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AP English Language Midterm Review

 Grammar:

 Subordination – Words, phrases, or clauses that make one part of the

sentence dependent on another. Main type is a complex sentence which is formed by
an independent and dependent clause. Subordinating conjunctions (underlined) can
be classified as:
 Contrast or Concession – use of words or phrases such as “although”,
“even though”, “though”, “while”, “whereas”
“Although the book was not entirely free of stereotypes of contemporary British
colonial writing, it was in some ways remarkable advanced for its time.” – Chinua
 Cause and Effect or Reason – use of words or phrases such as
“because”, “since”, “so that”
“Because she crashed her new car, her parents would not let her drive anymore.”
 Condition – uses words or phrases such as “if”, “once”, “unless”
“He would be forced to babysit his little sister unless he found someone else to
do it for him.”
 Time – uses words or phrases such as “when”, “whenever”, “after”,
“before”, “as”, “once”, “since”, “while”
“I had committed myself to doing it [killing the elephant] when I sent for the rifle.”
– George Orwell

 Progressive Tense – There are three forms of progressive tense and three forms
of perfect progressive tenses:
 Present Progressive – Present progressive tense describes an ongoing
action that is happening at the same time the statement is written. This tense is
formed by using am/is/are with the verb form ending in -ing.
“They are cheating off of the smartest kid in the class.”
 Past Progressive - Past progressive tense describes a past action which
was happening when another action occurred. This tense is formed by using
was/were with the verb form ending in -ing.
“They were trying to decide whose house they should meet at.”
 Future Progressive - Future progressive tense describes an ongoing or
continuous action that will take place in the future. This tense is formed by using
will be or shall be with the verb form ending in -ing.
“They will be driving all day.”
 Present Perfect Progressive - Present perfect progressive tense
describes an action that began in the past, continues in the present, and may
continue into the future. This tense is formed by using has/have been and the
present participle of the verb (the verb form ending in -ing).
“He has been considering moving out of his parent’s house.”
 Past Perfect Progressive - Past perfect progressive tense describes a
past, ongoing action that was completed before some other past action. This
tense is formed by using had been and the present perfect of the verb (the verb
form ending in -ing).
“We had been expecting a much easier APUSH midterm exam.”
 Future Progressive Tense - Future perfect progressive tense describes a
future, ongoing action that will occur before some specified future time. This
tense is formed by using will have been and the present participle of the verb
(the verb form ending in -ing).
“By the year 2020, linguists will have been studying and defining the Indo-
European language family for more than 200 years.”

 Participial Phrase – A participial phrase is a group of words consisting of a

participle and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as
the direct object(s), indirect object(s), or complement(s) of the action or state
expressed in the participle, such as:
“Rushing out the door, he nearly tripped on his dog.”

 Subjunctive Mood - A verb is in the subjunctive mood when it expresses a

condition which is doubtful or not factual. It is most often found in a clause beginning
with the word if. It is also found in clauses following a verb that expresses a doubt, a
wish, regret, request, demand, or proposal.
“If I were you, I would shut up now.” instead of “If I was you, I would shut up now.”

 Transitive Verb – A transitive verb has a direct object.

“The man stole the car.”
Stole what? The car.

 Rhetoric:

 Context – words, events, or circumstances that help determine meaning

 Purpose – one’s intention or objective in a speech or piece of writing

 Assertion – an emphatic statement; declaration. An assertion supported by

evidence becomes an argument.

 Claim – an assertion, usually supported by evidence

 Persona – the speaker, voice, or character assumed by the author of a piece of


 Rhetoric – the study of effective, persuasive language use; according to Aristotle,

use of the “available means of persuasion”

 Speaker – a term used for the author, speaker, or person whose perspective
(real or imagined) is being advanced in a speech or piece of writing

 Audience – one’s listener or relationship; those to whom a speech or piece of

writing is addressed

 Ethos – a Greek term referring to the character of a person; demonstrate

credibility and trustworthiness; one of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals

 Pathos – a Greek term that refers to suffering but has come to be associated with
a broader appeals to emotion; one of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals
 Logos – a Greek term that means “word”; an appeal to logic; facts, statistical
data, examples, etc; one of Aristotle’s three rhetorical appeals

 Assumption – a belief or statement taken for granted without proof

 Counterargument – a challenge to a position; an opposing argument

 Classical Model of Arrangement: Classical rhetoricians outlined a five-part structure for

an oratory or speech that writers still use today:

 The Introduction (Exordium): introduces the writer to the subject under

discussion. Exordium means “beginning a web” in Latin. This is often where the
writer establishes ethos.

 The Narration (Narratio): provides factual information and background material

on the subject at hand, thus beginning the developmental paragraphs, or establishes
why the subject is a problem that needs addressing. Classical rhetoric describes
narration as appealing to logos, but it often appeals to pathos as the write tries to
evoke an emotional response from the audience.

