AP Literature & Composition

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Name______________________________________
Advanced Placement Literature and Composition
Enclosed, you will find your summer assignments. By signing up for the AP course you have agreed to
complete these assignments by the due dates and with academic integrity. Failure to do so will result in your
removal from the course and placement in the English Language Arts 11 or 12 course. This is the first of many
tasks requiring you to demonstrate your responsibility and commitment to academic excellence, so produce
work that showcases your best effort. Finally, please remember to sign and return your AP contract by the start
of school.
The Assignments
1. You will review and understand the AP Key Rhetorical Terminology and AP English Allusions (packets
included) established by the College Board as necessary for success in an AP literature course. If the
definitions and explanations provided for you are not explicit enough for you to gain understanding, it is
your responsibility to investigate the terms further. There will be a preliminary test on these terms in
the first days of school. APPENDIX B
2. How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster
a. You will need to purchase a copy of this book. You can find it on Amazon.com for $11-14, or
buy it used. We will use this book all throughout the school year.
b. You must read this book first, before reading Frankenstein.
c. Be an active reader; engage with the text! Highlight, tab, write in the margins…this book should
look well-loved and well-digested.
d. Type up an outline for the entire book due July 15 in Google Classroom. (Using your rak12.org
Google account, go to classroom.google.com and use the class code: f8to816
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley:
a. You will need to purchase a copy of the book, borrow one from me, or borrow it from your local
library. Regardless, you will need to have the book with you in class until mid-September.
b. Review the “Objectives” to set the purpose for your reading. You should be able to speak or
write intelligently about the objectives after reading the book.
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c. Read the book and use the study guide questions to check your reading comprehension. They
will not be graded, but if you cannot answer the questions, you can assume you did not
understand what you read.
d. You WILL DO annotations for this book. The annotations can either go into your marble
notebook (see course supply list below), or on detailed sticky notes throughout the book. The
annotations should revolve around the information you gleaned from How to Read
Literature Like a Professor.
e. The annotations are due the second day of school and you will be graded on the depth and
relevance of your discussion points.
f. In class we will combine college-style lecture, analytical discussion, writing tasks, as well as
take a practice AP test based on Frankenstein.
4. You will complete EITHER a college essay writing task or a senior project writing task DUE AUG 1st
in Google Classroom f8to8l6 See Google Classroom and APPENDIX A for more detailed
instructions.
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Course Supplies
2” binder
Dividers
Loose leaf paper
1 Marble composition book
Pink, green and blue highlighters
Copious amounts of sticky notes
Enjoy your summer, including the super-awesome literature you have been asked to read. I look forward to
seeing you, and the fruits of all your hard work, in August! We’ll be sending out those college applications in
no time!
Best regards,
Mrs. Behrens O’Brien
***Writing workshops will be held if you want assistance with assignment #4 above- senior project or college essay
drafting:
Norristown Public Library: 7/24 12pm-3pm; Phoenixville Public Library: 7/28 12pm-3pm***
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APPENDIX A.12
AP Lit 12
Do EITHER A or B- DUE AUG 1st in Google Classroom f8to8l6
A. College essay: You will create an outline and intro paragraph for one of the 6 essay options. I have
included the complete assignment below so you can see all of the requirements. However, please
remember, you only need to do the outline and intro paragraph if you choose to do this task!
Please write an essay of 250 – 500 words on ONE of the options listed below. Please indicate your topic by
checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps colleges become acquainted with you as a person and
student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to
organize your thoughts and express yourself.
1. Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application
would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. The lessons we take from failure can be fundamental to later success. Recount an incident or time when you
experienced failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to act? Would you make the same
decision again?
4. Describe a problem you’ve solved or a problem you’d like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research
query, an ethical dilemma-anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to
you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
5. Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, which marked your transition from childhood to
adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
6. Write an essay explaining the impact your senior project, Allied Health, Teacher Academy, Costa Rica Service
Trip or similar experience had on you. Be sure to explain how this experience has shaped you into a student who
is prepared for the collegiate experience.
Avoid the most common mistakes by looking at the feedback checklist:
____There is no “hook.” I’m not immediately interested in reading your essay.
____DO NOT INTRODUCE YOURSELF. They can see who you are on the application half a page up.
____Word choice is too simple.
____Does not tell anything about your character. How has this thing you’ve talked about help shape who you
are today, and why does that make you a good candidate for their college campus?
____ Not a great choice for this section.
____Other Comments:
OR
B. Senior Project: Student community service hours need to be completed by 8/15. Students are
encouraged to create an outline for the senior project paper/presentation. If students submit a senior
project paper outline by August 1st, the Senior Project Coordinator will provide feedback so that the
student can proceed with the paper’s rough draft. Be sure to include the following information.
TITLE
I.
Introduction
Attention Getter (Interesting fact or statistic)
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Background (Why did I choose this topic? Expand on the problem)
Thesis Map: State the project goal, where I volunteered & brief outcome. (What did I hope to accomplish?)
II.
Procedure and Discussion
A. First, Project Procedure and Results
What were my goals and objectives for this project?
Explain the project plan and implementation.
What problems did I encounter?
How did I resolve these problems?
How did I apply my high school course work?
Did I integrate Core Values?
Was I able to meet the goal?
B. Second, Interaction with Others
Describe and give examples of the effects that this project has had on me.
How was I affected (positively and negatively) by the people involved in this project?
Describe/give examples of the effects that I have had on the people with whom I interacted during the project?
What have they learned from me?
C. Third, Personal Growth
What life lessons have I learned as a result of being involved in this project?
If I were to begin the project over again, would the topic be the same? Why?
What would I have done differently?
III.
Conclusion:
Did I meet my goal?
Did I accomplish my objectives?
Summarize personal reflections.
Additional reminders about the finished product:
3-5 Page Paper, Typed-12 Point Times New Roman, Double Spaced w/1” Margins, Works Cited-MLA Format
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APPENDIX A.11
AP Lit 11
Do EITHER A or B- DUE AUG 1st in Google Classroom f8to8l6
A. College essay: You will create an outline and intro paragraph for TWO of the 6 essay options adapted
from Tufts University supplemental prompts. I have included the complete assignment below so you can
see all of the requirements. However, please remember, you only need to do the outline and intro
paragraph for 2 of the prompts if you choose to do this task!
Please write an essay of 200 – 250 words from of the options listed below. Please indicate your topic by
checking the appropriate box. This personal essay helps colleges become acquainted with you as a person and
student, apart from courses, grades, test scores, and other objective data. It will also demonstrate your ability to
organize your thoughts and express yourself.
1. There is a Quaker saying: “Let your life speak.” Describe the environment in which you were raised – your family,
home, neighborhood, or community – and how it influenced the person you are today.
2. From Michelangelo to Mother Teresa, from Jackie Robinson to Elizabeth Bennett, the human narrative is
populated by a cast of fascinating characters, real and imagined. Share your favorite and explain why that
person or character inspires you.
3. The ancient Romans started it when they coined the phrase "Carpe diem." Jonathan Larson proclaimed "No day
but today!" and most recently, Drake explained You Only Live Once (YOLO). Have you ever seized the day? Lived
like there was no tomorrow? Or perhaps you plan to shout YOLO while jumping into something in the future.
What does #YOLO mean to you?
4. Sports, science, and society are filled with rules, theories, and laws like the Ninth Commandment, PV=nRT,
Occam’s Razor, and The Law of Diminishing Returns. Three strikes and you’re out. In English, “I” before “E”
except after “C.” Warm air rises. Pick any rule, theory, or law and explain its significance to you.
5. Celebrate your nerdy side.
6. Nelson Mandela believed that "what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference
we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." Describe a way in
which you have made or hope to make a difference.
Avoid the most common mistakes by looking at the feedback checklist:
____There is no “hook.” I’m not immediately interested in reading your essay.
____DO NOT INTRODUCE YOURSELF. They can see who you are on the application half a page up.
____Word choice is too simple.
____Does not tell anything about your character. How has this thing you’ve talked about help shape who you
are today, and why does that make you a good candidate for their college campus?
____ Not a great choice for this section.
____Other Comments:
OR
B. Senior Project: If you have completed your community service hours, 11th grade students are
encourage to complete a one-page Self-Evaluation which addresses the following questions: Did
the project accomplish what I expected? Did I effectively communicate my expectations and
experiences during this project? Did I consistently meet timeline objectives? What do I consider
the strengths of my project? What would I do differently to improve my project if I were to
undertake it again? How did I challenge myself?
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APPENDIX B AP Key Rhetorical Terminology
Rhetorical Terms - Argument
antagonist - The character who opposes the interests of the protagonist.
Ex: In The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien creates Lord Sauron as the antagonist to Frodo.
antanaclasis - Repetition of a word in two different senses.
