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Junior Literary Terms. Active Voice / Passive Voice (11). Active Voice. Active Voice In sentences written in active voice, the subject performs the action expressed in the verb; the subject acts. Passive Voice

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active voice passive voice 11
Active Voice / Passive Voice (11)

Active Voice

Active Voice

In sentences written in active voice, the subject performs the action expressed in the verb; the subject acts.

Passive Voice

One can change the normal word order of many active sentences (those with a direct object) so that the subject is no longer active, but is, instead, being acted upon by the verb - or passive

Passive Voice

argument ad hominem 11
Argument / ad hominem (11)
  • Definition:
  • The person presenting an argument is attacked instead of the argument itself. For example, the person's character, nationality or religion may be attacked. Alternatively, it may be pointed out that a person stands to gain from a favorable outcome. Or, finally, a person may be attacked by association, or by the company he keeps. There are three major forms of Attacking the Person:
    • Ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion, the argument attacks the person who made the assertion.
    • Ad hominem (circumstantial): instead of attacking an assertion the author points to the relationship between the person making the assertion and the person's circumstances.
    • Ad hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the person notes that a person does not practice what he preaches.
  • Examples:
  • You may argue that God doesn't exist, but you are just a fat idiot. (ad hominem abusive)
  • We should disregard Fred's argument because he is just angry about the fact that defendant once cheated him out of $100. (ad hominem circumstantial)
  • You say I should give up alcohol, but you haven't been sober for more than a year yourself. (ad hominem tu quoque)
  • You claim that Mr. Jones is innocent, but why should anyone listen to you? You are a criminal after all. (ad hominem circumstantial)
begging the question 11
Begging the Question (11)

A form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself. When one begs the question, the initial assumption of a statement is treated as already proven without any logic to show why the statement is true in the first place.

clause 11
Clause (11)
  • Letters = words (baby)
  • Words = phrases (baby clothes)
  • Phrases = clauses (if baby clothes are too expensive)
  • Clauses = sentences (If baby clothes are too expensive, you should try shopping at a discount store.)
  • The essential building blocks of sentences.

There are two types of clauses - dependent (incomplete idea or fragment) needs to lean on other clauses to become a sentence

and independent (complete ideas or sentence) stands alone. It doesn’t need any help from any other clauses.

    • Some sentences combine both like compound (two ind. clauses with a COMMA and a BOYS FAN word.
    • Some sentences combine both like complex (one ind. clause and one dep. clause like the example above)
    • Some sentence combine more than one like compound – complex (one ind. clause and two or more dep. clauses.
complex sentence 11
Complex Sentence (11)

3. A COMPLEX SENTENCE has one dependent clause (headed by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun ) joined to an independent clause.

compound sentence 11
Compound Sentence (11)
  • A COMPOUND SENTENCE has two independent clauses joined by
  • A. a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so),
  • B. a conjunctive adverb (e.g. however, therefore), or
  • C. a semicolon alone.
independent clause 11
Independent Clause (11)
  • A technical term for a sentence. It is literally a phrase with a subject and a verb and a complete idea. (as opposed to dependent clause, which, although it has a subject and a verb does not contain a complete idea.
two basic categories 11 of human reasoning
Two basic categories (11)of human reasoning
  • Deduction: reasoning from general premises, which are known or presumed to be known, to more specific, certain conclusions.
  • Induction: reasoning from specific cases to more general, but uncertain, conclusions.
  • Both deductive and inductive arguments occur frequently and naturally…both forms of reasoning can be equally compelling and persuasive, and neither form is preferred over the other (Hollihan & Baske, 1994).
deduction vs induction
Deduction Vs. Induction


  • commonly associated with “formal logic.”
  • involves reasoning from known premises, or premises presumed to be true, to a certain conclusion.
  • the conclusions reached are certain, inevitable, inescapable.


