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If you can master this brief list of the essential knowledge elements of English composition.  It is trickier than it may look. This list was developed by Dr. Oliver D. Hensley and I some years past.  I was interested in its application as an education aid for college-level composition courses, while Hensley was interested in using it as a piece of his taxonomy of the essential knowledge elements of each field of study.  Dr, Hensley posits that all fields of knowledge could be categorized, organized and stored in cyberspace most efficiently if those fields are distilled into their essential elements.  Long before Google, Dr. Hensley believed that all knowledge stored in cyberspace should be accessible with no more than 12 keystrokes.

Now, what are these knowledge elements good for?  All writing, from the word level to the most lofty academic treatise, can be efficaciously produced if the writer knows the meaning of each of these terms.  Writers with an interest in writing contests, scientific writing, writing blogs, or even just journal writing or creative writing, just about any writer writing anything, can get the job done well and efficiently if s/he first masters this list!

Essential Knowledge Elements (EKE’s) for Efficacy in English Composition

  1. Abstract and abstract
  2. Acronym
  3. Alliteration
  4. Anagram
  5. Antonym
  6. Audience/purpose
  7. Bibliography
  8. Cadence/Rhythm
  9. Cause and Effect Analysis
  10. Citation
  11. Clarity
  12. Classification/Division
  13. Cliché
  14. Coherence
  15. Colon
  16. Comma
  17. Comma Splice
  18. Comparison/Contrast
  19. Complex Sentence
  20. Composition
  21. Composition Theory
  22. Compound Complex Sentence
  23. Compound Sentence
  24. Confused Words
  25. Connotation
  26. Content
  27. Continuity
  28. Contrast
  29. Controversial
  30. Coordination
  31. Dangling Modifier
  32. Definition
  33. Development
  34. Declarative
  35. Definition
  36. Denotation
  37. Dependent Clause
  38. Description
  39. Documentation
  40. Editing
  41. Email
  42. Emotional Appeal
  43. Emphasis
  44. Essay
  45. Ethos
  46. Exclamation Mark
  47. Exclamatory
  48. Exemplification
  49. Five Paragraph Essay Structure
  50. Fluency
  51. Format
  52. Humor
  53. Hyperbole
  54. IKWID
  55. Imperative
  56. Independent Clause
  57. Interrogative
  58. Introduction
  59. Italics
  60. Journal
  61. Language manipulation
  62. Logic
  63. Logos
  64. Misplaced Modifier
  65. Mood
  66. Narration
  67. Noun
  68. Organization
  69. Parallelism
  70. Parenthesis
  71. Paraphrase
  72. Pathos
  73. Period
  74. Persuasion
  75. Phrase
  76. Plagiarism
  77. Process Analysis Essay
  78. Pronoun
  79. Pronoun Agreement
  80. Pronoun Antecedent
  81. Pronoun Reference
  82. Proofreading
  83. Propaganda
  84. Quotation
  85. Redundancy/Deadwood
  86. Reliability
  87. Revision
  88. Re-Writing
  89. Rhetoric
  90. Rhetorical Modes
  91. Runtogether Sentence
  92. Sarcasm
  93. Semi-colon
  94. Sentence Categories
  95. Sentence Fragment
  96. Sentence Structure
  97. Sentence Types
  98. Sentence Variety
  99. Sexist Language
  100. Simple Sentence
  101. Structure
  102. Style
  103. Subject
  104. Subject/theme
  105. Subject-Verb Agreement
  106. Subordination
  107. Subtlety
  108. Synonym
  109. Theme/subject
  110. Thesis
  111. Text
  112. Textual support
  113. Timeliness
  114. Title
  115. Tone
  116. Topic Sentence
  117. Transition
  118. Transitional Words
  119. Trite
  120. Understatement
  121. Verb
  122. Voice/tone
  123. Word Choice
  124. Word Economy

We suggest that you keep a writing notebook with all of these terms written in with their definitions (handwriting a fact makes you many more times more likely to recall it later).