 The Confirmation (Confirmatio): usually the major part of the test, includes the
development or the proof needed to make the writer’s case; contains the most
specific and concrete detail in the text; generally makes the strongest appeal to

 The Refutation (Refutatio): addresses the counterargument and is often used as

a bridge between the writer’s proof and conclusion. It is recommended that this part
of the essay be placed closer to the end. The counterargument’s appeal is largely to

 The Conclusion (Peroratio): brings the essay to a close. The writer usually
appeals to pathos and reminds the reader of the ethos established earlier. The
conclusion brings all the writer’s ideas together and answers the question, so what?
The last words and ideas of a text are the one’s the audience is most likely to

 Patterns of Development: (aka. Self-Explanatory Types of Writing)

 Narration: Narration refers to telling a story or recounting a series of events. It

can be based on personal experience or on knowledge gained from reading or
observation. Narratives usually are chronologically told. They include detail, a point
of view, and sometimes elements such as dialogue.

 Description: Description is similar to narration because they both use many

specific details. Unlike narration, description emphasizes the senses by painting a
picture of how something looks, sounds, smells, tastes, or feels. Description is often
used to create a mood or atmosphere. Rarely is an entire essay descriptive.

 Process Analysis: Process analysis explains how something works, how to do

something, or how something was done. Many self-help books are process analysis.
The key to process analysis is clarity. A subject must be explained clearly and
logically, with transitions that mark the sequence of major steps, stages, or phases of
the process.

 Exemplification: Providing a series of examples – facts, specific cases, or

instances – turns a general idea into a concrete one; this makes your argument both
clearer and more persuasive. A writer might use one extended example or a series
of related ones to make a point. Aristotle taught that examples are a type of logical
proof called induction. A series of examples leads to a general conclusion.

 Comparison and Contrast: Juxtaposing two things to highlight their similarities

and differences. Writers use comparison and contrast to analyze information
carefully, which often reveals insights into the nature of the information being
 Classification and Division: Sorting materials or ideas into major categories.
Writers and readers can make connections between things that might otherwise
seem unrelated by answering the question, “What goes together and why?”

 Definition: Definition may lay the foundation to establish common ground or

identifying areas of conflict. Defining a term is often the first step in a debate or
disagreement. Definition may take up only one or two paragraphs, or an entire essay
may be dedicated to it.

 Cause and Effect: Casual analysis depends upon clear logic so it is important to
carefully trace a chain of cause and effect and to recognize possible contributing
causes. You do not want to jump to conclusion that there is only one cause and one
result, nor do you want to mistake an effect for an underlying cause. Cause and
effect is often signaled by a why in the title or opening paragraph.

 Logical Fallacies:

 Equivocation – using the same term with different meanings

"Giving money to charity is the right thing to do. So charities have a right to our

 Non Sequitur – “It does not follow”; Conclusion does not follow from the
"Bill lives in a large building, so his apartment must be large."

 Appeal for Sympathy – ignores the real issue by emotional appeal, or other
distractions may be appeals to the authority or to the masses
"I did not murder my mother and father with an axe! Please don't find me guilty; I'm
suffering enough through being an orphan."

 Guilt (or Innocence) by Association – because you hang out with certain people,
you must be like them
“All dogs have four legs; my cat has four legs. Therefore, my cat is a dog.” – Sir
Humphrey Appleby

 Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc – “After this, Because of this”; attempts to show that
a second event was necessarily caused by a first.
"President Jones raised taxes, and then the rate of violent crime went up. Jones is
responsible for the rise in crime."

 Begging the Question – assumes that something is true when it is in need of

"We must have a death penalty to discourage violent crime". (This assumes it
discourages crime.)

 Ignoring the Question – ignores the real issue by use of distracting information
that has no relations to the case
"The opposition claims that welfare dependency leads to higher crime rates -- but
how are poor people supposed to keep a roof over their heads without our help?"

 Faulty Dilemma – all of the options are not taken into account in the solution
"Caldwell Hall is in bad shape. Either we tear it down and put up a new building, or
we continue to risk students' safety. Obviously we shouldn't risk anyone's safety, so
we must tear the building down."

 Ad Hominem – “To the man”; ignores the real issue by turning attention to an
"You can’t trust Freud -- he used cocaine!"

 Hasty Generalization – a generalization arrived at without sufficient reasons or

"Jim Bakker was an insincere Christian. Therefore all Christians are insincere."

 Terms

 Tone: The attitude an author conveys about the subject he is writing. Rhetorical
shifts in tone are often signaled by changing paragraphs or stanzas, changing
pronouns, changing modes of prose, by key words like but or yet, by changing
speakers, by changing imagery, etc.
 Tone & Humor:
o There must be an object to laugh at (person, thing, habit, situation,
custom, dialect)
o Laughter usually stems out of disproportion or incongruity; something
unexpected or out of the normal verbal errors (malapropisms)
o Unfamiliarity or newness – seeing something from the point of view of
someone who’s never seen anything like it
 Tone & Irony:
o Definition: contradictory statements or situations
o Author trusts that the reader will pick up on the discrepancy.
o Not always “mean” – irony exists in everyday life. It can even add humor
to a situation, more depth, and even make it more realistic.
o Four Types of Irony:
1. Verbal – word play; you say one thing but you mean another
(understatement; overstatement/hyperbole; double entendre/double
2. Situational – discrepancy between what we hope happens and what
actually happens.
3. Dramatic – when readers/viewers know certain information that the
characters don’t.
4. Cosmic – fate causes the unexpected; characters are caught in a web
of adverse circumstances from which there is no escape.