  • commonly known as “informal logic,” or “everyday argument”
  • involves drawing uncertain inferences, based on probabalistic reasoning.
  • the conclusions reached are probable, reasonable, plausible, believable.
idiom 11
Idiom (11)
  • Often used as a synonym for dialect. Also refers to a particular phrase in one language that is not easily translated into another
    • “Un clavosoco a otroclavo” is usually translated as a nail pulls out another nail, but really means that if you feel pain from a bad relationship, a new one will take away the pain.
    • Easy as pie
fallacies of assumption
Fallacies of Assumption
  • A fallacy of assumption violates the second criterion of a good argument (the premises should be plausible). Thus, a fallacy of assumption is an argument that makes a dubious assumption.
    • False Dilemma
      • Perfectionist Fallacy
      • Line-Drawing Fallacy
    • Straw Man
    • Slippery Slope
    • Begging the Question
jargon 11
Jargon (11)
  • Potentially confusing words used in highly specialized occupations, trades, or fields of study, such as the medical, legal, technological, or military fields.
periodic sentence 11
Periodic Sentence (11)
  • A long sentence that is not grammatically complete until the reader reaches the final portion of the sentence. The verb usually falls close to the end of the sentence. Most sentences follow a s/v/o pattern (the opposite of a loose sentence).
    • Considering the free health care, the cheap tuition fees, the low crime rate, the comprehensive social programs, and the wonderful winters, I am willing to pay slightly higher taxes for the privilege of living in Canada.

Loose Sentence

  • A loosesentenceis a long sentence that has the main point at the beginning.
  • is effective because the main idea is followed by supporting information
  • is the opposite of a periodic sentence
  • I would be willing to pay more tuition at this college, if the class sizes were smaller, the teachers were better, and the degree was nationally recognized.
  • Note: the part of the sentence in bold is the main point and easily identified by the listener or reader
parallel structure
Parallel Structure

Parallel Structure means using the same pattern of words to show that two or more ideas have the same level of importance. This can happen at three levels:

  • Word
  • Phrase
  • Clause
words and phrases
Words and Phrases


Mary likes hiking, swimming, and to ride a bicycle.


Mary likes hiking, swimming, and riding a bicycle.


Parallel structure that begins with clauses must continue on with clauses.


The coach told the players that they should get a lot of sleep, that they should not eat too much, and to do some warm-up exercises before the game.


The coach told the players that they should get a lot of sleep, that they should not eat too much, and that they should do some warm-up exercises before the game

las meninas by diego vel zquez
“Las Meninas”by Diego Velázquez

While we usually think of parodies in relation to written work, art can also be parodied as happened to this 1656 painting of the Spanish court by Diego Velázquez , who was the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age.

The artist is standing to the left with his paintbrush and palette. Especially notice the dog, the children, and the dwarf when you look at the next slide.


Pablo Picasso painted this parody in 1957. Notice how much bigger he made the artist and how he stylized the figures and the windows. __

parodies illustrate deconstruction followed by re construction
Parodies Illustrate Deconstruction Followed by Re-Construction
  • Wolcott Gibbs wrote in The New Yorker that parody is the hardest form of creative writing because the style of the subject must be reproduced in slightly enlarged form, while at the same time holding the interest of people who haven’t read the original.
  • Further complications are posed since it must entertain at the same time that it criticizes and must be written in a style that is not the writer’s own.
  • “The only thing that would make it more difficult,” he concluded, “would be to write it in Cantonese.”
red herring
Red Herring
  • Definition: Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that distracts the audience from what's really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original issue.
  • Example: "Grading this exam on a curve would be the most fair thing to do. After all, classes go more smoothly when the students and the professor are getting along well." Let's try our premise-conclusion outlining to see what's wrong with this argument:
    • Premise: Classes go more smoothly when the students and the professor are getting along well.
    • Conclusion: Grading this exam on a curve would be the most fair thing to do.
  • When we lay it out this way, it's pretty obvious that the arguer went off on a tangent--the fact that something helps people get along doesn't necessarily make it more fair; fairness and justice sometimes require us to do things that cause conflict. But the audience may feel like the issue of teachers and students agreeing is important and be distracted from the fact that the arguer has not given any evidence as to why a curve would be fair.
redundancy 11
Redundancy (11)

Words, phrases, or sentences, repeated to achieve a specific effect (other than boring students).

