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ENGLISH COMPOSITION

Next: Composing Sentences




Punctuation
Commas
Commas indicate slight pauses in reading and di"erentiate sentence parts. You must
use commas:
1. Before any conjunction that connects two independent clauses:
I thought it would rain, and it did.
2. After an introductory phrase:
After the rainfall, the sun nally came out.
3. To separate items in a series:
I like rock, pop, blues, country, and hip-hop.
4. To set o" a parenthetical phrase:
Amateur dancers, who often know little about traditional Spanish music,
sometimes confuse dances such as the mambo and the samba.
5. With dates:
On August 8, 1976, the music world changed forever.
6. To set o! quotations that occur inside a sentence:
Sarah said, I love you, and she meant it.
7. To subdivide numbers into groups of three digits:
4,251,730
8. To indicate direct address:
Greg, give me the remote control.
9. To separate adjectives:
The hot, humid, nasty day made Alison irritable.
10. To indicate omissions of verbs in parallel clauses:
Jenny likes the Mets; Pedro, the Angels; and Frank, the Marlins.


Apostrophes
1. Indicate possession when added to a noun or pronoun.
In certain academic corners, Philippa Foots mid-century philosophy is
inuential.
2. Indicate that letters have been left out when used as part of a contraction.
I dont speak French.
3. Do not indicate plurals and are not necessary in verbs.
Incorrect: The cats play outside.
Incorrect: He calls his dog.


Quotation Marks
1. Represent text as speech:
I would have been great, he insisted.
2. Indicate material excerpted from another wriers work:
Not every love a"air is star-crossd.
3. Indicate titles of poems, essays, and short stories:
Shelleys Ode to a Skylark meditates on spontaneous artistic creation.
4. May not be used in place of underlining or italicizing for emphasis.
Incorrect: Hey Dad! This wins for you.
# Periods and commas go inside punctuation marks.
# Question marks, exclamation marks, colons, semicolons, and dashes go
outside quotation marks unless they are part of the quotation.


Semicolons
1. Take the place of a conjunction that joins independent clauses. In such
cases, if a period replaces the comma, the sentence still will make sense.
Betsy liked to sew; it was her passion.
2. Separate items in series that contain commas within single-item
descriptions.
He had an old, unraveling sweater; a new, hand-knit sweater; and a faded, torn
pair of jeans.
Composing Sentences
Subject-Verb Agreement
1. Singular subjects take singular verbs, and plural subjects take plural verbs.
Correct: The dog eats his food.
Incorrect: The dog eat his food.
2. Separated subjects and verbs: If the verb and subject are separated by other
words, the verb should agree with its subject rather than with the nearest
noun.
Correct: The actors in the movie, which we went to see before dinner on
Tuesday, were impressive.
Incorrect: The actors in the movie, which we went to see before dinner on
Tuesday, was impressive.
3. Collective nouns: When the subject is a singular noun that refers to a group,
the verb remains singular.
Correct: The band of soldiers piles into the chopper.
Incorrect: The band of soldiers pile into the chopper.
4. A singular subject that is part of a plural element: When a singular subject
is isolated from a larger group, use a singular verb.
Correct: One of the backup singers was unable to perform at the Presidents
Day concert.
Incorrect: One of the backup singers were unable to perform at the Presidents
Day concert.
5. Two singular subjects joined by and take a plural verb.
Correct: Frankie and Edmund love dancing.
Incorrect: Frankie and Edmund loves dancing.
6. Two subjects combined to form a single unit take a singular verb.
Correct: Cutting and pasting is a good technique to master.
Incorrect: Cutting and pasting are a good technique to master.
7. Two singular subjects joined by or or nor take a singular verb.
Correct: Either Darla or Judith is going with me to the dance.
Incorrect: Either Darla or Judith are going with me to the dance.
8. A mixed subject joined by or or nor: The verb agrees with the closest
noun.
Correct: Neither milk nor eggs contain much Vitamin A.
Correct: Neither eggs nor milk contains much Vitamin A.


Subject-Phrase Correspondence
Descriptive phrases that introduce sentences must agree with the grammatical
subject of the sentence.
Correct: Hanging in the closet, my dress smelled like mothballs.
Incorrect: Hanging in the closet, I saw my dress.


Comparisons
1. To compare two items, use -er or more.
Julia is shorter than Isabelle.
Isabelle is the more imaginative of the two girls.
2. To indicate a superlative among more than two items, use -est or most.
Jack is the fastest runner in the group.
Luther is the most gifted dancer in New York.


Pronouns
1. Pronouns must agree with the nouns they replace in person, number, and
gender.
Original: Jenny and Sarah crashed Matts car into a tree.
With pronouns: They crashed his car into it.
2. None takes a singular verb when it indicates no one or not one and a
plural verb when it indicates more than one thing or person.
Correct: None of us is perfect.
Correct: None are as angry as those whose money was stolen.
3. Pronouns should refer clearly to a particular noun.
Correct: As John showed his house to Joseph, John asked him what he thought
of it.
Incorrect: John asked Joseph what he thought of his house.
4. Do not change a sentences perspective by switching personal pronoun
reference midway.
Incorrect: They thought of calling a cab, but you cant always trust cab drivers,
so they didnt.
Correct: They thought of calling a cab, but they didnt trust cab drivers, so
they didnt.


Things to Avoid
1. Fragments. Dont use incomplete sentences as complete sentences.
Incorrect: She liked all sorts of movies. Such as dramas, comedies, and
mysteries.
Correct: She liked all sorts of movies, including dramas, comedies, and
mysteries.
2. Double negatives. If two negations (words like not or never) occur in the
same phrase, they confuse the meaning of the phrase by canceling one
another out.
Incorrect: You should never not change the batteries in your smoke detector.
Correct: You should always change the batteries in your smoke detector.
3. Comma splice. Using a comma instead of a semicolon or period to separate
independent clauses is incorrect and creates a run-on sentence.
Incorrect: There are many people in India, the country has a high population
density.
Correct: There are many people in India; the country has a high population
density.