 Diction: The choice of words an author uses to create an intended response and
to reflect a particular style.
 Semiformal – language generally used in newspapers and magazines
“Beethoven was stirred to compose the Eroica by the spectacle (which he soon
came to despise) of Napoleon crashing around Europe…” - The Winds of Words
(Newsweek) by George Will
 Informal – language used in letters and conversations with friends
“The State Banquet was very grand.” – Letters from Peking by Deila Jenner
 Formal – language generally found in lectures and documents
“To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best
hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments
of peace…” - JFK’s Inaugural Address
 Technical – language that is the specialized vocabulary of a particular
trade or profession
“We have investigated memory storage and the molecular structure of
associative-memory formation by analyzing , in the marine snail Hermissenda
crassicornis and …” – Memory Storage and Neutral Systems (Scientific
American) by Daniel Alkon
 Doublespeak – language that pretends to communicate but really does
o Euphemisms – words or phrases that soften unpleasant realities; they
can be used to deceive or mislead.
“I’m sorry – who were you going to marginalize?” – Dr. House
o Jargon – specialized language of members of a profession becomes
doublespeak when it is used in addressing or confusing nonmembers
“involuntary conversion of a 727” = a plane crash
o Bureaucratese – use of sheer volume of words or complicated syntax to
overwhelm the audience
“Upon receipt of this memo dated January 26th, 2008, please be herewith
informed that our new parking policy will be effectuated immediately.”
o Inflated Language – makes the ordinary extraordinary
car mechanics = automotive internists
 Spin – used as a noun, a special point of view attached to an idea. Spin
might provide an added emphasis or individual interpretation.

 Imagery: The representation through language of sense experience. It provides

the details that appeal to and stimulate our senses and through which we experience
the world around us.
 Syntax: The ordering of words into meaningful verbal patterns such as phrases,
clauses, and sentences. Authors and poets manipulate the order of words to create
meaning and purpose.

 Satire: “A literary manner which blends a critical attitude with humor and wit to the end
that human institutions or humanity may be improved … attempts through laughter not so
much to tear down as inspire remodeling.” - (Thrall, et al 436)

 Satire deviates from ordinary literature because its purpose is not didactic.
Rather, satire looks to:
A) Critique a social norm the author thinks should change
B) Ridicules or attacks those conditions needing reformation (author’s opinion)
C) Serves a corrective purpose or intent

 The best satire does not seek to do harm or damage by its ridicule; it seeks to
create a shock of recognition.

 Concerned with justice, morality, and virtue.

 Satirical Elements:
 Exaggeration – To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond
normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen.
 Incongruity – To present things that are out of place or are absurd in
relation to its surroundings.
 Reversal – To present the opposite of the normal order (e.g. the order of
events; hierarchal order)
 Parody – To imitate the techniques and/or style of some person, place,
or thing

 Vocab:

 Allegory – A narrative or description having a second “deeper” meaning beyond

the surface layer. There is a literal meaning to the narrative or description which also
represents a higher meaning often relating to a system of principles or ideas. (Ex. In
“Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne, the character Faith represents a young
woman named Faith as well as the possession of Christian faith.)

 Allusion - A reference to something in history, previous literature, the Bible, or

mythology. (Ex. In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, there is a line
that says “I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be”, referring to Shakespeare’s
 Aphorism – A short, astute statement of a general truth. (Ex. “Lost time is never
found again.” – Benjamin Franklin)

 Conundrum – A riddle in which a fanciful question is answered by a pun. (Ex.

“When is a door not a door? When it is ajar.”

 Alliteration - The repetition of a consonant sound in a line of poetry. The

consonant sound is used in more than one word in the line of poetry and the
repeated consonant comes at the beginning of each word. (Ex. “Sitting at her table,
she serves the sopa de arroz” – “Nani” by Alberto Rios)

 Simile - A comparison of two unlike things using the words “like” or “as.” (Ex.
“The sea roared like a wounded beast.”)

 Onomatopoeia - A word that imitates the sound it represents. (Ex. “Click”; “Buzz”;

 Hyperbole - An extreme exaggeration in order to emphasize a truth. (Ex. “That

girl is such a slut … she’s slept with every guy in the school.” Wait, that actually is
probably true for some girls in our school.)

 Conceit - An extended metaphor or simile often yoking together two apparently

unconnected ideas. (Ex. Shakespeare’s “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s

 Oxymoron - Conjoining contradictory terms (Ex. Deafening silence)