what is rhetoric
What is rhetoric?
  • Aristotle first defined rhetoric as “the power to see the possible ways of persuading people about a given subject.”
  • Teenagers are natural masters of rhetoric- they easily use language in hopes to persuade their friends, teachers and parents.
  • Rhetoric is everywhere! Whether it’s a politician using it for a vote, a teenager peer pressuring a friend or an adult writing a report at work- everyone uses rhetoric in some form or another.
  • If a students understand how they can use rhetoric in their assignments, they will have the power to write effectively.
rhetorical questions
Rhetorical Questions
  • These questions aren’t asked with the intention of eliciting a response
    • Rather, they’re there to cause the audience to question the other side – and, in turn, accept yours
    • They attract the audience’s attention and gain interest because the audience supplies the answer!
  • “How many times do I have to tell you to do your homework?” does not invite a response.

Sarcasm: A cutting, often ironic remark intended to wound. A form of wit that is marked by the use of sarcastic language and is intended to make its victim the butt of contempt or ridicule.-“Sure, Nascar is a real sport—anything that inspires that much Budweiser consumption must be a feat of athletic prowess!”

satire 11
Satire (11)
  • An attack or criticism of any stupidity or vice in the form of scathing humor and wit.
    • South Park
    • The Simpsons
    • Eminem
    • Political Cartoons
satire 111
Satire (11)


Satire) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday issued a warning for Americans not to stare directly into the face of First Lady Laura Bush.  CDC scientists have found that staring into Laura Bush's eyes can cause a form hysteria in which victims have a distorted view of reality.  A recent example of this phenomena was observed at the annual Easter Egg hunt, when unsuspecting children, who gazed into the First Lady's face, forgot how incompetent the Bush Administration really was last August and then began singing the praises of her bungling husband and FEMA.


The most basic type of sentence is the simple sentence, which contains only one clause. All of the following are simple sentences, because each contains only one clause:

  • Melt!
  • Ice melts.
  • The ice melts quickly.
  • The ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.
  • Lying exposed without its blanket of snow, the ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.

(Simple Sentence Cont.-)

As you can see, a simple sentence can be quite long -- it is a mistake to think that you can tell a simple sentence from a compound sentence or a complex sentence simply by its length.

The most natural sentence structure is the simple sentence: it is the first kind which children learn to speak, and it remains by far the most common sentence in the spoken language of people of all ages. In written work, simple sentences can be very effective for grabbing a reader's attention or for summing up an argument, but you have to use them with care: too many simple sentences can make your writing seem childish.

When you do use simple sentences, you should add transitional phrases to connect them to the surrounding sentences.

  • It’s how authors put words and phrases together.
    • One thing Syntax does is control pacing.
      • In order to quicken the pace, the author will use shorter, simpler sentences.
      • In order to slow down the pace, the author will use longer, more complex and convoluted sentences.
when analyzing syntax consider such questions as
When analyzing syntax, consider such questions as:
  • Are the sentences simple and direct, or complex and convoluted?
  • Does the author use repetition or parallel structure for emphasis?

(Note: Always say what is emphasized and why.)

  • Are there rhetorical questions in the passage?
  • Are ideas set out in a special way for a purpose or effect?
and remember syntactically you create emphasis by
And remember – syntactically, you create emphasis by:
  • Position – Where you put something in the sentence
  • Isolation – Setting it off by itself (dash, quotation marks, parenthesis, etc.)
  • Repetition – The number of times something is repeated
  • Proportion – The size of the idea and how much of the piece the idea takes up
  • ver·nac·u·lar(n.)
    • 1. The standard native language of a country or locality.
    • 2.
      • a. The everyday language spoken by a people as distinguished from the literary language. See Synonyms at dialect.
      • b. A variety of such everyday language specific to a social group or region: the vernaculars of New York City.
    • 3. The idiom of a particular trade or profession: in the legal vernacular.
  • deliberately expresses an idea as less important than it actually is, either for ironic emphasis or for politeness and tact.
  • “It was unkind of him to throw hot soup on

his friend.”