Ex: If we do not hang together, we will hang separately.
anticipated objection - The technique a writer or speaker uses in an argumentative text to address and
answer objections, even though the audience has not had the opportunity to voice these objections.
Ex: "You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air…You ask, what is our aim? I
can answer in one word. It is victory." (Winston Churchill)
antimetabole - The repetition of words in successive clauses in reverse grammatical order.
Ex: One should eat to live, not live to eat.
apologist - A person or character who makes a case for some controversial, even contentious, position.
Ex: In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Romeo makes a case for marrying Juliet, despite the
controversy over the issue.
apology - An elaborate statement justifying some controversial, even contentious, position.
Ex: "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'" (Martin Luther King Jr.)
apostrophe - The direct address of an absent person or personified object as if he/she/it is able to reply.
Ex: "O' Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?" (William Shakespeare)
appeal to authority - In a text, the reference to words, action, or beliefs of a person in authority as a means
of supporting a claim, generalization, or conclusion.
Ex: Isaac Newton was a genius and he believed in God. Therefore, God must exist.
appeal to emotion - The appeal of a text to the feelings or interests of the audience.
Ex: If you don't graduate from high school, you will always be poor.
argument by analysis - An argument developed by breaking the subject matter into its component parts.
Ex: The Virginians failed miserably at initial colonization and suffered through disease, war, and famine
because of their high expectations and greed, which also molded their colony socially and economically.
asyndeton - The omission of conjunctions between related clauses.
Ex: "This is the villain among you who deceived you, who cheated you, who meant to betray you
completely." (Aristotle)
basic topic - One of the four perspectives that Aristotle explained could be used to generate material about
any subject matter: greater or less, possible and impossible, past fact, and future fact.
Ex: Topics include justice, peace, rights, and movie theaters.
brain-storming - Within the planning act of the writing process, a technique used by a writer or speaker to
generate many ideas, some of which he or she will later eliminate.
Ex: I brainstorm before history essays by writing down as many specific Exs as I can think of for the
prompt.
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cloze test - A test of reading ability that requires a person to fill in missing words in a text.
Ex: The SAT's language portion contains questions modeled in this way.
common topic - One of the perspectives, derived from Aristotle's topics, used to generate material. The six
common topics are definition, division, comparison, relation, circumstances, and testimony.
Ex: Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson's political opinions can be the subject of a common topic,
such as division.
compound subject - A sentence in which two or more nouns, noun phrases, or noun clauses constitute the
grammatical subject of a clause
Ex: The dog and the cat scurried away from the approaching car.
confirmation - In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker or writer could offer
proof or demonstration of the central idea.
Ex: In Julius Caesar's speech, the confirmation was scattered throughout.
conflict - The struggle of characters with themselves, with others, or with the world around them.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, migrants conflict with property owners.
connotation - The implied meaning of a word, in contrast to its directly expressed "dictionary meaning."
Ex: Home literally means one's house, but implies feelings of family and security.
consulting - Seeking help for one's writing from a reader.
Ex: I often consult my parents.
dramatistic pentad - The invention strategy, developed by Kenneth Burke, that invites a speaker or writer
to create identities for the act, agent, agency, attitude, scene, and purpose in a situation.
effect - The emotional or psychological impact a text has on a reader or listener.
Ex: The Grapes Of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, causes the reader to have sympathy for migrant workers.
ellipsis - The omission of words, the meaning of which is provided by the overall context of a passage.
Ex: "Medical thinking . . . stressed air as the communicator of disease, ignoring sanitation or visible
carriers" (Tuchman).
epanalepsis - Repetition at the end of a clause of the word that occurred at the beginning of the clause.
Ex: Blood hath brought blood.
epithet - A word of phrase adding a characteristic to a person's name.
Ex: Alexander the Great.
figurative language - Language dominated by the use of schemes and tropes.
Ex: "The ground is thirsty and hungry."
flashback - A part of the plot that moves back in time and then returns to the present.
Ex: In Oedipus Rex, both Oedipus and Iocaste recall previous events.
generalization - A point that a speaker or writer generations on the basis of considering a number of
particular examples.
Ex: "All French people are rude."
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genre - A piece of writing classified by type.
Ex: Science Fiction.
investigating - Activities that writers use, during the writing process, to locate ideas and information.
Ex: For my research paper, I have investigated many sources in the library and online.
irony - Writing or speaking that implies the contrary of what is actually written or spoken.
Ex 1: "Of course I believe you," Joe said sarcastically.
Ex 2: "I can't describe to you how surprised I was to find out I loved her…I even hoped for a while that
she'd throw me over" (Fitzgerald 157).
narration - In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker provided background
information on the topic.
Ex: Julius Caesar used narration in many of his speeches.
pace - The speed with which a plot moves from one event to another.
Example: In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck paces the story somewhat slowly, interspersing it with
main-idea chapters.
parallelism - A set of similarly structured words, phrases, or clauses that appears in a sentence or
paragraph.
Ex 1: The dog ran, stumbled, and fell.
Ex 2: "After two years I remember the rest of that day, and that night and the next day…" (Fitzgerald 17).
parenthesis - An insertion of material that interrupts the typical flow of a sentence.
Ex: The dog (which was black) ran, stumbled, and fell.
people's topics - The English translation of konnoi topoi, the four topics that Aristotle explained could be
used to generate material about any subject matter; also called basic topics.
Ex: Topics include justice, peace, rights, and movie theaters.
periodic sentence - A sentence with modifying elements included before the verb and/or complement.
Ex: "John, the tough one, the sullen kid who scoffed at any show of sentiment, gave his mother flowers."
scheme - An artful variation from typical formation and arrangement of words or sentences.
Ex: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.
Rhetorical Terms -Diction
act - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the speaker
or writer uses to describe what happened or happens in a particular situation.
Ex: "With the cunning typical of its breed, the automobile never breaks down while entering a filling station
with a large staff of idle mechanics. It waits…" (Russell Baker)
agency - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the
speaker or writer uses to describe the means by which something happened or happens in a particular
situation.
Ex: "As a general rule, any object capable of breaking down at the moment when it is most needed will do
so. The automobile is typical of the category." (Russell Baker)
agent - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the
speaker uses to describe the person or persons involved in taking action in a particular situation.
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Ex: "Thus [the automobile] creates maximum misery, inconvenience, frustration, and irritability among its
human cargo, thereby reducing its owner's life span." (Russell Baker)
anecdote - A brief narrative offered in a text to capture the audience's attention or to support a
generalization of claim.
Ex: "A good man, gray on the edges, an assistant manager in a brown starched and ironed uniform, is
washing the glass windows of the store...Good night, m'ijo! he tells a young boy coming out after playing
the video game..." (Dagoberto Gilb)
compound sentence - A sentence with two or more independent clauses.
Ex: Canada is a rich country, but it still has many poor people.
conclusion (of syllogism) - The ultimate point or generalization that a syllogism expresses.
Ex: All mortals die. All men are mortals. All men die.
contraction - The combination of two words into one by eliminating one or more sounds and indicating the
omission with an apostrophe.
Ex: "Do not" becomes "don't." "Should have" becomes "should've."
contraries - See contradiction.
Ex: The book is red. The book is not green. If the book is read, then the book is not green. If the book is not
red, then the book may be green.
data (as evidence) - Facts, statistics, and examples that a speaker or writer offers in support of a claim,
generalization, or conclusion.
Ex: Conserve electricity. 42% of America's carbon dioxide emissions come from electricity generation.
deductive reasoning - Reasoning that begins with a general principle and concludes with a specific
instance that demonstrates the general principle.
Ex: "Gravity makes things fall. The apple that hit my head was due to gravity."
delivery - The presentation and format of a composition.
Ex: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck, is formatted by chapters, which either present general
information about farmers or the specific story of Joe and his family.
editing - The final observation, before delivery, by a writer or speaker of a composition to evaluate
appropriateness and to locate missteps in the work.
Ex: For process papers, I edit my work many times before submitting a final draft.
efferent reading - Reading to garner information from a text.
Ex: For history, I perform efferent reading of the textbook.
enthymeme - Logical reasoning with one premise left unstated.
Ex: We cannot trust this man, for he has perjured himself in the past. (Missing: Those who perjure
themselves cannot be trusted.)
euphemism - An indirect expression of unpleasant information in such way as to lesson its impact.
Ex 1: "Passed way" for "died."
Ex 2: "You see, I carry on a little business on the side, a sort of a sideline, you understand"(Fitzgerald 87).
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image - A passage of text that evokes sensation or emotional intensity.
Ex: "Waves crashing on the ocean look like knives."
inference - A conclusion that a reader or listener reaches by means of his or her own thinking rather than by
being told directly by a text.