Composing Paragraphs
A paragraph can be divided into three parts: the topic sentence, the body, and the
concluding sentence.
1. The topic sentence introduces your paragraph and states its main idea.
2. The body provides evidence and support for your topic sentence.
3. The concluding sentence summarizes the main argument of the paragraph.
Not every paragraph needs a concluding sentence: short paragraphs, or
paragraphs that are part of a larger ow of argument, often do better without
them.
Example of a paragraph:
Although most people believe that April showers bring May owers, May often
proves to be a far rainier month than April. For the past ve years, the average East
Coast rainfall in May has been 4.6 inches, as opposed to just 3.2 inches for April.
When confronted with this statistic, some meteorologists argue that April once was
rainier than May, before ocean current patterns shifted to increase Mays average
rainfall. Others point out that, in some parts of the world, April remains rainier than
May. A third group o$cially opposes any inquiry into the statistical anomaly,
asserting that April showers bring May owers is a totally unscientic proverb
perpetuated by TV weather reporters who lack real understanding of the weather.
Although no one doubts the fallacy of the ever-popular adage, the scientic
community does not agree on the reason for the statements untruthfulness.
Composing an Essay
The Thesis Statement
A thesis statement noties your reader of your original idea regarding a topic.
While your general argument may be something like Slavery didnt cause the
Civil War, your thesis statement gives your original, specic idea about a
subject. A thesis statement should be neither obvious nor vague. A thesis
must be controversial and arguable; it should be possible for someone to
come up with a reasonable argument contradicting your own.
Example of a good thesis statement:
Disagreement between the North and South over tariffs and states rights was a
more signicant cause of the Civil War than were opposing views about
slavery.
This thesis statement is strong. It makes a controversial claim against
which people could argue and clearly identies specic economic and
political factors.


Thesis Paragraph
The rst paragraph of the paper describes the focus of your argument and your
reason for making it. In the paragraph, you should:
1. Give background material and context. Assume that your reader is
well educated and can understand an argument about a book or event
with which he or she is unfamiliar. Give only the most relevant
background information in your rst paragraph.
2. State your motive and thesis. Your introductory paragraph should tell
your reader why your paper is relevant. Typically, youll want to make
your thesis statement in the nal sentences of the introductory paragraph.
Example of a good thesis paragraph:
Almost as soon as the Civil War ended, Americans began to search for a way
to understand the reasons for the bitter conict. Even today, strong feelings
and personal bias inuence debate over the causes of the war. Because the
years leading up to the war were characterized by growing conicts over a
series of political and economic disagreements between the Northern and
Southern states, isolating individual causes of the war is difcult. It is easy to
assume that the main cause of the war was disagreement over slavery simply
because the outcome of the war had such dramatic effects on the institution of
slavery. In fact, disagreement between the North and South over tariffs and
states rights was a more signicant cause of the Civil War than were
opposing views about slavery.


Body Paragraphs
1. Topic sentences begin every paragraph. They should introduce new
information that conrms or complicates your thesis statement.
2. Evidence and analysis. Within the paragraph, use specic evidence to
support the idea stated in your topic sentence. Use analysis sentences to
explain why this evidence supports your argument.
3. Transitions within paragraphs. The ideas in a body paragraph should
come in a logical sequence that explains, complicates, or develops the
idea put forth in the paragraphs topic sentence.
# Transitional words (furthermore, in contrast, for example,
as a result) help your reader understand the way that you are
developing your main idea.
4. Transitions between paragraphs. Each paragraph should explicitly
relate to the preceding and following paragraph.
# Phrases like also important, in addition, or we should also
note that are weak because they dont explain the relationship
between ideas in consecutive paragraphs.
Example of a body paragraph:
Disagreements between the North and South regarding cotton tariffs created a
divisive political atmosphere that was instrumental in states decisions to
secede from the Union. Vice President John Calhoun proposed that individual
states had the right to nullify specic acts of Congress in order to protect the
welfare of the states against the federal government. When Calhoun proposed
this doctrine of nullication, it became clear that the South worried that the
North was wielding power in order to damage the Souths economy. This
worry inuenced the Southern states to consider separation from the North. In
short, the economic issue of cotton export, separate from moral concerns over
slavery, marked the initial split between North and South.
This body paragraph is effective because it states an argument and then
uses evidence persuasively. A strong topic sentence is supported by a
specic incident, which is then explained. The paragraph does not simply
retell the events surrounding cotton exportation. Rather, it shows how
economic concern about cotton relates to the division between North and
South.


Concluding Paragraph
A conclusion should explain the signicance of your thesis statement in a
larger context. Although a conclusion should provide a sense of closure, it
should not make broad, unwarranted generalizations or claims.
Techniques for concluding:
1. One of the most effective ways to provide a sense of closure is to cite a
relevant quotation from the text you are working with and explain how
to interpret that quotation using your argument.
2. Another technique is to explain a term that you bring up in your thesis
statement.
3. Ending your paper by showing that your argument can be applied to a
related topic reiterates the relevance of your ideas.
Example of a strong concluding paragraph:
In 1876, after the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Robert Hunter
asked, Had the South permitted her property, her constitutional rights and
her liberties to be surreptitiously taken from her without resistance and made
no moan, would she not have lost her honor with them? Understanding that
the South feared not only a loss of slave labor, but also a loss of honor, can
make the root causes of the Civil War a bit clearer. In referring to her
constitutional rights and her liberties, Hunter does refer to the institution of
slavery. However, he also refers to the pride of economic productivity, which
the South feared would wither and die under the economic policies of the
North. Although an absolute understanding of the causes of the Civil War is
unattainable, identifying the interactions among various causes is an ongoing
project.

