Academic Vocabulary Argumentation Terms



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Academic Vocabulary

  • Argumentation Terms

Argumentation Terms

  • diction: a writer's or speaker’s choice of words, as well as the syntax, or order of the words
  • emotional appeals (pathos): messages that evoke strong feelings—such as fear, pity, or vanity—in order to persuade, instead of using facts and evidence to make a point
  • Trustworthy appeals (ethos): establish a writer’s credibility and trustworthiness with an audience
  • logical appeal (logos): relies on logic and facts appealing to people’s reasoning or intellect rather than to their values or emotions

Argumentation Terms

  • hyperbole: figure of speech in which the truth is exaggerated for emphasis or for humorous effect; overstatement.
  • repetition: a sound, word, or phrase is repeated for emphasis or unity; helps reinforce meaning and create an appealing rhythm
  • tone: the attitude a writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character.

Argumentation Terms

  • propaganda: uses emotional appeals and often biased, false, or misleading information to manipulate people to think or act in a certain way
  • thesis: sentence that clearly states your position or controlling idea

Persuasive Terms

  • persuasive essay: uses logic and reasoning to persuade readers to adopt a certain point of view or take action
  • propaganda: uses emotional appeals and often biased, false, or misleading information to manipulate people to think or act in a certain way
  • thesis: sentence that clearly states your position or controlling idea

Argumentative/Persuasive

  • counterargument: acknowledging readers’ divergent views and refuting them
  • call to action: how you want the reader to think or act
  • supporting evidence: details, such as facts, expert opinions, or quotations that logically support your argument

Argumentative/Persuasive

  • connotation: the emotional response evoked by a word
  • denotation: the literal meaning of a word

Rhetorical Slanters: words chosen to put a negative or positive spin on what the speaker or writer is saying

  • rhetorical analogy: use of a figurative comparison (ex. metaphor or simile) to convey a positive or negative feeling toward the subject Example: “The environment needs global warming like farmers need a drought.”
  • rhetorical definition: use of emotively charged language to express or elicit an attitude about something Example: Capital punishment is “government-sanctioned murder.”

Rhetorical Slanders

  • rhetorical explanation: expressing an opinion as if it were fact, and doing so in biased language Example: Joe “didn’t have the guts to fight back” as compared to Joe “did not take a swing.”
  • innuendo: use of language to imply that a particular inference is justified, as if saying “go ahead and read between the lines.” Example: “Think carefully about whom you choose; you want a president who will be ready to do the job on day one.”

Rhetorical Slanders

  • downplayers: use of qualifier words or phrases to make someone or something look less important or significant. Example: “She got her “degree” from a correspondence school.”
  • truth surrogates: hinting that proof exists to support a claim without actually citing that proof. Example: “There’s every reason to believe that …”
  • ridicule/sarcasm: use of language that suggests the subject is worthy of scorn. Example: “…the news media themselves are impervious to the predispositions and prejudice that afflict their audience.”

Types of Analytical Essays

  • analytical essay: explores a topic by supplying relevant information in the form of facts, reasons, and valid inferences to support the writer’s claims. It has a clear thesis with facts and information that support that thesis.
  • compare-and-contrast: explores similarities and differences between two or more things for a specific purpose and offers clear, factual details about the subject
  • cause-and-effect: traces the results of an event or describes the reasons an event happened. It gives precise examples that support the relationship between the cause and effect

Types of Analytical Essays

  • classification: organizes a subject into categories and explains the category into which an item falls. Example: a classification essay about video games might discuss three types of video games- action, adventure, and arcade
  • problem-solution: presents a problem and then offers solutions to that problem
  • pro-con: examines the arguments for and against an idea or topic
  • informative: supply relevant information about a topic by analyzing the topic’s elements

Literary Terms

  • Class, you will be held accountable not only for the definitions of these items, but also for the function and use of them.
  • These notes should be placed in the Glossary section of your binder.
  • You will be referring and adding to this list all year.
  • These terms and their application are key to your success in English IV.

Warm Up- Please put these in your academic vocabulary.

  • alliteration: the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words, which helps unify the lines.
  • Example: The wind whipped wildly through the trees.
  • allusion: an indirect reference to a person, place, event, or literary work with which the author believes the reader will be familiar: literature, history, religion, myth, politics, sports, science, or the arts.
  • Example: She gave a Herculean effort in the race.

Academic Vocabulary

  • Personification: A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.
  • metaphor: Figure of speech that makes a comparison between two things that have something in common without using a connective word such as like, as, than, or resembles. Example: She is such a bear in the morning.
  • Irony: The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement or situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance or presentation of the idea.
  • Oxymoron: A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side. Example: icy hot, jumbo shrimp

Academic Voc:

  • conflict: struggle or clash between opposing characters, forces, or emotions that is the basis of the story’s plot; can be external or internal.
  • connotation: the emotional or personal response evoked by a word.
  • denotation: the literal meaning of a word, the dictionary definition.
  • foreshadow: a writer’s use of hints or clues to indicate events that will occur later in the story; creates suspense and prepares the reader for what is to come
  • imagery: words and phrases that create vivid sensory experiences for the audience. (Think of intense descriptions of sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound)
  • Writing Tip: "Good writing starts with a profound respect for words--their denotations, their connotations, their force, their rhythm. Once you learn to respect them, you'll develop a passion for using them thriftily. Why use three or four words if one says the same thing? Why say 'in the event that' when you can say 'if'? Or 'in order to' when you can say 'to'? Or, 'for the reason that' when you can say 'since'? Why write 'They speak with great bitterness' when you can write 'They speak bitterly'? "A skilled writer writes as if she were paid a dime for each word she deletes. Her prose is concise." (John R. Trimble, Writing With Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing, 2nd ed. Prentice Hall, 2000)
  • Writer’s Tip:"The artist's life nourishes itself on the particular, the concrete. . . . Start with the mat-green fungus in the pine woods yesterday: words about it, describing it, and a poem will come. . . . Write about the cow, Mrs. Spaulding's heavy eyelids, the smell of vanilla flavouring in a brown bottle. That's where the magic mountains begin." (Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen Kukil, Anchor, 2000)
  • protagonist: The main character in a work of literature who is involved in the central conflict of the story, and is the one with whom the reader is meant to identify. Usually, he changes after the climax of the central conflict. The person is not necessarily “good” by any conventional moral standard, but he/she is the person in whose plight the reader is most invested.
  • antagonist: the principal character (or a force of nature) in opposition to the protagonist, or hero of a narrative or drama; the person may not be “bad” or “evil” by any conventional moral standard


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