Reading for Thinking Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Figurative language
Language that only makes sense in the imagination and doesn't make much sense if interpreted as possible in the real world.
Example:"Standardized tests that rely solely on multiple choice can offer an accurate measure of intelligence about the same time that pigs take flight."
Hasty generalizations
Broad general statements based on only one or two examples are considered “hasty.”

Example: "The health care system in the United States is a complete failure. My cousin Elmo went to get his right hip replaced because the joint had deteriorated, and the surgeon replaced the left one by mistake."
Logical inferences
Logical inferences rely more heavily on the author’s actual words and don’t over-rely on personal experience.
Illogical inferences
Illogical inferences are conclusions based more on the reader’s personal experience than on the author’s words.
Informed opinions
Opinions that are backed by relevant reasons, facts, studies, and examples are informed and are therefore worthy of serious consideration.
Informative writing
Informative writing describes events or ideas without including personal judgments by the author.

Example: Sociologists generally divide power into five different categories.
Irony
The practice of saying one thing while implying exactly the opposite.

Example: Asked about a perfectly terrible day, you might say, "It was great, just great" and let your tone suggest the opposite.

Also, the term "irony" can refer to the exact opposite of what one plans or expects, for instance: "The king had expected to slay all his opponents, but in an ironic turn of events, he was the one ascending the steps to the guillotine."
Metaphors
Make an implied comparison that reveals a hidden similarity between two very different things without using the words "like" or "as."

Example: Novelist Daniel Woodrell uses metaphors to magnificent effect: " Fading light buttered the ridges until shadows licked them clean, and they were lost to nightfall."
Opinion statements
Statements of opinion cannot be checked for accuracy with outside sources because they reflect the writer’s point of view about the subject under discussion and are shaped by the author’s personal experience, training, and background, for instance,

"Wendy Davis would make a great president."
Personal Character Attacks
When writers don’t know how to respond to opposing points of view, they sometimes attack the other person’s character and background.

Example: Don't trust that journalist's description of charter schools; his mother was an elementary school teacher, so of course he hates charter schools.
Personal conclusions
Inferences that follow from the reading but were not necessarily intended by the author.
Persuasive writing
Writers intent on persuasion express a personal point of view on an issue and try to get their readers to share their opinion.

Example:" We live in a world that is far too connected, and need to take a break now and then in order to be alone with ourselves and figure out what we actually think without help from anyone else."
Relevant supporting facts
Relevant supporting facts and reasons are clearly related to the opinion being discussed, not just to the topic. In other words, they do more than some vague connection to the subject under discussion. They go directly to the heart of the issue being addressed.
Similes
These are explicit comparisons using the words "like" or "as." Writers use them in order to clarify their meaning, as in " Novelist Raymond Chandler was a master of the simile, for instance, "He was about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a a slice of angel food [cake.]"
Unidentified experts and research
References to experts or research that are offered as proof without the reader ever learning who the experts were or who did the research and how they came to their conclusions.

Example: "As many experts have pointed out, the research is clear on the subject of home schooling: It just does not work."
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