Ex: I infer that America became isolationist during the 1920s because of the horrors of World War I.
memory - Access to information and collective information.
Ex: I will use my memory to remember these terms.
narrative intrusion - A comment that is made directly to the reader by breaking into the forward plot
movement.
Ex: Narrator: The dog ran very fast across the street, dodging two cars.
point of view - The perspective or source of a piece of writing. A first-person point of view has a narrator
or speaker who refers to himself or herself as "I." A third-person point of view lacks "I" in perspective.
Ex: The Great Gatsby is written in first-person point of view.
ratio - Combination of two or more elements in a dramatistic pentad in order to invent material.
reading - The construction of meaning, purpose, and effect in a text.
Ex: I am reading The Great Gatsby.
reading journal - A log in which readers can trace developing reactions to what they are reading.
Ex: I am maintaining a character log while reading The Great Gatsby.
rhetorical choices - The particular choices a writer or speaker makes to achieve meaning, purpose, or
effect.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby chooses to use imagery, similes, and metaphors often.
stock settings - Stereotypical time and place settings that let readers know a text's genre immediately.
Ex: For science fiction, if the text takes place in the future, on another planet, or in another universe.
Rhetorical Terms - Scheme
alliteration - The repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning or in the middle of two or more adjacent
words.
Ex: "To make a man to meet the moral need/ A man to match the mountains and the sea" (Edwin Markham)
anadiplosis - The repetition of the last word of one clause at the beginning of the following clause.
Ex: "Men in great place are thrice servants: servants of the sovereign or state; servants of fame; and
servants of business." (Francis Bacon)
anaphora - The repetition of a group of words at the beginning of successive clauses.
Ex: "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas
and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence…" (Winston Churchill)
antecedent-consequence relationship - The relationship expressed by "if…then" reasoning.
Ex: If industries poison rivers with pollutants, then many fish will die.
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anthimeria - The substitution of one part of speech for another.
Ex: "The thunder would not peace at my bidding." (William Shakespeare)
appeal - One of three strategies for persuading audiences--logos, appeal to reason; pathos, appeal to
emotion; and ethos, appeal to ethics.
Ex: "I elicited the anger of some of the most aggressive teenagers in my high school. A couple of nights
later, a car pulled up in front of my house, and the angry teenagers in the car dumped garbage on the lawn
of my house as an act of revenge and intimidation." (James Garbarino)
appositive - A noun or noun phrase that follows another noun immediately or defines or amplifies its
meaning.
Ex: Orion, my orange cat, is sitting on the couch.
argument - A carefully constructed, well-supported representation of how a writer sees an issue, problem,
or subject.
Ex: The Patriots prevailed over the Loyalists, who they violently persecuted due to their conflicting
position; both betrayed the African slaves to temporarily bolster their military.
Aristotelian triangle - A diagram showing the relations of writer or speaker, audience (reader or listener),
and text in a rhetorical situation.
canon - One of the traditional elements of rhetorical composition -- invention, arrangement, style, memory,
or delivery.
Ex: Frederick Douglass's style (one aspect of canon) is both objective and subjective.
casuistry - A mental exercise to discover possibilities for analysis of communication.
dramatic narration - A narrative in which the reader or viewer does not have access to the unspoken
thoughts of any character.
dynamic character - One who changes during the course of the narrative.
Ex: Romeo is a dramatic character in Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare.
evidence - The facts, statistics, anecdotes, and examples that a speaker or writer offers in support of a
claim, generalization, or conclusion.
Ex: "Recent studies in the brain chemistry of rats show that when they play, their brains release large
amounts of dopamine . . ." (Rifkin).
metonymy - An entity referred to by one of its attributes or associations.
Ex: "The press" for the news media.
symbol - In a text, an element that stands for more than itself and, therefore, helps to convey a theme of the
text.
Ex: Purple symbolizes royalty. East Egg in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald symbolizes the ""old
rich."""
tautology - A group of words that merely repeats the meaning already conveyed.
Ex: "If you don't get any better, then you'll never improve."
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thesis - The main idea in a text, often the main generalization, conclusion, or claim.
Ex: The corruption of America's rich in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
thesis statement - A single sentence that states a text's thesis, usually somewhere near the beginning.
Ex: "Sweatt v. Painter advanced equality by ultimately improving African American educational rights, thus
transforming American democracy for a better today."
topic - A place where writers go to discover methods for proof and strategies for presentation of ideas.
Ex: Gun control laws, the environment, or communism.
trope - An artful variation from expected modes of expression of thoughts and ideas.
Ex: Pun or metonymy.
voice - The textual features, such as diction and sentence structure, that convey a writer's or speaker's
persona.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald's voice is made up of mystery.
writing process - The acts a writer goes through, often recursively, to complete a piece of writing:
inventing, investigating, planning, drafting, consulting, revising, and editing.
Ex: I used this to write my research paper.
Rhetorical Terms - Syntax
audience - The person or persons who listen to a spoken text or read a written one and are capable of
responding to it.
Ex: The audience of Michael Chabon's lecture at the Mondavi Center was composed of many Oak Ridge
students.
chiasmus - Inverted relationship between two elements in two parallel phrases.
Ex: "To stop too fearful and too faint to go."
claim - The ultimate conclusion, generalization, or point that a syllogism or enthymeme expresses. The
point, backed up by support, of an argument.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck's claim was that the poor are wrongly mistreated.
climax - The arrangement of words, phrases, or clauses in order of increasing number or importance.
Ex: "He risked truth, he risked honor, he risked fame, he risked all that men hold dear,—yea, he risked life
itself..."
climbing the ladder - A term referring to the scheme of climax.
Ex: See climax.
isocolon - Parallel elements that are similar in structure and in length.
Ex: "… to impress the ignorant, to perplex the dubious, and to confound the scrupulous …"
mnemonic device - A systematic aid to memory.
Ex: "Roy G. Biv" for the most common colors.
onomatopoeia - A literary device in which the sound of a word is related to its meaning.
Ex: Words like "bang," and "click".
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revising - Returning to a draft to rethink, reread, and rework ideas and sentences.
Ex: I am currently revising my research paper.
scene - In a dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order to invent material, the words the
speaker or writer uses to describe where and when something happened or happens in a particular situation.
Ex: "My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations"
(Fitzgerald 2).
simple sentence - A sentence with one independent clause and no dependent clause.
Ex: The dog ran.
situation - The convergence in a situation of exigency (the need to write), audience, and purpose.
Ex: Before drafting my research paper, I had to analyze my purpose and how much background information
to provide for my audience.
Rhetorical Terms - Trope
allegory - An extended metaphor.
Ex 1: "During the time I have voyaged on this ship, I have avoided the cabin; rather, I have remained on
deck, battered by wind and rain, but able to see moonlight…"
Ex 2: "This is a valley of ashes--a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and
grotesque gardens, where ashes take forms of houses and...of men..." (Fitzgerald 27).
allusion - A reference in a written or spoken text to another text or to some particular body of knowledge.
Ex 1: "I doubt if Phaethon feared more -- that time/ he dropped the sun-reins of his father's chariot/ and
burned the streak of sky we see today" (Dante's Inferno).
Ex 2: "Have you read 'The rise of the Coloured Empires' by this man Goddard?" (Fitzgerald 17).
anastrophe - Inversion or reversal of the usual order of words.
Ex: Echoed the hills.
anthimeria - The substitution of one part of speech for another.
Ex: The thunder would not peace at my bidding.
antithesis - The juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas, often in parallel structure.
Ex 1: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." (Barry
Goldwater)
Ex 2: "…found her lying on her bed as lovely as the June night in her flowered dress--and as drunk as a
monkey" (Fitzgerald 81).
flat character - A figure readily identifiable by memorable traits but not fully developed.
Ex: Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.
format - The structural elements that constitute the presentation of a written text.
Ex: The Modern Language Association (MLA) has created a format for research papers.
freewriting - Intuitive writing strategy for generation of ideas by writing without stopping.
Ex: In English 1, I performed freewriting for two short pieces.
functional part - A part of a text classified according to its function.
Ex: The introduction.
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hyperbole - An exaggeration for effect.
Ex 1: "I told you a billion times not to exaggerate."
Ex 2: "…we scattered light through half Astoria…" (Fitzgerald 72).
invention - The art of generating material for a text; the first of the five traditional canons of rhetoric.
Ex: I use brainstorming before an essay as invention.
journal - A text in which writers produce informal compositions that help them "think on paper" about
topics and writing projects.
Ex: I had a journal last year for Honors English in which I recorded my thoughts on various novels I read.
journaling - The process of writing in a journal.
Ex: I wrote a journal last year for Honors English on the books I read.
loose sentence - A sentence that adds modifying elements after the subject, verb, and complement.