Style Guidelines
Unlike grammar rules, which you must follow, these style guidelines are suggestions
that help make your writing clear and e"ective.

Use the Active Voice
Whenever possible, use the active voice, which is clearer than and provides more
specic information than the passive voice. To use the active voice, make the subject
of the sentence perform the action on the predicate of the sentence.
Passive: My car was driven to Tulsa by Sarah.
Active: Sarah drove my car to Tulsa.
Passive: The hill was taken.
Active: The soldiers took the hill.


Use Parallel Constructions
A parallel sentence construction repeats a grammatical pattern in order to express a
logical relationship between ideas in a sentence. Common parallel structures repeat
prepositional phrases, verb phrases, noun phrases, predicate nouns, or predicate
adjectives.
1. The words that introduce the separate parts of a parallel construction should
serve identical grammatical functions.
Incorrect: I told her to be brave, love her country, and that she should trust in
God.
Correct: I told her to be brave, to love her country, and to trust in God.
2. Parallel construction always should be balanced in length. If one element of a
list of comparison is signicantly longer than the others, readers will have
di$culty remembering the other elements in the list.
Incorrect: The movie bored the audience because it dragged on for hours, had
repetitive music, and was the rst work of a director who liked to use jarring
camera techniques and numerous characters.
Correct: The movie, which was its directors rst e"ort, bored the audience
with its excessive length, repetitive music, rudimentary direction, and
numerous characters.


Avoid Wordy Language
If you can convey the same meaning with fewer words, do so. Padding paragraphs
with extra words is confusing and usually obvious to readers and teachers.
Specically, the phrase there is almost always is unnecessary and may be
eliminated.
Incorrect: These instances of three-dimensional representation manifest the
preoccupation with concrete structure inherent in their societal formation.
Correct: These sculptures demonstrate their societys interest in structure.
Incorrect: There is a urn that sits next to the replace.
Correct: An urn sits next to the replace.


Avoid Gender Bias
Whenever possible, avoid using gendered pronouns to refer to both men and
women.
1. Use humanity or humankind rather than man or mankind.
2. Fix gender bias by using he or she or his or her, or by pluralizing.
Incorrect: The average American washes his hands three times every day.
Correct: The average American washes his or her hands three times every day.
Correct: Average Americans wash their hands three times every day.


Use Euphemism Only When Necessary
Euphemism is the use of an indirect word or phrase to hint at real meaning.
1. Euphemism can be useful if you are discussing a delicate or sensitive topic or
if you want to avoid language that is too vulgar or harsh.
Incorrect: Im sorry that your mother was run over by a car.
Correct: Im sorry that your mother passed away.
2. Unnecessary euphemism, however, often just confuses writing.
Incorrect: Maggie didnt complete her work because she is motivationally
challenged.
Correct: Maggie didnt complete her work because she is lazy.


Avoid Colloquial or Regional Language
Many gures of speech and idioms used in conversation are inappropriate for
writing.
Incorrect: Ben hit the nail on the head when he suspected Isabel of boosting his
watch.
Correct: Bens suspicion that Isabel had stolen his watch was astute.


Dont Mix Metaphors
Do not compare a thing to more than one other thing in the same sentence.
Incorrect: The argument was veiled behind a sea of disagreement.
Correct: Disagreement veiled the argument.
Correct: A sea of disagreement surrounded the argument.


