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Flashcards in Writing Material Part 1 Deck (33):

Aesthetic Reading

Reading to experience the world of the text.

Ex 1: One often reads John Steinbeck's novels, like The Grapes of Wrath, to experience his detailed settings.

Ex 2: Some people read Harry Potter to imagine themselves at Hogwarts.



The goal a writer or speaker hopes to achieve with the text -- for example, to clarify difficult material, to inform, to convince, to persuade. Also called intention and purpose.

Ex: In Pride, Dagoberto Gilb's aim is to define pride and what it means to him.


Anglo-Saxon Diction

Word choice characterized by simple, often one- or two- syllable nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

Ex: Words include "thinking," "kingly," "bridge," "stone," and "early."



Two nouns that are adjacent to each other and reference the same thing.

Ex: I know the dog Toto.
The dog toto both refer to the same thing and are an apposition.



In a spoken or written text, the placement of ideas for effect.

Ex: In essays, writers often strategically arrange their essays into paragraphs and order their points from most convincing to least.



The repetition of vowel sounds in the stressed syllables of two or more adjacent words. Assonance takes place when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds.

Ex 1: "Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies" (John Keats)

Ex 2: In this example by Carl Sandburg, in Early Moon, the long “o” sounds old or mysterious.
“Poetry is old, ancient, goes back far. It is among the oldest of living things. So old it is that no man knows how and why the first poems came.”



An opinion, a perspective, or a belief that a writer or speaker thinks the audience holds.

Ex: "We think a problem is weakness, mental laziness, intellectual inflation, but an issue is deep-rooted, interior, and personal." (Allison Amend)



In an adapted dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent materials, the manner in which an action is carried out.

Ex: "Truth be told, we have replaced problem with issue in our vocabulary. And issue is a euphemism." (Allison Amend)



Magnifying the importance or gravity of something by referring it with a disproportionate name.

Ex 1: Calling a scratch on an arm a wound.

Ex 2: Calling a paper cut a hideous scar.


Begging of the Question

The situation that results when a writer or speaker constructs an argument on an assumption that the audience does not accept. A fallacy in which the premise of an argument presupposes the truth of its conclusion; in other words, the argument takes for granted what it is supposed to prove.

Ex 1: This painting is horrible because it is obviously worthless.

Ex 2: I'm right because you're wrong.


Casual Relationship

The relationship expressing, "If X is the cause, then Y is the effect," or, "If Y is the effect, then X caused it." Cause and effect.

Ex: If the dog runs away, then the boy will be sad.



A personage in a narrative.

Ex: Romeo was a character in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.


Complex Sentence

A sentence with one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

Ex: As long as it isn't cold, it doesn't matter if it rains.


Compound-Complex Sentence

A sentence with two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

Ex: The package arrived in the morning, but the courier left before I could check the contents.



The convergence of time, place, audience, and motivating factors in which a piece of writing or a speech is situated. The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.

Ex: Kate Chopin lived in the late 1800s in Southern America as a feminist. This background formed the foundation of The Awakening.



One of the types of rhetorical invention included under the common topic of relationships. Contradiction urges the speaker or writer to invent an example or a proof that is counter to the main idea or argument. A combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.

Ex 1: "If war is the cause of our misery, peace is the way to promote our happiness."

Ex 2: Starburst is a solid, yet juicy. A juicy contradiction.



The "dictionary definition" of a word, in contrast to its connotation, or implied meaning.

Ex 1: A house is literally a dwelling usually for a family.

Ex 2: A family is literally people who are genetically related to you.


Descriptive Writing

Writing that relies on sensory images to characterize a person or place.

Ex: "so much depends/ upon/ the red wheel/ barrow/ glazed with rain/ water/ beside the white/ chickens" (William Carlos Williams)



The describable patterns of language--grammar and vocabulary--used by a particular cultural or ethnic population.

Ex: A Caribbean dialect is often "sing-songish" and leaves out words from sentences.



Conversation between and among characters.

Ex: "Jim, I don't get it," Blair said.
Jim raised an eyebrow. "Don't get what?"



Word choice, which is viewed on scales of formality/informality, concreteness/abstraction, Latinate derivation/Anglo-Saxon derivation, and denotative value/connotative value.

Ex: Using "issue" instead of "problem."


Double Entendre

The double meanings of a group of words that the speaker or writer has purposely left ambiguous.

Ex 1: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" (Shelley).

Ex 2: "West Egg especially still figures into my more fantastic dreams" (Fitzgerald 185).

Ex 3: The name of the Belamy Brother's song "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me." Would you hold it against me is an expression asking if you would be offended, but in this case, it can also be read as asking the person with the nice body to physically hold it against him.



The process by which writers get something written on paper or in a computer file so that they can develop their ideas and begin moving toward an end, a start-to-finish product; the raw material for what will become the final product.

Ex: For the research paper, we will have to revise and draft many times to perfect our papers.


Dramatic Monologue

A type of poem, popular primarily in the nineteenth century, in which the speaker is delivering a monologue to an assumed group of listeners.

Ex: In "My Last Duchess," by Robert Browning, shows off a painting of his late wife and reveals his cruelty to her.



The repetition of a group of words at the end of successive clauses.

Ex 1: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us" (Emerson).

“Who is here so base that would be a bondman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended….”
(Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare)
Again Shakespeare is at his best in using this stylistic device. The repeated phrases at the end of sentences are: “for him have I offended.” It appears thrice in this excerpt. This shows the importance of the phrase.



Asking a question to assert or deny something obliquely not for an answer. A question that is asked without expecting an answer because the answer is strongly implied. It is a rhetorical question.

Ex: "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?"



The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator. Ethos is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader.

Ex 1: If you don't graduate from high school, you will always be poor.

Ex 2: "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."



An overstatement.

Ex: The Matrix is the best movie ever made.



An anecdote or a narrative offered in support of a generalization, claim, or point.

Ex: Animals have more intelligence than imagined. "On human IQ tests, she [a gorilla named Koko] scores between 70 and 95" (Rifkin).



In ancient roman oratory, the introduction of a speech; literally, the "web" meant to draw the audience in the speech. It can also be called the hook.

Ex: Julius Caesar's speech begins with an exordium.


Extended Analogy

An extended passage arguing that if two things are similar in one or two ways, they are probably similar in other ways as well.

Ex 1: In "Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts," Catton argues some similarities between Grant and Lee.

Ex 2: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.”
(Shakespeare’s As You Like It)
Shakespeare has compared “earth” to a “stage” in the extract mentioned above.


Extended Example

An example that is carried through several sentences or paragraphs.

Ex: In "Pride," Dagoberto Gilb extends an Ex of pride in the form of an anecdote through two paragraphs.



A narrative in which fictional characters, often animals, take actions that have ethical or moral significance.

Ex: Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a fable.