Ex: "Bells rang, filling the air with their clangor, startling pigeons into flight from every belfry, bringing
people into the streets to hear the news."
meiosis - Representation of a thing as less than it really is to compel greater esteem for it.
Ex: Calling an act of arson a prank.
metaphor - An implied comparison that does not use the word like or as.
Ex: "No man is an island" (Donne).
oxymoron - Juxtaposed words with seemingly contradictory meanings.
Ex: "O miserable abundance! O beggarly riches!" (Donne).
paralipsis - Irony in which one proposes to pass over a matter, but subtly reveals it.
Ex: "She is talented, not to mention rich."
peroration - In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker would draw together the
entire argument and include material designed to compel the audience to think or act in a way consonant
with the central argument. Ex: In Julius Caesar's speech, the peroration came at the end.
protagonist - The major character in a piece of literature; the figure in the narrative whose interests the
reader is most concerned about and sympathetic toward. Ex: Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.
repertoire - A set of assumptions, skills, facts, & experience that a reader brings to a text to make meaning.
setting - The context--including time and place--of a narrative.
Ex: The area surround New York City in the 1920s is the setting of The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott
Fitzgerald.
sharing - A system calling for writers to read or listen to one another's work and suggest ways to improve
it.Ex: In AP US History, we peer reviewed each other's take-home DBQs.
simile - A type of comparison that uses the word like or as.
Ex: "There was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he
were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away"
(Fitzgerald 2).
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syllogism - Logical reasoning from inarguable premises.
Ex: All mortals die. All humans are mortal. All humans die.
synecdoche - A part of something used to refer to the whole.
Ex: "The hired hands are not doing their jobs."
syntax - The order of words in a sentence.
Ex: "The dog ran" not "The ran dog."
theme - The message conveyed by a literary work.
Ex: The decline of the American dream in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
tone - The writer's or speaker's attitude toward the subject matter.
Ex: Light-hearted in the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.
understatement - Deliberate playing down of a situation in order to make a point.
Ex: "I think there's a problem between Shias and Sunnis."
unity - The sense that a text is, appropriately, about only one subject and achieves one major purpose or
effect.
Ex: Pride by Dagoberto Gilb
unreliable narrator - An untrustworthy or naïve commentator on events and characters in a story.
Ex: The people at Gatsby's parties like Jordan who spread rumors about Gatsby's past in The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
verisimilitude - The quality of a text that reflects the truth of actual experience.
Ex: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon has medium verisimilitude.
zeugma - A trope in which one word, usually a noun or the main verb, governs two other words not related
in meaning.
Ex: He governs his will and his kingdom.
Rhetorical Terms - Writing Material
aesthetic reading - Reading to experience the world of the text.
Ex: One often reads John Steinbeck's novels, like The Grapes of Wrath, to experience his detailed settings.
aim - 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."
apposition - Two nouns that are adjacent to each other and reference the same thing.
Ex: I know the dog Toto.
arrangement - 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.
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assonance - The repetition of vowel sounds in the stressed syllables of two or more adjacent words.
Ex: "Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies" (John Keats)
assumption - 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)
attitude - 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)
auxesis - Magnifying the importance or gravity of something by referring it with a disproportionate name.
Ex: Calling a scratch on an arm a wound.
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.
Ex: This painting is horrible because it is obviously worthless.
causal relationship - The relationship expressing, "If X is the cause, then Y is the effect," or, "If Y is the
effect, then X caused it."
Ex: If the dog runs away, then the boy will be sad.
character - 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.
context - The convergence of time, place, audience, and motivating factors in which a piece of writing or a
speech is situated.
Ex: Kate Chopin lived in the late 1800s in Southern America as a feminist. This background formed the
foundation of The Awakening.
contradiction - 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.
Ex: "If war is the cause of our misery, peace is the way to promote our happiness."
denotation - The "dictionary definition" of a word, in contrast to its connotation, or implied meaning.
Ex: A house is literally a dwelling usually for a family.
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)
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dialect - 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.
dialogue - Conversation between and among characters.
Ex: "Jim, I don't get it," Blair said.
Jim raised an eyebrow. "Don't get what?"
diction - 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).
drafting - 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.
epistrophe - The repetition of a group of words at the end of successive clauses.
Ex: "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny compared to what lies within us" (Emerson).
erotema - Asking a question to assert or deny something obliquely not for an answer.
Ex: "How much longer must our people endure this injustice?"
ethos - The appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator.
Ex: If you don't graduate from high school, you will always be poor.
exaggeration - An overstatement.
Ex: The Matrix is the best movie ever made.
example - 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).
exordium - In ancient roman oratory, the introduction of a speech; literally, the "web" meant to draw the
audience in the speech.
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: In "Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts," Catton argues some similarities between Grant and Lee.
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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.
fable - 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.
figures of rhetoric - Schemes--that is, variations from typical word or sentence formation--and tropes,
which are variations from typical patterns of thought.
Ex: "When I first saw her, my soul began to quiver."
flashforward - A part of the plot that jumps ahead in time and returns to the present.
Ex: Oedipus is told he will sleep with his mother and kill his father by a prophet.
heuristic - A systematic strategy or method for solving problems.
Ex: Lawrence Lessig has argued that patents in different industries should be given different amounts of
time, using this strategy.
house analogy - In ancient Roman oratory, the method that speakers used to memorize their speeches,
connecting the introduction to the porch of a house, the narration and partition to the front foyer, the
confirmation and refutation to rooms connected to the foyer, and the conclusion to the back door.
Ex: Julius Caesar most likely used this method to memorize his speeches.
hyperbaton - Unusual or inverted word order.
Ex: "Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?" (Yoda).
imagery - Language that evokes particular sensations or emotionally rich experiences in a reader.
Ex 1: Edgar Allan Poe uses imagery in The Fall of the House of the Usher.
Ex 2: "…ran for a huge black knotted trees whose massed leaves made a fabric against the rain…"
(Fitzgerald 93).
implied metaphor - A metaphor embedded in a sentence rather than expressed directly as a sentence.
Ex 1: "John swelled and rustled his plumage." (John was a peacock.)
Ex 2: "Something was making him nibble at the edge of stale ideas as if his sturdy physical egotism no
longer nourished his peremptory heart" (Fitzgerald 25).
inductive reasoning - Reasoning the begins by citing a number of specific instances or examples and then
shows how collectively they constitute a general principle.
Ex: This ice is cold. Thus, all ice is cold.
intention - The goal a writer or speaker hopes to achieve with the text.
Ex: One of John Steinbeck's intentions in The Grapes of Wrath was to end humans' inhumanity to fellow
humans.
jargon - The specialized vocabulary of a particular group.
Ex: Bilateral periorbital hematoma (a black eye).
konnoi topoi - People's topics; ordinary patterns of reasoning; also called basic topics.
Ex: Topics include justice, peace, rights, and movie theaters.
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Latinate diction - Vocabulary characterized by the choice of elaborate, often complicated words from Latin
roots.
Ex: Words like "deviate," "aqueduct," and "insulate".
limited narration - A narrative in which the reader or viewer has access to the unspoken thoughts of one
character or partial thinking of more than one character.
Ex: "Murgatroyd met Madeline on New Year's Eve in 2002. He attended a party and she opened the door.
Her hair! Only a goddess could have hair so fine."
litotes - Understatement.
Ex 1: "This is no ordinary city" rather than "this is an impressive city".
Ex 2: "I lived at West Egg, the--well, the less fashionable of the two, though this is a most superficial tag…"
(Fitzgerald 9).
logic - The art of reasoning.
Ex: All humans are mortal. Socrates is human. Thus, Socrates is mortal.
logos - The appeal of a text based on the logical structure of its argument or central ideas.
Ex: "If there really were such strong evidence of racial bias in the justice system it would be newsworthy. .
." (Taylor 6).
mood - The feeling that a text is intended to produce in the audience.
Ex: In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, the mood is mostly dark and gloomy.
narrative - An anecdote or a story offered in support of a generalization, claim, or point. Also, a function in
texts accomplished when the speaker or writer tells a story.
Ex: "A good man, gray on the edges, an assistant manager in a brown starched and ironed uniform, is
washing the glass windows of the store...Good night, m'ijo! he tells a young boy coming out after playing
the video game..." (Dagoberto Gilb)
omniscient narration - A narrative in which the reader or viewer has access to the unspoken thoughts of all
the characters.
Ex: Our Town by Thornton Wilder.
parable - A usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle.
Ex: Ignacy Krasicki's "The Blind Man and the Lame."
paradox - A statement that seems untrue on the surface but is true nevertheless.
Ex: "Not having a fashion is a fashion."
paronomasia - To call with a slight change of name; a play on words.