Avoid Clichs
Overused words and idioms make sentences informal and di$cult to understand.
Incorrect: He stood by her side through thick and thin; even when their relationship
was on the rocks, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
Correct: He was loyal to her both in good and bad times; even when they had
disagreements, he was optimistic that their relationship would remain strong.
Commonly Confused Words and Phrases
a!ect/e!ect - A"ect is a verb meaning to cause something to change. E"ect is a
noun meaning a result brought about by a cause.
He tried to a"ect the outcome.
He had an e"ect on the outcome.
aggravate/irritate - Aggravate means worsen. Irritate means annoy or cause
minor pain.
The loud music aggravated her headache.
The cigarette smoke irritated her throat.
all ready/already - All ready means prepared. Already means previously.
The dancer was all ready to go on stage.
The dancers performance is over already.
all right/alright - Alright is a common contraction of all right. Although alright
technically is not incorrect, all right is strongly preferred.
He said he felt all right.
Incorrect: He said he felt alright.
a lot/alot - Alot is a common contraction of a lot, but is incorrect.
She liked it a lot.
Incorrect: She liked it alot.
allusion/illusion - An allusion is a reference to something else. An illusion is a false
vision or a fantasy.
The poem contains an allusion to Greek mythology.
The ghost was an illusion.
an with H-words - Use a instead of an in front of words that begin with H
unless the H is silent.
A hero played a harp for an hour.
and also - And also is redundant. Use either and or also, not both.
aural/oral - Aural relates to the ears and hearing; oral relates to the mouth.
The loud drum music damaged her aural capabilities.
Regular brushing and ossing are important components of oral hygiene.
awhile/a while - Awhile is an adverb meaning for some time. A while is an article
and noun and should be used as an object. The phrase for awhile is incorrect.
Take o" your shoes and rest awhile.
Rest for a while.
backward/backwards - Backward is preferred in the U.S.; backwards is acceptable
as an adverb but never as an adjective.
He glanced backward.
She caught his backward glance.
bad/badly - Bad is an adjective; badly, an adverb. Do not use bad as an adverb. The
phrase I feel badly is commonly used but incorrect.
The bad man hit his brother.
He plays tennis badly.
Incorrect: She hurt him bad.
Incorrect: I lied to her and now I feel badly about it.
bazaar/bizarre - Bazaar is a noun meaning market. Bizarre is an adjective
meaning strange or unusual.
beside/besides - Beside means next to. Besides means also or in addition to.
I ran beside the river.
He is a liar, and besides that, a thief.
between/among - Between is used when something is shared by only two people or
things. Among is used when something is shared by more than two people or things.
This secret will remain between you and me.
Among the four brothers, Aaron was the tallest.
breath/breathe - Breath is a noun; breathe is a verb.
I took a deep breath.
I breathe heavily.
capitol/capital - A capitol is a building in which a legislative body meets, whereas
capital is used to refer to political centers and uppercase letters.
Senator Smith walked into the U.S. Capitol.
Salt Lake City is the capital of Utah.
Every sentence must begin with a capital letter.
council/counsel - A council is a group. Counsel is advice or guidance; to counsel is
to advise.
The city council met on Tuesday.
I was confused, but my teacher gave me counsel.
compare to/compare with - Compare to connotes similarity between the things
compared. Compare with can connote similarity or di"erence.
He compared her apple pie to heaven.
He compared Lincoln with Hitler.
complement/compliment - Complement means to go well with. A compliment is
a attering statement or the act of making one.
My sense of humor complements her love of laughter.
I paid her a compliment.
continual/continuous - Something that is continuous never stops. Something that
is continual is recurring but can stop.
The Earth rotates continuously.
My girlfriend continually asks me to give her owers.
criteria/criterion - Criteria is the plural of criterion.
di!erent than/di!erent from - Di"erent from is more correct than di"erent than.
discreet/discrete - Discreet means prudent or modest. Discrete means
separate.
They left the party discreetly to avoid making a scene.
He had several discrete groups of friends.
etc./e.g./i.e. Etc. is short for et cetera and means and so forth. E.g. is short for
exempli gratia and means for example. I.e. is short for id est and means that is.
He was an expert in tropical dieases: malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, etc.
She loved Shakespeares more fanciful comedies, e.g., A Midsummer Nights Dream.
Asbestos is carcinogenic, i.e., cancer-causing.
forward/forwards - Forward is preferred in the U.S.
further/farther - Further refers to time or degree. Farther refers to physical
distance.
After further thought, he chose to surrender.
He moved the desks farther apart to avoid crowding.
good/well - Good is an adjective. Well is an adverb. I feel good means I feel
moral, not I feel healthy or I feel happy.
The good man donated half of his estate to charity.
I dont feel well; my stomach hurts.
hanged/hung - Always use hung except in the case of execution with a rope.
We hung the stockings on the line.
The convicts were hanged.
its/its - Its is the possessive form of it. Its is a contraction meaning it is.
Its main use is as a spice grinder.
Its used mainly for grinding spices.
lay/lie - Lay is used when the subject of the sentence acts on a direct object. Lie is
used when there is no direct object.
Julie lays down the book.
Julie lies down for a nap.
less/fewer - Less is used for quantities that cannot be counted. Fewer is used for
quantities that can be counted.
In winter, there is less daylight because the sun is in the sky for fewer hours.
lightening/lightning - Lightening means making light. Lightning ashes from the
clouds during storms.
Taking o" your backpack would help in lightening your load.
He was struck by lightning during the storm.
like/as - As is a conjunction; it comes before a complete clause. Like is a
preposition. If the phrase introduced by like or as includes a verb, use as; if not, use
like.
He ran quickly, as a runner should.
He ran like the wind.
little/few - Little refers to quantities that cannot be counted. Few refers to
quantities that can be counted.
He had little hope.
He had few prospects.
medium/media - Media is the plural of medium.
Oil paint is the favorite medium of many artists.
Art students learn techniques in a variety of media, including pencil, oil paint, and
watercolor.
much/many - Much generally refers to quantities that cannot be counted. Many
refers to quantities that can be counted.
There was much dirt in the old truck.
Dirt has many uses.
predominant/predominate - Predominant is an adjective. Predominate is a verb.
It is the predominant idea among scientists.
The idea predominates among scientists.
principle/principal - Principle refers to an idea, especially a moral precept. Principal
refers to high rank or importance.
I agree with the principle of nonviolence.
Human error was the principal cause of the accident.
Principal Jones suspended the student.
prior/previous/before - Prior and previous are interchangeable adjectives. Before is
an adverb.
The previous arrangement existed prior to this arrangement.
This arrangement was made before the new information came to light.
prophesy/prophecy - Prophesy is a verb that means to make prophecies.
Prophecy is a noun that means a prediction of future events.
The seer prophesied that Oedipus would be ruined.
The prophecy came true when Oedipus killed his father and married his mother.
quote/quotation - Quote is a verb; quotation, a noun.
I want to quote Twain in my paper.
That quotation from Twains novel is really clever.
real/really - Real is an adjective. Really is an adverb. A common mistake is to use
real as an adverb.
The terror of the situation was real.
The situation was really terrifying.
Incorrect: I did real well.
so - Avoid using so as an word of emphasis. It was very cold is preferable to It
was so cold.
stationary/stationery - Stationary is an adjective referring to a state of
motionlessness. Stationery is a noun referring to paper and envelopes.
than/then - Than is a comparative term. Then refers to chronological sequence.
Cornelius was smarter than Rocky.
I slept, and then I woke up.
that/which - That is used to provide information that is necessary to identify a
specic item. Which is used to add extra information about an item already
identied.
The ticket that John bought was nonrefundable.
John paid for the ticket, which cost fty dollars.
their/theyre - Their is the possessive form of they. Theyre is a contraction
meaning they are.
Their eyes were closed in sleep.
Theyre sleeping.
toward/towards - Toward is preferred in the U.S.
try to/try and - Try to introduces an action to be tried. Try and is correct only if
followed by an unrelated action.
Try to stop me.
You will try and fail.
Incorrect: Try and stop me.
used to/use to - Used to refers to a past action. Use to is incorrect.
We used to play ball in this eld.
Incorrect: We use to play ball in this eld.
whether/if - If means on the condition that. Whether is used in situations of
speculation or uncertainty.
I will go to the party if I get my work done rst.
I wonder whether the plane will arrive on time.
Incorrect: I wonder if the plane will arrive on time.
If the plane is late, he will wonder what is wrong.
who/whom - Who is a subject; whom is an object.
Who is coming to the party?
Whom should I invite?
Tim saw Cheryl, who was wearing a red coat.
Tim saw Cheryl, whom he loves like a sister.
whos/whose - Whos is a contraction meaning who is. Whose is the possessive
form of who.
Whos there?
Whose car is that?
Table of Irregular Verbs

