162 terms

Literary Terms: Lists 1, 2, 3 & 4

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Prediction
a statement about the way things will happen in the future, often but not always based on experience or knowledge
Primary Source
a document, speech, or other sort of evidence written, created, or otherwise produced during the time under study
Propaganda
form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position
Bandwagon
insists that "everyone else is doing it"; makes you want to be part of the group - "don't be the only one left behind"
Testimonial
uses a person to show that they use a product or service; sometimes famous people are used.
Plain-Folk
the speaker presents him or herself as an Average Joe, a common person who can understand and empathize with a listener's concerns.
Name-Calling
applying a putdown to a person, product or group, even if it is not factual
Gimmicks
unique or quirky special feature that makes something "standout" from its contemporaries. However, the special feature is typically thought to be of little relevance or use
Prose
all forms of writing that are not in verse form
Quatrain
a stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines or verse
Quotation
a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker
Repetition
an instance of using a word, phrase, or clause more than once in a passage - dwelling on a point
Rhyme
a repetition of similar sounding words
End Rhyme
when a poem has lines ending with the words that sound the same
Internal Rhyme
rhyme that occurs within a line of verse
Rhyme Scheme
the pattern of rhymes used in a poem, usually marked by letters
Rhythm
a pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a line of poetry
Satire
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's foolishness or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues
Scan
refers to looking only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything. You scan when you look for your favorite show listed in the cable guide.
Secondary Source
at least one step removed from an event. They rely on primary sources for their facts and opinions.
Setting
the time and place at which a play, novel, or film is represented as happening
Skim
refers to looking only for the general or main ideas of a text
Simile
using like, as, and other comparison words to compare two unlike things
Speaker
the voice in a poem. The speaker may be the poet or a character created by the poet. The speaker may also be a thing or an animal.
Stanza
a group of lines forming a unit in a poem (*It is equivalent to a paragraph in prose.)
Stereotype
a popular belief about specific types of individuals (groups)
Style (Voice)
the quality that makes the author's writing unique, and which conveys the author's attitude, personality, and character
Summarize
take larger selections of text and reduce them to their bare essentials. It is the gist, the key ideas, the main ideas, the main points that are worth noting and remembering.
Suspense
that quality of a literary work that makes the reader or audience uncertain or tense about the outcome of events. Suspense makes the reader ask "What will happen next?"
Symbol
a person, a place, an object, or an activity that stands for something beyond itself
Symbolism
the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense
Text Organization
how a text is organized to help readers follow and understand the information presented
Cause & Effect
a writer analyzes the reasons for - and /or the consequences of - an action, event, or decision
Chronological Order
ideas described or shown in the order in which they happened. It relates to the timing of the happenings (Remember: "chrono" means time)
Sequential Order
follows a fixed order and thus forms a pattern (Think: Sequence)
Spatial Order
details are presented as they are (or were) located in a space
Order of Importance
information is prioritized by the speaker in a hierarchy of value
Theme
underlying meaning of a literary work which may be stated directly or indirectly
Tone
the writer's attitude toward the subject (Think: tone of voice - How would the writer sound if you could hear him/her talk about the subject? What would his/her tone of voice be?)
Topic sentence
a sentence that expresses the main idea of the paragraph in which it occurs
Understatement (litotes)
a figure of speech employed by writers or speakers to intentionally make a situation seem less important than it really is
Verse
a succession of metrical feet written, printed, or orally composed as one line; one of the lines of a poem
Jargon
the language, especially the vocabulary, peculiar to a particular trade, profession, or group.
Main Idea
important information that tells more about the overall idea of a paragraph or section of a text
Memoir
a type of autobiography that focuses on specific moment's in a person's life
Metaphor
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable (a comparison does not use like or as)
Meter
the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables; the beat
Mood
the reader's feelings about a work of literature; the atmosphere
Narrative
story or account of events, experiences, or the like, whether true or fictitious
Narrator
the teller of a story
Nonfiction
writing that tells about real people, places, or events
Onomatopoeia
the use of sounds that are similar to the noise they represent for a rhetorical or artistic effect.
Opinion
statement that reflects a belief or bias and cannot be proven
Paradox
a statement that seems to contradict itself, but contains a truth
Parody
the imitation of an author's style with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect
Paraphrase
restatement of text in the reader's own words
Personification
act of giving human qualities to objects, ideas, etc.
Persuasion
act of influencing the mind by arguments or reasons
Plagiarism
passing off someone else's work as your own
Plot
series of events that make up a story
Exposition
The introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, presents the characters, and presents other facts necessary to understanding the story.
Rising Action
A series of events (complications) that builds from the conflict. It begins with the conflict is triggered and ends with the climax.
Climax
The turning point of a story—frequently, it is the moment of the highest interest and greatest emotion. The point at which the outcome of the conflict can be predicted.
Falling Action
The events after the climax which close the story.
Resolution (denouement)
The way the story concludes
Poet
a person who writes poetry
Poetry
an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound, and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response. made up of lines and stanzas.
Ballad
poem that tells a story and is meant to be sung or recited
Concrete Poem
a poem that is written in the physical shape of the subject
Epic Poem
long poem that tells the story of a heroic figure
Haiku
traditional form of Japanese poetry composed of 3 lines with specific syllable count
Ode
usually a lyric poem of moderate length, with a serious subject, and elevated style. It is devoted to the praise of a person, animal, or thing.