Ex: "Independence is what a boy wants from his father when he wants to be let a loan."
partition - In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech where the speaker would divide the main topic
into parts.
Ex: Julius Caesar used partitions to better communicate his argument.
pathos - The appeal of a text to the emotions or interests of the audience. Ex: ". . . Helped feed a wave of
national breast-beating over the unfairness of the juvenile justice system" (Taylor 1).
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peer review - A system calling for writers to read or listen to one another's work and suggest ways to
improve it.
Ex: In AP US History, we peer reviewed each other's take-home DBQs.
pentad - Kenneth Burke's system for analyzing motives and actions in communication. The five points of
the pentad are act, agent, agency, scene, and purpose.
periphrasis - The substitution of an attributive word or phrase for a proper name, or the use of a proper
name to suggest a personality characteristic.
Ex 1: "He was no Romeo; but then again, she was no Juliet."
Ex 2: "…I stared at it, like Kant at his church steeple…" (Fitzgerald 93).
persona - The character that a writer or speaker conveys to the audience; the plural is personae.
Ex: In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway is a persona.
personae - The plural of persona.
Ex: Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby.
personification - The giving of human characteristics to inanimate objects.
Ex: The fall season has been personified as "sitting on a granary floor" (Keats).
persuasion - The changing of people's minds or actions by language.
Ex: Protect the environment, for it is what the lives of your children and the future of the world will depend
on.
petitio principi - Begging of the question; disagreeing with premises or reasoning.
Ex: "The bible says god exists and the bible must be right since it is the revealed word of god, so god
exists."
planning - Determining appropriateness of information for audience and for purpose.
Ex: I am in the planning and drafting stages of my research paper.
plot - Arrangement of events in a story.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, Joe and his family meet up, go to California, search for jobs, and live in
various camps. In the end, the only benefit the gain is unity.
plot devices - Elements of plot that operate to cause or resolve conflicts and to provide information.
Ex: Foreshadowing.
poem - Louise Rosenblatt's term for the interpretive moment when reader and text connect.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, this occurs when Steinbeck first describes the surrounding setting with
figurative language.
polyptoton - Repetition of words derived from the same root.
Ex: Repeating words like "strong," "skillful," and "strength."
polysyndeton - Repetition of conjunctions in close succession.
Ex: "We have ships and men and money and stores."
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premise, major - The first premise in a syllogism. The major premise states an irrefutable generalization.
Ex: All men are mortal.
premise, minor - The second premise in a syllogism. The minor premise offers a particular instance of
generalization stated in the major premise.
Ex: Some philosophers are men.
prosopopoeia - The giving of human characteristics to inanimate objects.
Ex: The window winked at me.
pun - A play on words. Types of puns include anataclasis, words that sound alike but have different
meanings; paranomasia, words alike in sound but different in meaning; and syllepsis, a word used
differently in relation to two other words it governs or modifies.
Ex: "I moss say I'm taking a lichen to that fungi."
purpose - The goal a writer or speaker hopes to achieve with the text. Also called aim and intention. In a
dramatistic pentad created by a speaker or writer in order in invent material, the words the speaker or writer
uses to describe the reason something happened or happens in a particular situation.
Ex: In Pride, Dagoberto Gilb's aim is to define pride and what it means to him.
reader's repertoire - The collection of predictions and revisions a person employs when reading a text.
recursive - Referring to the moving back and forth from invention to revision in the process of writing.
Ex: In writing my research paper, I invent material and revise previously invented material.
refutation - In ancient Roman oratory, the part of a speech in which the speaker would anticipate objections
to the points being raised and counter them.
Ex: Julius Caesar used this method in his speeches to better argue his point.
reliable narrator - A believable, trustworthy commentator on events and characters in a story.
Ex: In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway is a reliable narrator, though somewhat secretive.
repetition - In a text, repeated use of sounds, words, phrases, or clauses to emphasize meaning or achieve
effect.
Ex 1: The dog ran, the dog jumped, and the dog whimpered.
Ex 2:"'Hot!' said the conductor to familiar faces. 'Some Weather! … Hot! … Hot! … Hot! … Is it hot
enough … '" (Fitzgerald 121).
rhetor - The speaker who uses elements of rhetoric effectively in oral or written text.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald is the rhetor in The Great Gatsby.
rhetoric - The art of analyzing all the choices involving language that a writer, speaker, reader, or listener
might make in a situation so that the text becomes meaningful, purposeful, and effective; the specific
features of texts, written or spoken, that cause them to be meaningful, purposeful, and effective for readers
or listeners in a situation.
Ex: Diction, scheme, trope, argument, and syntax.
rhetorical intention - Involvement and investment in and ownership of a piece of writing.
Ex: F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby has rhetorical intention.
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rhetorical question - A question posed by the speaker or writer not to seek an answer but instead to affirm
or deny a point simply by asking a question about it.
Ex: "Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?" (Shakespeare).
rhetorical situation - The convergence in a situation of exigency (the need to write), audience, and
purpose.
Ex: Before drafting my research paper, I had to analyze my purpose and how much background information
to provide for my audience.
rhetorical triangle - A diagram showing the relations of writer or speaker, reader or listener, and text in a
rhetorical situation.
romance language - A language that is derived from Latin.
Ex: French, Italian.
round character - A figure with complexity in action and personality,
Ex: Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
sarcasm - The use of mockery or bitter irony.
Ex: "That's so funny I forgot to laugh!"
scenic narration - Narration in which an event or a moment of a plot is stretched out for dramatic effect.
Ex: In The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the scene in which Myrtle is accidentally killed.
six-part oration - In classical rhetoric, a speech consisting of exordium, narration, partition, confirmation,
refutation, and peroration.
Ex: Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address follows this structure.
slang - Informal language, often considered inappropriate for formal occasions and text.
Ex: "This is sick."
soliloquy - Dialogue in which a character speaks aloud to himself or herself.
Ex: "To be or not to be, that is the question: / Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and
arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them"
(Shakespeare).
speaker - The person delivering a speech, or the character assumed to be speaking a poem.
Ex: Franklin D. Roosevelt.
stance - A writer's or speaker's apparent attitude toward the audience.
Ex: Franklin D. Roosevelt embraced the audience in his First Inaugural Address.
static character - A figure who remains the same from the beginning to the end of a narrative.
Ex: Nick Carraway is essentially a static character in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
style - The choices that writers or speakers make in language for effect.
Ex: Part of John Steinbeck's style is to focus on the setting in novels like The Grapes of Wrath.
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subject - One of the points on the Aristotelian or rhetorical triangle; the subject matter a writer or speaker is
writing or speaking about.
Ex: John Steinbeck was writing about the Dust Bowl in The Grapes of Wrath.
subordinate clause - A group of words that includes a subject and verb but that cannot stand on its own as
a sentence; also called dependent clause.
Ex: After the dog slept, the dog ran.
summary narration - Narration in which a brief statement of events moves the plot quickly.
Ex: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon includes many summary narrations
when they jump years in time.
support - In a test, the material offered to make concrete or to back up a generalization, conclusion, or
claim.
Ex: "Recent studies in the brain chemistry of rats show that when they play, their brains release large
amounts of dopamine . . ." (Rifkin).
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AP ENGLISH ALLUSIONS
MYTHOLOGICAL ALLUSIONS
Achilles' heel – today, one spot that is most vulnerable; one weakness a person may have. Achilles was invulnerable
except for his heel (achilles tendon).
Adonis – handsome young man; Aphrodite loved him.
Aeolian –anything pertaining to wind; god who was Keeper of Wind
Apollo – a physically perfect male; the God of music and light; known for his physical beauty
Argus-eyed—omniscient, all-seeing; from Argus, the 100-eyed monster that Hera had guarding Io
Athena/Minerva – goddess of wisdom, the city, and arts; patron goddess of the city of Athens
Atlantean – strong like Atlas –who carried the globe (world) on his shoulders
Aurora – early morning or sunrise; from the Roman personification of Dawn or Eos
Bacchanal – n; wild, drunken party or rowdy celebration; from god of wine Bacchus
Bacchanalian–pertaining to a wild, drunken party/celebration from god of wine Bacchus (Roman), Dionysus (Greek)
Calliope – series of whistles --circus organ; from the Muse of eloquence or beautiful voice
Cassandra – a person who continually predicts misfortune but often is not believed; from (Greek legends) a daughter
of Priam cursed by Apollo for not returning his love; he left her with the gift of prophecy but made it so no one
believed her
Centaur – a monster that had the head, arms, and chest of a man, and the body and legs of a horse
Chimera – a horrible creature of the imagination, an absurd or impossible idea; wild fancy; a monster with a lion's
head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail, supposed to breathe out fire
Cupidity – eager "desire" to possess something; greed or avarice; Roman god of love (Greek name is Eros)
Erotic – of or having to do with sexual passion or love; Greek god of love, Eros
Furor – (Latin- furere to rage) wild enthusiasm or excitement, rage; fury, "run like fury"; any one of the three Furies
Gorgon – a very ugly or terrible person, especially a repulsive woman; Medusa, any one or three sisters have snakes
for hair and faces so horrible that anyone who looked at them turned to stone
Halcyon – clam, peaceful, tranquil --Archaic bird supposed to breed in a nest on the sea and calm the water, identified
with the kingfisher (Latin< Greek halkyon)
Harpy – a predatory person or nagging woman; from harpy, a foul creature that was part woman, part bird
Hector–to bully; from Hector, the son of Priam (king of Troy), & the bravest Trojan warrior. Killed Achilles' friend
Patroclus.