Base Form

Simple Past

Past Participle

arise

arose

arisen

awake

awoke/awakened

awoken

be

was/were

been

bear

bore

born/borne

beat

beat

beaten/beat

become

became

become

befall

befell

befallen

begin

began

begun

behold

beheld

beheld

bend

bent

bent

bet

bet/betted

bet/betted

bid

bid

bid

bind

bound

bound

bite

bit

bitten

bleed

bled

bled

blow

blew

blown

break

broke

broken

breed

bred

bred

bring

brought

brought

broadcast

broadcast

broadcast

browbeat

browbeat

browbeat

build

built

built

burn

burnt/burned

burnt/burned

burst

burst

burst

bust

busted/bust

busted/bust

buy

bought

bought

cast

cast

cast

catch

caught

caught

choose

chose

chosen

cling

clung

clung

come

came

come

cost

cost

cost

creep

crept

crept

cut

cut

cut

deal

dealt

dealt

dig

dug

dug

dive

dove

dived

do

did

done

draw

drew

drawn

dream

dreamt/dreamed

dreamt/dreamed

drink

drank

drunk

drive

drove

driven

dwell

dwelt/dwelled

dwelt/dwelled

eat

ate

eaten

fall

fell

fallen

feed

fed

fed

feel

felt

felt

fight

fought

fought

find

found

found

fit

fit

fit

flee

fled

fled

fling

flung

flung

fly

flew

flown

forbid

forbade

forbidden

forecast

forecast

forecast

forego

forewent

foregone

foresee

foresaw

foreseen

foretell

foretold

foretold

forget

forgot

forgotten

forgive

forgave

forgiven

forsake

forsook

forsaken

freeze

froze

frozen

get

got

gotten/got

give

gave

given

go

went

gone

grind

ground

ground

grow

grew

grown

hang

hung

hung

have

had

had

hear

heard

heard

hide

hid

hidden

hit

hit

hit

hold

held

held

hurt

hurt

hurt

input

input

input

inset

inset

inset

interbreed

interbred

interbred

interweave

interwove

interwoven

keep

kept

kept

kneel

knelt/kneeled

knelt/kneeled

knit

knit/knitted

knit/knitted

know

knew

known

lay

laid

laid

lead

led

led

lean

leaned/leant

leaned/leant

leap

leapt/leaped

leapt/leaped

learn

learned/learnt

learned/learnt

leave

left

left

lend

lent

lent

let

let

let

lie

lay

lain

light

lit/lighted

lit/lighted

lose

lost

lost

make

made

made

mean

meant

meant

meet

met

met

mishear

misheard

misheard

mislay

mislaid

mislaid

mislead

misled

misled

misread

misread

misread

misspell

misspelled/misspelt

misspelled/misspelt

mistake

mistook

mistaken

mow

mowed

mowed/mown

outbid

outbid

outbid

outdo

outdid

outdone

outgrow

outgrew

outgrown

outrun

outran

outrun

outsell

outsold

outsold

overcast

overcast

overcast

overcome

overcame

overcome

overdo

overdid

overdone

overdraw

overdrew

overdrawn

overeat

overate

overeaten

overhang

overhung

overhung

overhear

overheard

overheard

overlay

overlaid

overlaid

overlie

overlay

overlain

overpay

overpaid

overpaid

override

overrode

overridden

overrun

overran

overrun

oversee

oversaw

overseen

oversell

oversold

oversold

overshoot

overshot

overshot

oversleep

overslept

overslept

overtake

overtook

overtaken

overthrow

overthrew

overthrown

partake

partook

partaken

pay

paid

paid

plead

pled/pleaded

pled/pleaded

pre-set

pre-set

pre-set

proofread

proofread

proofread

prove

proved

proven/proved

put

put

put

quit

quit/quitted

quit/quitted

read

read

read

rebind

rebound

rebound

rebuild

rebuilt

rebuilt

recast

recast

recast

redo

redid

redone

remake

remade

remade

repay

repaid

repaid

rerun

reran

rerun

resell

resold

resold

reset

reset

reset

rethink

rethought

rethought

rewind

rewound

rewound

rewrite

rewrote

rewritten

rid

rid

rid

ride

rode

ridden

ring

rang

rung

rise

rose

risen

run

ran

run

say

said

said

see

saw

seen

seek

sought

sought

sell

sold

sold

send

sent

sent

set

set

set

sew

sewed

sewn/sewed

shake

shook

shaken

shear

sheared

shorn/sheared

shed

shed

shed

shine

shined/shone

shined/shone

shoot

shot

shot

show

showed

shown/showed

shrink

shrank/shrunk

shrunk

shut

shut

shut

sing

sang

sung

sit

sat

sat

slay

slew

slain

sleep

slept

slept

slide

slid

slid

sling

slung

slung

slit

slit

slit

smell

smelled/smelt

smelled/smelt

speak

spoke

spoken

speed

sped/speeded

sped/speeded

spell

spelled/spelt

spelled/spelt

spend

spent

spent

spin

spun

spun

spit

spit/spat

spit/spat

split

split

split

spoil

spoiled/spoilt

spoiled/spoilt

spread

spread

spread

spring

sprang/sprung

sprung

stand

stood

stood

steal

stole

stolen

stick

stuck

stuck

sting

stung

stung

stink

stank/stunk

stunk

strew

strewed

strewn/strewed

stride

strode

stridden

strive

strove

striven

strike

struck

struck/stricken

string

strung

strung

strive

strove/strived

striven/strived

swear

swore

sworn

sweep

swept

swept

swell

swelled

swollen/swelled

swim

swam

swum

swing

swung

swung

take

took

taken

teach

taught

taught

tear

tore

torn

tell

told

told

think

thought

thought

throw

threw

thrown

thrust

thrust

thrust

tread

trod

trodden/trod

unbind

unbound

unbound

underlie

underlay

underlain

understand

understood

understood

undertake

undertook

undertaken

underwrite

underwrote

underwritten

undo

undid

undone

unwind

unwound

unwound

uphold

upheld

upheld

upset

upset

upset

wake

woke/waked

woken/waked

wear

wore

worn

weave

wove

woven

wed

wed/wedded

wed/wedded

weep

wept

wept

wet

wet/wetted

wet/wetted

win

won

won

wind

wound

wound

withdraw

withdrew

withdrawn

wring

wrung

wrung

write

wrote

written
Commonly Misspelled Words

absence

accidentally

accommodate

accumulate

achieve

acquaintance

acquire

acquitted

advice

advise

amateur

among

analysis

analyze

annual

apartment

apparatus

apparent

appearance

appropriate

Arctic

arguing

argument

arithmetic

ascend

athletic

attendance

balance

battalion

beginning

belief

believe

beneficial

benefited

boundaries

Britain

business

calendar

candidate

category

cemetery

changeable

changing

choose

chose

coming

commission

committee

comparative

compelled

conceivable

conferred

conscience

conscientious

conscious

control

controversia
l

controversy

criticize

deferred

definitely

definition

describe

description

desperate

dictionary

dining

disappearanc
e

disappoint

disastrous

discipline

dissatisfied

dormitory

effect

eighth

eligible

eliminate

embarrass

eminent

encouragemen
t

encouraging

environment

equipped

especially

exaggerate

exceed

excellence

exercise

exhilarate

existence

existent

experience

explanation

familiar

fascinate

February

fiery

foreign

formerly

forty

fourth

frantically

gauge

generally

government

grammar

grandeur

grievous

height

heroes

hindrance

hoping

humorous

hypocrisy

hypocrite

immediately

incidentally

incredible

independenc
e

inevitable

intellectual

intelligence

interesting

irresistible

jewelry

judgment

kindergarte
n

knowledge

laboratory

laid

led

lightning

loneliness

lose

losing

maintenance

maneuver

manufacture

marriage

mathematics

maybe

mere

miniature

mischievous

mysterious

necessary

ninety

noticeable

occasionally

occurred

occurrence

omitted

opinion

optimistic

paid

parallel

paralysis

paralyze

particular

pastime

performance

permissible

perseverance

personal

personnel

perspiration

physical

picnicking

possession

possibility

possible