Limerick
short, humorous poem composed of five lines (aabba rhyme scheme)
Sonnet
poem that is 14 lines in length (it expresses emotions)
Free Verse
poem without regular meter or rhyme
Narrative Poem
poem that tells a story
Point of View
the perspective from which the story is told
1st Person POV
A character in the story is the narrator. This character is telling the story. The narrator uses the pronouns I, me and we.
2nd Person POV
The narrator tells the story to another character using "you"
3rd Person Limited
a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows only the thoughts and feelings of a single character
3rd Person Omniscient
a method of storytelling in which the narrator knows the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters in the story
Abstract
1) a word or phrase that refers to an idea rather than a concrete object or thing 2) In research writing a short summary of your completed research.
Acronyms
abbreviations formed from the initial components in a phrase or name.
Alliteration
the repetition of beginning sounds of words
Allusion
a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, etc.
Analogy
a comparison used to explain an idea
Anecdote
a usually short narrative of an interesting, amusing, or biographical incident
Anonymous
without any name acknowledged, as that of author, contributor, or the like
Assonance
the repetition of vowel sounds within words
Audience
a reader or viewer of a work
Author
a person who writes a novel, poem, essay, etc.
Author's purpose
the reason for writing
Autobiography
an account of a person's life written by that person (nonfiction)
Bias
the side a person favors (slant)
Biography
an account of one's life written by someone else (nonfiction)
Character
A person portrayed in a novel, short story, or play. Can be animals or objects, also, but those are almost always personified.
Protagonist
the main character in a story, novel, drama or other literary work
Antagonist
a person/thing that works against the protagonist
Major character
appears throughout the novel, or in a major section of it; he/she is involved in the important actions and conflicts.
Minor character
supports the main character in a story; they do not grow or change during the story. They are also known as two-dimensional or flat .
Static character
a character that does not change within/during a story
Dynamic character
a person who changes within throughout a story
Foil character
a character that possesses opposite qualities of the protagonist
Characterization
how an author brings a character to life
Direct characterization
Stating directly what the character is like
Indirect characterization
Writers show the characters in action and let readers decide for themselves what kind of characters they are. Writers will show what the characters do, what the characters say, what the character thinks, and what others say about the character.
Climax
the turning point of a story
Comedy
humorous work
Compare (verb)
to identify similarities
Complications
The minor challenges in the plot that appear during the rising action and make the overall conflict harder to solve.
Conclusion
the end
Conflict
the struggle(s) encountered in a work
Internal conflict-man vs. self
When a character is challenging his/her own beliefs or overcoming his/her emotions
External conflict-man vs. man
When one character struggles against another character
External conflict-man vs. nature
When a character struggles against the elements of nature, especially for survival
External conflict-man vs. society
When a character challenges an element or an idea of society
Connotation
the feelings associated with a word
Context clues
hints or suggestions in a text (usually to help with the meaning of a word)
Contrast (verb)
to identify differences
Couplet
two lines of poetry that often rhyme
denotation
The dictionary definition of a word
dialect
A pattern of language specific to a region or a group of people
dialogue
Written conversation between two or more people
diacritical mark
Marks in a dictionary used to show correct pronunciation
diary
An informal record of a person's private life and day-to-day thoughts and concerns
diction
An author's choice of words
drawing a conclusion
Using textual information to formulate an answer to a question not directly stated in the text
epilogue
A short concluding section at the end of a literary work, detailing the future of the story, its characters, etc. (also known as afterword)
epitaph
A brief statement commemorating a person who is deceased
fact
A statement that can be proven
faulty reasoning
This occurs when the conclusion is not supported by the data
fiction
Literary work created from the author's imagination
fable
A fictional story that often uses animals for characters. The story has a moral for people to apply to their lives.
folk tale
A simple story that has been passed from generation to generation by word of mouth
legend
A type of folklore that is handed down from the past about a specific person- usually someone of heroic accomplishments human nature, the origin of the world, or mysteries of nature
short story
A piece of prose fiction that is usually read in one sitting
fantasy
A work of literature that contains at least one fantastic or unreal element
realistic fiction
A literary work about people and or events that could actually happen
historical fiction
A literary work based on a real event, but with fictional characters
mystery
A novel, short story, film, or play whose plot involves a crime or other event that remains unsettled until the very end
parable
A short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principal, or moral lesson
figurative language
Expressions that are not literally true—to create original descriptions
flashback
A break in a story that takes the reader back to a previous event
footnote
A note placed at the bottom of a page that comments on or cites a reference
foreshadowing
When a writer provides hints that suggest a future event in a story
form
The structure or organization of a literary work
genre
A type or category of literature
generalization
A broad statement about an entire group of people
hyperbole
The use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech
idiom
Expressions that cannot be interpreted literally
imagery
Words and phrases that appeal to the readers' five senses
informational text elements
Help the reader more easily navigate the text and often provide additional information to help students comprehend the content
inference
A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning. Essentially, it is the process of reaching a conclusion.
interview
A meeting in which one person asks another about personal and/or professional matters
verbal irony
when an author says one thing and means something else (also called sarcasm)
situational irony
a discrepancy between what is expected and what actually happens (a surprise twist)
dramatic irony
when the audience knows something that the character in the story does not know
mythology
A system of stories about the gods, often explicitly religious in nature, that possibly were once believed to be true
myth
A traditional story, usually of unknown authorship, that explains things such as human nature, the origin of the world, or mysteries of nature
novel
A fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity
science fiction
A form of fiction that draws imaginatively on scientific knowledge and speculation
fairy tale
A story, usually for children, about elves,
fairies, dragons, royalty, and other
magical creatures