Helen (of Troy) – Hellenistic; of or relating to Greece, or a Specialist of language or culture in Greece; symbol of a
beautiful woman; from Helen of Troy, the daughter of Leda and Zeus—the cause of the Trojan War.
Herculean – very strong or of extraordinary power; from Hercules, Hera's glory, the son of Zeus. He performed the 12
labors imposed by Hera.
Hydra-Headed – having many centers or branches, hard to bring under control; something bad you cannot eradicate;
from Hydra, the 9-headed serpent that was sacred to Hera. Hercules killed him in one of the 12 labors.
Iridescent – a play of colors producing rainbow effects; from Iris, goddess of the rainbow
Jovial – good humored; from the word Jove, used to express surprise or agreement (Jupiter)
Junoesque – marked by stately beauty; comes from the word Juno, the wife of Jupiter, the Goddess of light, birth,
women, and marriage
Lethargy–abnormal drowsiness or inertia; from the word Lethe, a river in Hades that caused drinkers to forget the past
Martial – suited for war or a warrior; from Mars, the Roman God of War
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Medea—sorceress or enchantress; from Medea who helped Jason and the Argonauts capture the Golden Fleece;
known for her revenge against Jason when he spurned her for the princess of Corinth
Mentor – a trusted counselor or guide; from Mentor, a friend of Odysseus' son, who was entrusted with his education
Mercurial -- adj., suddenly cranky or changeable; Roman Mythology, of or relating to the god Mercury
Mercury/Hermes – a carrier or tidings, a newsboy, a messenger; messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to the
lower world, and god of eloquence; the fabled inventor, wore winged hat and sandals
Mnemonics – a device used to aid memory; the personification of memory, Mnemosyne., who gave birth to the nine
Muses, who supposedly gave good memory in story telling.
Morphine – a bitter white, crystalline alkaloid used to relieve pain and induce sleep; Morpheus was a god that could
easily change form or shape
Muse–some creature of inspiration; the daughters of Mnemosyne & Zeus, divine singers presiding over thought in all
forms
Narcissism – being in love with our own self-image; named for Narcissus, a handsome young man who despised love.
Echo, a nymph who was in love with him, was rejected and decreed, "Let he who loves not others, love himself."
Hearing this, he fell in love with his image, while gazing in a pond, and drowned himself trying to capture it.
Nemesis - just punishment, one who inflicts due punishment; goddess who punishes crime; but more often she is the
power charged with curbing all excess, such as excessive good fortune or arrogant p ride.
Neptune - the sea personified; the Roman god associated with Poseidon, god of the water and oceans.
Niobe- mournful woman; from Niobe, whose children were slain by Apollo and Artemis because of her bragging; the
gods pitied her and turned her into a rock that was always wet from weeping
Odyssey - a long journey; named for Odysseus, the character in The Odyssey, by Homer. Odysseus makes his long
journey back from the Trojan War, encountering several obstacles along the way.
Olympian - majestic in manner, superior to mundane affairs; any participant in the ancient or modern Olympic games;
named after 12 gods that were supposed to reside on Mt. Olympus.
Paean - a song of joy; a ritual epithet of Apollo the healer. In Homeric poems, an independent god of healing named
Paean or Paeon, who took care of Hades when the latter was wounded.
Pandora's Box - Something that opens the door for bad occurrences, opened by someone known for curiosity; named
for Pandora who was the first mortal, sent by Zeus, to punish man for Prometheus’ theft of fire. For her curiosity in
opening the box, Zeus gave her all human ills in the world, leaving only hope at the bottom.
Parnassus - Mountain was sacred to arts and literature; any center of poetic or artistic activity; .poetry or poets
collectively, a common title for selection of poetry; named after the hero of Mt. Parnassus, the son of Poseidon and a
Nymph. He founded the oracle of Python, which was later occupied by Apollo.
Pegasus - Poetic inspiration; named after a winged horse which sprang from the blood of Medusa at her death; a stamp
of his hoof caused Hippocrene, the fountain of the Muses, to issue poetic inspiration from Mount Helicon.
Phoenix - a symbol of immortality or rebirth; named after the Egyptian Mythology phoenix, a long bird which lived in
the Arabian desert and then consumed itself in fire, rising renewed from the flame to start another long life.
Plutocracy - a government by the wealthy; named after Pluton, the "Rich Man," a ritual tile of Hades. He was
originally the god of the fields because the ground was the source of all wealth, ores and jewels.
Promethean - life-bringing, creative, or courageously original; named after a Titan who brought man the use of fire
which he had stolen from heaven for their benefit.
Protean - taking many forms, versatile; named after Proteus, a god of the sea, charged with tending the flocks of the
sea creatures belonging to Poseidon. He had the ability to change himself into whatever form he desired, using this
power particularly when he wanted to elude those asking him questions.
Psyche - the human soul, self, the mind; named after Psyche, a maiden who, after undergoing many hardships due to
Aphrodite’s jealousy, reunited with Cupid and was made immortal by Jupiter; she personifies the soul joined to the
heart of love.
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Pygmalion–someone (male) who tries to fashion someone into a person he desires; from a myth adapted into a play by
George Bernard Shaw; a woman-hating sculptor who makes a female figure of ivory-Aphrodite brings to life for him.
Pyrrhic victory - adj.; a too costly victory; from Pyrrhus, a Greek king who defeated the Romans in 279 BC, but
suffered extremely heavy losses in the fight
Saturnalia-a period of unrestrained revelry; named after the ancient Roman festival of Saturn, w/general feasting in
revelry in honor of the winter solstice.
Saturnine-sluggish, inactive in winter; named after the god Saturn, often associated w/the god of the Underworld.
Sibyl - a witch or sorceress; a priestess who made known the oracles of Apollo and possessed the gift of prophecy.
Sisyphean - greedy and avaricious; from the shrewd and greedy king of Corinth, Sisyphus, who was doomed forever
in Hades to roll uphill a heavy stone, which always rolled down again.
Stentorian - having a loud voice; after Stentor, a character in the Iliad who could shout as loudly as 50 men. He
engaged in a shouting match against Hermes and was put to death after losing.
Stygian - dark and gloomy; named after the river Styx, a river in the Underworld. The water is poisonous for human
and cattle and said to break iron, metal and pottery, though it is said a horse's hoof is unharmed by it.
Tantalize- from King Tantalus, who reigned on Mt. Sipylus and was condemned to reside in a beautiful river with
sumptuous fruits just out of reach and the water undrinkable, always tempting him as punishment for excessive pride
(he boiled his son and fed the broth to trick the gods).
Terpsichorean - pertaining to dance; for Terpsichore, one of the nine muses, sometimes said to be the mother of the
sirens & the protector of dance.
Titanic - large, grand, enormous; after Tityus, a giant, the son of Zeus and Elara. His body covers over two acres. Or
after the Titans, the offspring of Chronus and Rhea, who went to war against Zeus and the other Olympian gods.