practically

precede

precedence

preference

preferred

prejudice

preparation

prevalent

principal

principle

privilege

probably

procedure

proceed

profession

professor

prominent

pronunciation

pursue

quantity

quizzes

recede

receive

receiving

recommend

reference

referring

repetition

restaurant

rhyme

rhythm

ridiculous

sacrifice

sacrilegious

salary

schedule

seize

sense

separate

separation

sergeant

severely

shining

similar

sincerely

sophomore

specifically

specimen

statue

studying

succeed

succession

surprise

technique

temperamenta
l

tendency

tragedy

traveled

transferring

tries

truly

tyranny

unanimous

undoubtedly

unnecessary

until

usually

village

villain

weather

Wednesday

weird

whether

woman

women

writing

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 airYou 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 personied
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
specic Exs as I can think of for the prompt.
cloze test - A test of reading ability that requires a person to ll 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
denition, 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.
conrmation - 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 conrmation was scattered
throughout.
conict - The struggle of characters with themselves, with others, or
with the world around them.
Ex: In The Grapes of Wrath, migrants conict 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.
gurative language - Language dominated by the use of schemes
and tropes.
Ex: "The ground is thirsty and hungry."
ashback - 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."
genre - A piece of writing classied 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 nd out I loved
herI 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 ow
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 owers."
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 lling 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.
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 specic 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 specic story of Joe and his family.
editing - The nal 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 nal 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).
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
rst-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 rst-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 ction, 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 ag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall
ght in France, we shall ght on the seas and oceans, we shall ght
with growing condence" (Winston Churchill)
antecedent-consequence relationship - The relationship expressed
by "ifthen" reasoning.
Ex: If industries poison rivers with pollutants, then many sh will
die.
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 denes or amplies 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 conicting 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."
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".
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 owered dress--and as drunk as a monkey" (Fitzgerald 81).
at character - A gure readily identiable 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 classied according to its function.
Ex: The introduction.
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 rst of the
ve 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, lling the air with their clangor, startling pigeons
into ight 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 gure
in the narrative whose interests the reader is most concerned about
and sympathetic toward.
Ex: Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.
repretoire - A set of assumptions, skills, facts, and 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).
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 nave 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 reects 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 difcult material, to inform, to convince, to
persuade. Also called intention and purpose.
Ex: In Pride, Dagoberto Gilb's aim is to dene 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.
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
ination, 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 denition" 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)
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 gures into my more fantastic
dreams" (Fitzgerald 185).
drafting - The process by which writers get something written on
paper or in a computer le so that they can develop their ideas and
begin moving toward an end, a start-to-nish product; the raw
material for what will become the nal 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.
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 ctional characters, often animals, take
actions that have ethical or moral signicance.
Ex: Animal Farm, written by George Orwell, is a fable.
gures 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 rst saw her, my soul began to quiver."
ashforward - 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
conrmation 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
specic 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.
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 ne."
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 supercial 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 ctitious 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).
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 ve 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.
personication - The giving of human characteristics to inanimate
objects.
Ex: The fall season has been personied as "sitting on a granary
oor" (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 benet the gain is unity.
plot devices - Elements of plot that operate to cause or resolve
conicts 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 rst
describes the surrounding setting with gurative 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."
premise, major - The rst 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 modies.
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 dene 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
specic 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.
rhetorical question - A question posed by the speaker or writer not
to seek an answer but instead to afrm 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 gure 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, conrmation, 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 gure 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.
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).
Gerunds/Participles
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Gerunds - a verb that is used as a noun
ends in -ing
has 6 functions
1. Subject - Playing is fun. Staring at people is impolite. Completing
this is my first priority.
2. Predicate Nominative (predicate noun) - follows a linking verb
and renames the subject; My hobby is webmastering. Your job is
teaching.
3. Direct Object - follows an action verb; I love racing. I hate
reading. Do you enjoy taking notes? He likes fooling people.
4. Indirect Object - must be used with a direct object; You should
give listening your full attention. Give reading a chance.
5. Object of a Preposition - follows a preposition and completes
