategies for the AP Language and Composition exam
by

Amanda Richey

on 4 March 2011

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Transcript of Rhetorical Strategies for the AP Language Exam

26 Must-Know Rhetorical Strategies for the AP Exam Allegory: a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance, and characters are often personifications of abstract ideas as charity, greed, or envy.
Allusion: a brief reference to a person, event, or place, real or ficticious, or to a work of art. Casual reference to a famous historical or literary figure or event; may be drawn from history, geography, literature, or religion. Ambiguity: The presence of two or more possible meanings in any passage. Also, a fallacy in which the same term is used in more than one way. Attitude: way the author approaches
the subject, audience, or the message. Consider if an author communicates with a flippant attitude as opposed to a serious attitude, or with drama as opposed to comedy, or calmly as opposed to excitedly. Depending on authors’ purposes, audiences’ specific qualities, the nature of the context, and other factors, any of these attitudes could either help or hinder authors in their efforts to communicate depending on the other factors in any given rhetorical situation. Apostrophe: when an absent person, an abstract concept, or an important object is directly addressed.
Connotation: an implied meaning of a word. Opposite of denotation.
Example:
Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest (burial)

Denotation: the literal meaning of a word, the dictionary meaning. Opposite of connotation.
Example:
Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest (sleep).

Diction: literary word choice
(Analyze only interesting diction) Epigram: A statement, or any brief saying in prose or poetry, in which there is an apparent contradiction.
Examples:
"Conspicuous for his absence."
"Beauty when unadorned is most adorned."
"He was too foolish to commit folly."
"He was so wealthy that he could not spare the money."
Euphemism: the substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener; in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker; a commonly used term used to express a certain idea without bluntly declaring that idea.
Example: He kicked the bucket Hyperbole: is exaggeration or overstatement.
Opposite of Understatement Imagery: language that evokes one or all of the five senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching. Irony: an implied discrepancy between what is said and what is meant.
Three kinds of irony:
1. verbal irony: an author says one thing and means something else.
2. dramatic irony: an audience perceives something that a character in the literature does not know.
3. irony of situation: a discrepency between the expected result and actual results.
Metaphor: comparison of two UNLIKE things. Simile, personification, anthropomorphism, hyperbole, parable, fable, animism, and analogy are metaphors.

Metaphors are used to help us understand the unknown, because we use what we know in comparison with something we don't know to get a better understanding of the unknown.
Mood: the emotional attitude the author takes towards his subject. Oxymoron: putting two contradictory words together.
Examples:
hot ice, cold fire, wise fool, sad joy, eloquent silence,

Parable: a succinct story, in prose or verse, that illustrates a lesson. It differs from a fable in that fables use animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as characters, while parables generally feature human characters. It is a type of analogy.
Paradox: reveals a kind of truth which at first seems contradictory. Two opposing ideas.
Example:
Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage.

Parody: A text that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect Personification: giving human qualities to animals or objects.
Example:
a smiling moon, a jovial sun

First Person Point of View:
In the first person point of view, the narrator does participate in the action of the story. When reading stories in the first person, we need to realize that what the narrator is recounting might not be the objective truth. We should question the trustworthiness of the accounting.

Omniscient and Limited Omniscient Points of View:
A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.

A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor, has a limited omniscient point of view. Satire: a literary term used to ridicule or make fun of human vice or weakness, often with the intent of correcting, or changing, the subject of the satiric attack.
Simile: the comparison of two unlike things using like or as. Related to metaphor Stereotype: a character, with generalized traits (characteristics that make the character a group representative rather than an individual). Writers sometimes use stereotypes as minor characters.
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