Volcanoes – originated from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, whose forge is said to be under mountains
Vulcanize-to treat rubber w/sulfur to increase strength & elasticity; Roman God of Fore & Metallurgy,
Vulcan/Hephaestus
Zeus – a powerful man; king of the gods, ruler of Mt. Olympus, vengeful hurler of thunderbolts
ALLUSIONS FROM LITERATURE
Babbitt - a self-satisfied person concerned chiefly with business and middle-class ideals like material success; a member of the
American working class whose unthinking attachment to its business and social ideals is such to make him a model of narrowmindedness and self-satisfaction; after George F. Babbitt, the main character in the novel Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Brobdingnagian - gigantic, enormous, on a large scale, enlarged; after Brobdingnag, the land of giants visited by
Gulliver in Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Bumble - to speak or behave clumsily or faltering, to make a humming or droning sound; Middle English bomblem; a
clumsy religious figure (a beadle) in a work of literature
Cinderella - one who gains affluence or recognition after obscurity and neglect, a person or thing whose beauty or worth remains
unrecognized; after the fairy-tale heroine who escapes form a life of drudgery through the intervention of a fairy godmother and
marries a handsome prince
Don Juan - a libertine, profligate, a man obsessed with seducing women; after Don Juan, the legendary 14th century
Spanish nobleman and libertine
Don Quixote – someone overly idealistic to the point of having impossible dreams; from the crazed and impoverished Spanish
noble who sets out to revive the glory of knighthood, romanticized in the musical The Man of La Mancha based on the story by
Cervantes
Panglossian - blindly or misleadingly optimistic; after Dr. Pangloss in Candide by Voltaire, a pedantic old tutor
Falstaffian - full of wit and bawdy humor; after Falstaff, a fat, sensual, boastful, and mendacious knight who was the
companion of Henry, Prince of Wales
Frankenstein - Anything that threatens or destroys its creator; from the young scientist in Mary Shelley's novel of this
name, who creates a monster that eventually destroys him
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Friday - A faithful and willing attendant, ready to turn his hand to anything; from the young savage found by
Robinson Crusoe on a Friday, and kept as his servant and companion on the desert island
Galahad - A pure and noble man with limited ambition; in the legends of King Arthur, the purest and most virtuous
knight of the Round Table, the only knight to find the Holy Grail
Jekyll and Hyde – A capricious person with two sides to his/her personality; from a character in the famous novel Dr.
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who had more than one personality, a split personality (one good and one evil)
Lilliputian – descriptive of a very small person or of something diminutive, trivial or petty; after the Lilliputians, tiny
people in Gullivar's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Little Lord Fauntleroy - refers either to a certain type of children's clothing or to a beautiful, but pampered and
effeminate small boy; from a work by Frances H. Burnett, the main character, seven-year-old Cedric Errol, was a
striking figure, dressed in black velvet with a lace collar and yellow curls
Lothario - used to describe a man whose chief interest is seducing a woman; from the play The Fair Penitent by
Nicholas Rowe, the main character and the seducer
Malapropism - The usually unintentional humorous misuse or distortion of a word or phrase, especially the use of a
word sounding somewhat like the one intended, but ludicrously wrong in context - Example: polo bears. Mrs.
Malaprop was a character noted for her misuse of words in R. B. Sheridan's comedy The Rivals
Milquetoast - a timid, weak, or unassertive person; from Casper Milquetoast, who was a comic strip character created
by H.T. Webster
Pickwickian - humorous, sometimes derogatory; from Samuel Pickwick, a character in Dickens' Pickwickian Papers
Pollyanna - a person characterized by impermissible optimism and a tendency to find good in everything, a foolishly
or blindly optimistic person; from Eleanor Porter's heroine, Pollyanna Whittier, in the book Pollyanna
Pooh-bah - a pompous, ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them; after
Pooh-Bah Lord-High-Everything-Else, character in The Mikado, a musical by Gilbert & Sullivan
Quixotic - having foolish and impractical ideas of honor, or schemes for the general good; after Don Quixote, a halfcrazy reformer and knight of the supposed distressed, in a novel by the same name
Robot - a machine that looks like a human being and performs various acts of a human being, a similar but functional
machine whose lack of capacity for human emotions is often emphasized by an efficient, insensitive person who
functions automatically, a mechanism guided by controls from Karel Capek's Rossum's Universal Robots (1920), taken
from the Czech "robota," meaning drudgery
Rodomontade - bluster and boasting, to boast (rodomontading or rodomontaded); from Rodomont, a brave, but braggart knight in
Bojardo's Orlando Inamorato; King of Sarza or Algiers, son of Ulteus, & commander of both horse and foot in the Saracen Army
Scrooge - a bitter and/or greedy person; from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, an elderly stingy miser who is
given a reality check by 3 visiting ghosts
Simon Legree - a harsh, cruel, or demanding person in authority, such as an employer or officer that acts in this
manner ; from Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Ward, the brutal slave overseer
Svengali-a person with an irresistible hypnotic power; from a person in a novel written in 1894 by George Mauriers; a
musician who hypnotizes & gains control over the heroine
Tartuffe - hypocrite or someone who is hypocritical; central character in a comedy by Moliere produced in 1667;
Moliere was famous for his hypocritical piety
Uncle Tom - someone thought to have the timid service attitude like that of a slave to his owner; from the humble,
pious, long-suffering Negro slave in Uncle Tom's Cabin by abolitionist writer Stowe
Uriah Heep- an obsequious person; from a character in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield (1849-50)
Walter Mitty – a commonplace non-adventuresome person who seeks escape from reality through daydreaming, a
henpecked husband or dreamer; after a daydreaming henpecked “hero” in a story by James Thurber
Yahoo - a boorish, crass, or stupid person; from a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have
the form and all the vices of humans
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BIBLICAL ALLUSIONS
Absolom – a son who brings heartache to his father; from the third son of David, King of Israel. Exiled for three years
before he was allowed to return to the court or see his royal father, Absolom plotted to cause a rebellion against his father
to overtake the kingdom because he heard Solomon was to succeed David. When Absolom was killed in battle, King
David grieved for his son in spite of his treachery against him
Alpha and Omega - The beginning and the end, from a quote in Revelations in the New Testament
Cain-a brother who kills a brother; the story of Adam and Eve’s son Cain, who killed his brother Abel out of jealousy
Daniel – one known for wisdom and accurate judgment; from a wise leader in the Old Testament who was able to read
the handwriting on the wall
David and Bathsheba – represents a big sin; from King David’s affair with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. After they had
an affair and she became pregnant, David had her husband Uriah put on the front lines of battle so he would die. The
"Bathsheba Affair" formed a critical turning point in King David's life. Prior to this, he had prospered greatly, but
afterward, his personal fortunes were greatly diminished. Nathan the prophet confronted David after he took Bathsheba
for his wife and trapped him into admitting his own guilt.
Eye of the Needle - A very difficult task; from famous narrow gateway called “the needle.” In the NT, Jesus said it was
easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter heaven.
Filthy Lucre - Money or profits; from a story in the NT of Jesus casting moneylenders out of the Temple
Goliath – a large person; from the giant from the Philistine city of Gath, slain by David, when he was a shepherd boy
Good Samaritan – someone who helps another person, perhaps someone of a different race or background; from a NT
parable about a Samaritan, a traditional enemy of the Hebrews, who stopped to help a Jewish man who had been beaten
and left for dead at the side of the road.
Handwriting on the wall – what the future holds; from the OT story of Daniel, who was able to accurately predict some
mysterious writing that appeared on a wall (translated, it predicted the imminent death of the king)
Ishmael – one who is cast out as being unworthy; the son of Abraham and his handmaiden Hagar, he was cast out into the
desert when his wife Sarah had their son Isaac; therefore said to be the ancestor of the nomadic desert tribes of Arabs
Jacob - grandson of Abraham, son of Isaac and Rebekah, brother of Esau, and the traditional ancestor of Israelites. His
name was changed to Israel, and his 12 sons became the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Job- who who suffers a great deal but remains faithful; from an OT character whose faith in God was tested by Satan;
though he lost his family and belongings, he remained patient and faithful
Job's comforters – “friends” who try to help by bringing blame; ironically, Job’s "comforters" didn't comfort at all but
were the source of more affliction.
Jonah – one who brings bad luck; an OT prophet who ran from God and sailed to sea. When a storm arose, he admitted
that he was the cause, and the sailors threw him overboard, where he was swallowed by a large fish.
Judas – (n) a traitor or a treacherous kiss (a Judas kiss) ; one of the 12 Apostles, notorious for betraying Jesus. His
surname in Latin means "murderer" or "assassin." Judas disclosed Jesus' whereabouts to the chief priests and elders for
thirty pieces of silver
King Ahab and Jezabel – an evil king of Israel and his treacherous evil wife, synonymous today with evil. Through her
marriage to Ahab, Jezebel introduced the worship of Baal, an idol, to Israel, inciting mutual enmity with the prophets. She
instigated the murder Naboth for the possession of a vineyard. Today Jezebel means a brazen or forward woman
Manna – a sustaining life-giving source or food; from the sweetish bread-like food that fell from heaven for the Israelites
as they crossed the Sinai Desert to the Promised Land with Moses
Original Sin/The Fall – the idea that all men are innately sinful as a result of Adam and Eve’s fall from the state of
innocence. When they ate of the forbidden fruit, they were cast out of the Biblical Garden of Eden; a post-biblical
expression for the doctrine of Adam's transgression and mankind's consequential inheritance of a sinful nature because he
ate the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
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Pearl of Great Price – something so precious that one would devote everything to or give up everything for it. .In one of
Jesus' parables, the kingdom of heaven is compared to a pearl of great price, or value, found by a merchant
Philistine – a person indifferent or hostile to the arts and refinement; from Sea-going people from Crete who became
enemies of the Israelites and fought over their lands
Prodigal Son – a wasteful son who disappoints his father; from the NT parable of a man with two sons. When he split his
estate between the two, the younger son gathered his fortune and left home to live the wild life, while the older son stayed
home to work in the fields. When the younger son spent all of the money, he came crawling back to his father, who
accepted him, pardoning his error by saying he was “lost but was found.”