the prepositional phraseDon't you get tired of playing? What's the
best profession besides teaching?
6. Appositive - renames another nounHis job, protecting the
innocent, requires 10 hour workdays.
Participles - a verb used as an adjective
ends most commonly in -ing or -ed
should be placed close to the noun that it modifies
I like my martinis shaken, not stirred. The crying adult needed
counseling.
Participial phrases - a phrase that includes a participle, modifying a
noun
Racing across the field, he scored the winning goal.
The boys, scared to death, tried to hide from the monster.
Figurative Devices
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Sound devices - used to emphasize certain sounds in writing
alliteration - the repetition of initial consonant sounds
assonance - the repetition of vowel sounds in neighboring words
consonance - repetition of middle or final consonant sounds in
neighboring words
meter - regular pattern of stressed and ustressed syllables; gives
poems a pattern
free verse - poetry with no fixed pattern of meter or rhyme
blank verse - poetry written in iambic pentameter
Figurative devices - expresses truth beyond the literal level
simile - direct comparison between unlike things using "like" or "as"
metaphor - comparison of two unlike things without using "like" or
"as"
personification - a figure os peech that describes an animal, an
inanimate object, an idea, or a force of nature as if it were alive or
had human traits or feelings
hyperbole - an extreme exaggeration
imagery - use of details to appeal to the senses
metonymy - figure of speech using a term closely associated with
another in its place
synecdoche - figure of speech using a word referring to a part of
something as a substitute for the word representing the whole
Clauses
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clauses - dependent/subordinate or independent/main
must have both a subject and a verb
independent clause - stands alone as a complete sentence
can have compound parts
found in all sentences
does not act as an adjective, adverb, or noun
dependent clause - not a complete thought
depends on the independent clause
starts w/ a relative pronoun or a subordinate conjunction
works as an adjective, adverb, noun
adjective dependent clause - describes a noun
usually follows the noun it modifies
essential clause - needed; cannot be removed from the sentence
w/o changing its meaning
nonessential clause - can be removed w/o changing the sentence's
meaning
use "who," "whom," or "whose" to describe people; don't use "that"
use "that" for essential clauses; don't use "which"
adverb dependent clause - begins w/ subordinate conjunction
answers the questions when, where, how, why, to what extent,
under what conditions
can come before/after the main clause
elliptical adverb - certain words are left out and implied
noun dependent clause - replaces a noun in a sentence
can act as a subject, direct object, indirect object, object of a
preposition, predicate noun/nominative, appositive
direct object - answers the question "what?"
indirect object - comes before the direct object; answers the
question "to whom?"; cannot exist in a sentence w/o the direct
object
predicate noun - linked to the subject by a linking verb; renames
the subject
appositive - renames the noun; usually follows it, enclosed by
commas
Past Participles/Infinitives
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past participle - verbal form ending in -d or -ed used as an adjective
irregular verbals don't need -d or -ed endings
modifies noun or pronoun
comma separates past participial phrase from sentence if it's at the
beginning or is nonessential to the meaning of the sentence
don't use a comma if the past participial phrase is essential
ex. loved, jumped, thrown
ex. well-loved teacher, jumped by thieves, thrown by catcher
infinitives - "to + verb"; has 5 functions; only use commas if it starts
the sentence
1. adverb - Those people came to be photographed.
2. adjective - She has a goal to lose ten months.
3. subject - To mimic people is the ultimate form of flattery.
4. predicate nominative - My plans are to take over the world.
5. direct object - Do you love to read these notes?
Punctuation
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Commas
use before a coordinating conjunction to connect two independent
clauses
use to separate words, phrases, and clauses in a series
use between adjectives that modify the same noun
use to set off unrestrictive modifiers (modifiers that can be
removed without changing the meaning of the sentence)
use to set off substitute or contrasting phrases unless they are
connected by a conjunction
use after a long introductory phrase
use to separate two subordinate clauses that work together
use in a date if the order is month, day, year
don't use in a date if the order is day, month, year, or if just the
month and year are used
don't use between subjects and verbs or verbs and objects
don't use to separate compound subjects, objects, or verbs
don't use in page/line numbers, addresses, and four-digit years
Semicolons
use between independent clauses not linked by a conjunction and
comma
use in a series where the items in the series contain commas within
them
Colons
use to introduce a list, the statement of a rule, or an clarification of
what was just said
use to introduce a quotation that does not fit in with the rest of the
sentence
use to introduce long quotations that are set off from the main
segment
Dashes and Parentheses
dashes are usually typed as two hyphens with no space before,
after, or between them
use to surround a phrase that messes up the reader's train of
thought
use around a section that may be misinterpreted is surrounded by
commas instead
use dashes to introduce a phrase that explains a part preceding it
dashes may replace a colon when introducing a series or list
Hyphens
use between an adverb and the adjective in a compound adjective
only if the noun it modifies follows it
use between a number and noun in a compound adjective if it
comes before the noun that it modifies
use in compound adjectives if it will prevent misinterpretation
use between two nouns that describe a single thing
use in centuries if it modifies a noun
do not use between two nouns if the first noun modifies the second
do not use in a compound adjective if the adverb in it ends in -ly,
too, very, or much
do not use after prefixes unless: it separates the prefix from a word
starting with a capital letter, the word might be misunderstood
without the hyphen, or there would be a double vowel
Apostrophes
add -'s to singular nouns, irregular plural nouns, and proper nouns
to show possession
add -' to show possession in plural nouns ending in s and proper
plural nouns
add -'s to the last noun in a series if the ownership of a certain item
is shared
add -'s to each noun in the series if the ownership is not shared
use to show the plurals of letters in the alphabet
do not use to show the plurals of abbreviations or numbers
Quotations
use around a word or phrase that is used for a unique purpose in
the sentence
use around translations for foreign words
Brackets
use around a parenthesis within another parenthesis
Slashes
use between two opposite words unless they modify another noun,
in which case use a hyphen
use to separate parts of a poem used in a quotation
Periods/Question Marks/Exclamation Points (placing)

