English IV NCFE Study Terms

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central idea
the most important point the author tries to make
characterization
methods a writer uses to develop characters
direct characterization
the author explains through direct statements what the character is like (kind, evil, etc.).
indirect characterization
the writer reveals information about a character and his personality through that character's thoughts, words, and actions
conflict
opposition between or among characters or forces in a literary work that spurs or motivates the action of a plot (internal, external; person vs. person, self, nature, society)
connotation
the feelings or emotions surrounding/associated with a word, beyond its literal meaning. Generally positive or negative in nature.
denotation
the dictionary definition of a word
dialogue
the lines spoken by characters in drama or fiction
figurative language
Writing or speech that is used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things, (examples are metaphor, simile, and personification).
inference
a conclusion one can draw from the presented details
metaphor
a figure of speech comparing to unlike things without using like or as
objective summary
summary produced without bias or opinion using textual evidence
oxymoron
a figure of speech wherein the author groups two apparently contradictory terms. "jumbo shrimp" and "cruel kindness."
personification
A figure of speech in which an object or animal is given human feelings, thoughts, or attitudes
point of view
a mental position from which things are viewed; the perspective or angle from which a story is told; the position the author takes which makes his/her writing achieve its purpose. (objective, subjective, political, religious, environmental, young, etc...)
setting
The time and place of a story
simile
a figure of speech that expresses a resemblance between things of different kinds (usually formed with 'like' or 'as')
theme
a central message or insight into life revealed through a literary work
purpose
is the author's reason for writing or speaking: to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to praise, to celebrate, to warn.
rhetorical question
A question asked solely to pose an idea for consideration (not to be answered)
structure
The way a story's events are assembled, or the form a poem or play takes
logos
an appeal based on logic or reason
ethos
an appeal based on the character/reputation/ credibility of the speaker.
pathos
appeal to emotion
couplets
two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
rhyme scheme
the pattern of rhyme in a poem
stanza
a group of lines in a poem or song that constitute a division (in prose: paragraph)
synonyms
words that have similar meanings
antonyms
words that have opposite meanings
alliteration
the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words
allusion
A reference to something literary, mythological, or historical to enhance the meaning of an idea
analogy
Comparison of two similar but different things, used to clarify an action or a relationship. Ex: Shells were to ancient cultures as dollar bills are to modern American culture.
anecdote
A story or brief episode told by the writer or a character to illustrate a point.
archetype
A recurring symbol, character, landscape, or event found in myth and literature across different cultures and eras (hero, journey to the underworld, creation, etc.)
dialect
A regional variety of a language distinguished by vocabulary, spelling, and pronunciation
exaggeration
an overstatement; the act of making something seem greater than it is
flashback
a scene or event from the past that appears in a narrative out of chronological order, to fill in information or explain something in the present
foreshadowing
an author's use of hints or clues to suggest events that will occur later in the story
hyperbole
a figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express strong emotion, make a point, or evoke humor
imagery
words or phrases appealing to one or more of the five senses in order to create a mental picture
irony
The use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning.
dramatic irony
a circumstance in which the audience or reader knows more about a situation than a character
situational irony
events turn out the opposite of what was expected
verbal irony
A figure of speech in which what is said is the opposite of what is meant
mood
the overall emotion created by a work of literature
motivation
a character's incentive or reason for behaving in a certain manner; that which impels a character to act
narrative
writing that tells a story
onomatopoeia
the use of words that imitate sounds
paradox
a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth.
pun
a joke that results from multiple word meanings
refrain
a regularly repeated line or group of lines in a poem or song
repetition
repeated use of sounds, words, or ideas for effect and emphasis
soliloquy
a (usually long) dramatic speech given by a character alone on stage
tone
The attitude of the author toward the audience and characters (e.g., serious or humorous).
understatement
the opposite of hyperbole. It Is a kind of irony that deliberately represents something as being much less that it really is. Ex. "I think I can manage to survive on a salary of 2 million a year".
unreliable narrator
a narrator whose account of events appears to be faulty, misleadingly biased, or otherwise distorted
general
a fact about the whole (as opposed to specific)
diction
an author's choice of words, which combine to help create meaning and tone.
syntax
the grammatical arrangement of words in sentences; word order
rhetoric
From the Greek for "orator," this term describes the principles governing the art of writing effectively, eloquently, and persuasively. (the art of persuasion)
antithesis
a figure of speech characterized by strongly contrasting words, clauses, sentences, or ideas; the direct opposite
foil
character that shows qualities that are in contrast with the qualities of another character with the objective to highlight the traits of the other character.
idiom
a word or phrase which means something different from its literal meaning (ex. "actions speak louder than words" or "costs an arm and a leg")