Ruth and Naomi – paragons of love between in-laws; faithful friends. From the OT story of Ruth, who, when her
husband died in battle, left her own land to travel with his mother back to her people.
Samson and Delilah - Treacherous love story. Samson, an Israelite hero and legendary warrior with extraordinary
physical strength, fell in love with Delilah, a Philistine. When Delilah learned that Samson's hair was the source of his
strength, she betrayed him by excepting a Philistine bribe to cut off his hair while he slept. Today the name Delilah is
associated with a voluptuous, treacherous woman.
Scapegoat - (n) one that is made an object of blame for others; the goat was symbolically burdened with the sins of
Jewish people and thrown over a precipice outside of Jerusalem to rid the nation of iniquities.
Sepulcher – tomb in the OT
Sodom and Gomorrah–any place associated w/wickedness or sin; from the evil cities of the OT destroyed by fire
Solomon – an extremely wise person; from the son of King David, the Israelite king who wrote Proverbs, and was known
for wisdom
Twelve Tribes of Israel - according to the Old Testament, the Hebrew people took possession of the Promised Land of
Canaan after the death of Moses and named the tribes after the sons and grandson of Jacob (whose name was changed to
Israel): Reuben, Simeon, Judah, Issachar, Zebulum, Gad, Asher, Dan, Naphtali, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim.
HISTORICAL ALLUSIONS:
Attila - barbarian, rough leader; King of the Huns from 433-453 and the most successful of the barbarian invaders of the
Roman Empire
Berserk - destructively or frenetically violent, mental or emotional upset; a warrior clothed in bear skin who worked
himself into a frenzy before battle
Bloomer – undergarments for dance or active wear; underwear formally worn by females that was composed of loose
trousers gathered at the ankles; invented by Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-94), and American social reformer
Bowdlerize - to censor, expurgate prudishly, to modify, as by shortening or simplifying or by skewing content; after
Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825), who expurgated Shakespeare
Boycott - to act together in abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a
means of coercion, the act or an instance of boycotting; after Charles C. Boycott (1832-97), of Ireland. Boycott, a former
British soldier, refused to charge lower rents and ejected his tenants. Boycott and his family found themselves without
servants, farmlands, service in stores, or mail delivery. Boycott's name was quickly adapted as the term for this treatment.
Canopy - an overhanging protection or shelter, to cover or hover above; Middle English word canape taken from Latin
Canapeum or Conopeum, meaning "net curtains"
Casanova - a man who is amorously and gallantly attentive to women; a promiscuous man.; Giovanni Jacopo Casanova
De Seingalt (1725-98), an Italian adventurer who established a legendary reputation as a lover
Chauvinist - one who has a militant devotion to and glorification of one's country, fanatical patriotism, prejudiced belief
in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind; after Nicolas Chauvin a legendary French soldier devoted to
Napoleon
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Derrick - a machine for hoisting and moving heavy objects, consisting of a movable boom equipped with cables and
pulleys and connected to the base of an upright stationary beam, a tall framework over a drilled hole, esp. an oil well, used
to support boring equipment; named after a London hangman Derick (1600)
Donnybrook - any riotous occasion; taken from the Donnybrook Fair, held in Dublin County, Ireland until 1855, which
was famous for rioting and dissipation
Dungaree – a style of casual work pants; from a coarse cotton fabric of East Indian origin; from the Hindu word dungri
El Dorado - a place of reputed wealth; from the legendary city in South America, sought by early Spanish explorers
Hackney - to make something banal or trite by frequent use, a horse for ordinary riding or driving, a horse kept for hire,
let out, employed, or done for hire; from Hackney, the most common breed of heavy harness horses in the US.
Horatio Alger – one who believes that a person can make it on his own merits; from (1832-99) American writer of
inspirational adventure books
Laconic-marked by the use of few words, brief; Lakonikos, from the reputation of the Spartans for brevity of speech
Limerick - a humorous or nonsense verse of five lines; from Limerick, a county in Republic of Ireland where the form is
said to have originated
Machiavellian-of or relating to Machiavelli or Machiavellianism, characterized by expedience, deceit and cunning; after
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1537), a philosopher known for his treaties & political expediency; wrote "The Prince" (1513)
Marathon - a long distance race; source of the Victory of the Greeks over Persians in 490 B.C.
McCarthyism - modern witch hunt, the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversions with
insufficient regard to evidence, the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods, in order to suppress opposition;
after Joseph McCarthy (1908-57), a US senator from WWI publicly accused many citizens of subversion
Meander - to wander aimlessly; originating from Meander, a river in Turkey noted for its winding course
Mesmerize - to induce the state of being hypnotized; F.A. Mesmer, an Austrian physician who used hypnotism and
developed a theory called "animal magnetism"
Nostradamus - fortune teller; (1503-66) French physician and astrologer who wrote a book of rhymed prophecies
Sardonic - bitterly ironical, sarcastic, sneering; from a Sardinian plant said to bring on fits of laughter
Shanghai - to cheat or steal, to make drugs, liquor, etc… to bring or get by trickery or force; a seaport in East China, from
Shanghai because sailor for voyages there were often secured by illicit means
Spartan - frugal and bare, simple, disciplined and stern and brave; having to do with Sparta, an important City in Greece.
The Spartans were known for simplicity of life, severity, courage, and brevity of speech.
Stonewall - hinder or obstruct by evasive, delaying tactics; in cricket: trying to go completely defensive, blocking every
ball without trying to score; relating to Stonewall Jackson (Thomas J. Jackson) Confederate General from the remark
during the Battle of Bull Run: "Look as Jackson's men; they stand like a stone wall."
Swiftian - satirical,; from Jonathan Swift's famous satire on politics Gulliver's Travels
Sybaritic - luxurious, voluptuous, a person who cares very much for luxury and pleasure; an inhabitant of Sybars, a town
founded by the Greeks in ancient Italy, which was known for its luxury
Thespian - having to do with the theater or acting; relating to Thespians, so called form Thespis, a Attic poet of the 6th
century B.C., reputed to the father of Greek tragedy
Uncle Sam - government of people of the United States; derived from the United States of America - Uncle Sam, a
businessman with initials on shipping boxes in 1800's
Utopia - an imaginary and perfect society; British 1610, source Thomas More's novel Utopia
Wagnerian - style of music: loud, dramatic, radical; having to do with Wagner-his music, or his musical styles or theories
Waterloo - A decisive or final defeat or setback; Belgian 1816, source of Napoleon's last defeat
ap-english listserv Source: Skip Nicholson via Tim Averill 7
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Student Name:
For the 2015/2016 school year:
I have read the attached assignment for my rising 11/12th grade Advanced Placement Literature student
and I am aware that he/she is responsible for reading the 2 REQUIRED books and completing the
assignment, as well as studying the literary terminology and allusions packet. By signing up for the AP
Literature course the student has agreed to complete these assignments by the assigned due dates.
I am also aware that the materials needed for AP Literature class are:






2” binder
Dividers
Loose leaf paper
1 Marble composition book
Pink, green and blue highlighters
Copious amounts of sticky notes
Student Signature:
Parent Signature:
This signed form is due to your ELA teacher for a homework grade.
Due date:
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June 2015
To the Parents/Guardians of __________________________:
Your son/daughter has registered and been approved for AP Literature for the next school year. We are excited
that he or she has selected this challenging course as part of their schedule. As an AP student, he or she will be
assigned summer work. This work must be completed and meet satisfactory academic levels on the second day
of school. If this is not completed on time, your child will be scheduled in the non-AP level course, ELA 11 or
12. Furthermore, during the school year, he or she may be required to stay after school, during lunches, and
scheduled FLEX time to review course materials and to prepare for the AP exam in May of 2016.
All AP students are given additional weight for this class and this will be reflected in their cumulative grade
point average and rank in class. We require all AP students to take the AP exam in the spring in order to receive
this additional weighting. The approximate cost to take the AP exam is approximately $86 and is required to be
paid by the first week of school. Your child’s teacher will provide detailed information at the start of the school
year.
Please sign below to acknowledge your understanding of your child’s enrollment and academic obligations for
this AP class and submit to your child’s teacher or me on or before the first day of school. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact me or your child’s teacher.
Regards,
Michelle Boyd
Upper School Principal
610-983-4080 ext. 1021
Student Signature _______________________________________ Date _____________
Parent/Guardian ________________________________________ Date _____________
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