put the question mark within a quotation if the quotation is a
question
put the question mark outside the quotation if the sentence
containing it is a question
Spacing
it is allowed to put two spaces after any concluding punctuation
Types of Phrases
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prepositional phrase - preposition and its object; can be used as an
adjective or adverb
The weirdo in the corner never talks to anyone
Why do we have to think outside the box?
adjective phrase - a prepositional phrase that is used as an adjective
The man with the beard attacked me.
Do you recognize the dead man on the floor?
adverb phrase - a prepositional phrase that is used as an adverb
With no hesitation, the madman jumped from the helicopter.
I'm crawling through the sewage pipe.
infinitive phrase - "to" and a verb; can be used as adjectives, adverbs,
or nouns
My plan to rule the world is underway.
To hack into the CIA's mainframe is my goal in life.
appositive phrase - renames a noun or pronoun; adds additional
information about the noun
Dr. Frankenstein, a genius, created a terrifying monster.
Why can't I, an annoying high school student, do the same?
participial phrase - verbal used as an adjective
Driven to insanity, I spent the weekend making models out of
toothpicks.
My dark side, filled with turmoil, threatened to take over my body.
gerund phrase - verbal with "ing" ending used as a noun
Jogging is good exercise.
Read the story about assassinating evil trolls.
absolute phrase - aka nominative absolute; modifies the entire
sentence
His brain still slow and weak from the day of exams, Raymond ran
into a door on his out of the school.
Communication Process
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Communication - process of sending and receiving messages
Sender - transmits message
Receiver - intercepts and decodes the message
Feedback - receiver's response to the message
Communication Barriers - prevents the message from getting through
Attitudinal - listener hates speaker or doesn't want to listen
Educational - listener doesn't understand message
Cultural - message insults the listener's heritage
Environmental - the surroundings make it difficult to talk
Rhetoric - art of speaking Orator - one who speaks well Types of
speeches - specific speeches are used for certain occasions
Acceptance Speech - used when you receive an award; usually
thanks all the people that helped you and also the group that gives
the award
Presentation Speech - used when you are presenting an award;
usually notes the signifigance of the award and summarizes what
the recepient accomplished
After-dinner Speech - a humorous speech given after a dinner that
puts all the guests in a good mood
Commencement Speech - usually used at graduations and gives
hope and encouragement to the graduating seniors
Testimonial - praises a living person
Eulogy - praises a dead person
Planks of CONFIDENCE - Content, Organization, Notes, Friendliness,
Impression, Dedication, Empathy, Newness, Conviction, Enthusiasm
Explicating a Poem
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1. Read the poem at least three times
2. Paraphrase each line or stanza
3. Who is the speaker? To whom is he or she speaking? What is the
point of view?
4. Examine the imagery and determine which of the five senses are
appealed to in the poem.
5. How does the poet manipulate the meanings of words? Identify any
use of word connotations, allusion, repetition, puns, and irony.
Identify lines and elaborate where necessary.
6. What is the tone and atmosphere of the poem? Briefly explain how
the diction and syntax affect the tone.
7. What forms of figurative language are used in the poem? Identify
and write the lines. How do these contribute to the effect of the
poem?
8. Besides rhyme, what other sound devices are used? Identify and
write the lines. How do these contribute to the effect of the poem?
9. Does the poet make use of symbolism? Identify lines, write the
examples, and briefly explain.
10. What is the universal theme or central idea of the poem? How well
do you think the poet has the point across?