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The repetition of identical consonant or vowel sounds at the beginnings of words htat are close together (i.e. descending dew drops).


An extended metaphor in which objects, persons, and actions represent things outside of the narrative.


Reference to a statement, person, place, event, or thing known from literature, history, religion, myth, politics, sports, science, or the arts


The character, force, or obstacle the protagonist must overcome.


A technique by which a writer addresses an object, idea, or person who is dead or absent


Words a character in a play speaks to the audience or another character that are not supposed to be overheard by others on stage


Song that tells a story


Person in a story, poem or play (Types: Static, Dynamic, Flat, Round, Caricature, Stereotype.)

Static Character

A charater that does not change through the course of the story

Dynamic Character

A character that changes as a result of the story's events

Flat Character

A character with one or two defining characteristics or traits

Round Character

A character with many different traits or characteristics


A character with exaggerated characteristics


A character with fixed characteristics based on group affiliation


The direct or indirect process of revealing the personality of a character


A struggle or clash between opposing forces (man vs. man, nature, society, self)

Internal Conflict

Struggle within the character's mind.

External Conflict

Struggle against an outside force


A way of speaking characteristic of a particular region or group of people


Conversation between two or more characters


Long story told in an elevated language (usually poetry) which relates the great deeds of a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of particular society


Scene in a narrative that interrupts the present action and reveals what happened at an earlier time


Character who serves as a contrast to another character to highlight differences between them


The use of clues to hint at events that will occur later in a plot


Figure of speech that uses exaggeration to express a strong emotion or to create a comic effect


Writing that appeals to the senses


Contrast or discrepancy between expectation and reality (Types: Verbal, Situational, and Dramatic)

Verbal Irony

Discrepancy between what is said and what is meant

Situational Irony

Contradiction between what we expect to happen and what really happens.

Dramatic Irony

When the reader knows something a character in a narrative does not know.


A comparison between two things without the use of like or as


An extended speech presented by an actor in a drama or narrative


A type of writing that tells a story


Use of a word whose sound imitates or suggests its meaning (i.e. buzz, clang, fizz)


Repetition of words, phrases, or sentences that have the same grammatical structure or that state a similar idea


A comparison in which a non-human thing or quality is given human characteristics

Point of View

The vantage point from which a writer tells a story. (i.e. First Person, Third Person Limited, Third Person Omniscient)

First Person

A point of view in which the narrator is a character who reveals a plot using the pronoun I.

Third Person Limited

A point of view in which the narrator tells the story using he or she, presenting it as it is seen and understood by a single character.

Third Person Omniscient

A point of view in which the narrator is all-knowing and capable of revealing everything about the characters and situation in a story (uses pronouns he or she).


The main or central figure in fiction or drama


A play on the multiple meanings of a word or words that sound alike but have different meanings


A persuasive technique in which the writer reiterates. restates, or repeats certain structures, words or phrases to drive his message.

Rhetorical Question

A persuasive technique in which the writer asks a question with an obvious answer, used to make an indirect implication.


The time, place, mood, and/or atmosphere of a narrative


A comparison between two things using like or as


An unusually long speech by a character onstage alone, expressing inner thoughts and feelings


A person, place thing or event that stands for itself and something beyond itself as well


Central idea of a work of literature


A statement in which something is intentionally represented as less than it actually is.


A comparison of two things to show that they are alike in certain respects; a type of extended metaphor.


Very brief account of an incident.

Archetypal Characters

A character type that recurs consistently enough in life and literature to be considered universal (i.e. hero, villain, misfit).


Repetition of similar vowel sounds followed by different consonant sounds in words close together (i.e. fleet feet sweep by sleeping Greeks).


The repetition of final consonant sounds after different vowel sounds (i.e. pitter, patter; rif, raf)


A speaker or writer's choice of words


A brief story in prose or verse that teaches a moral or gives a practical lesson about how to get along in life.


A character who serves as a contrast to another character to highlight differences between them


An expression peculiar to a particular language that means something different from the literal meaning of each word (i.e. A Piece of Cake, A Dime a Dozen)


Brief story that teaches a lesson about life


The attitude the writer takes toward the reader, a subject, or a character


A play, novel, or other narrative that depicts serious and important events in which the main character(s) comes to an unhappy end

Tragic Hero

The protagonist in a tragedy who is often high ranking and is on some level responsible for his own downfall, due to a flaw in character (tragic flaw).


A brief, cleverly worded statement that makes a wise observation about life. ("An apple a day keeps the doctor away.")


The refinement, support and development of an idea by use of details, reasons and evidence


A kind of romantic, scary piece of literature that summons up the mysterious atmosphere suggested by old castles and cathedrals.


Placing ideas side by side to make a comparison or contrast


A figure of speech that combines opposite or contradictory terms in a brief phrase (bittersweet, living death, jumbo shrimp)

Persuasive Techniques

Rhetorical devices used by authors for various effects in order to persuade an audience (i.e. Call to Action, Elevated language, Rhetorical Question, Appeals to Emotion, Appeals to Logic, Repetition, Figurative Language).

Call to Action

A persuasive technique in which the writer exhorts or encourages his or her audience to behave a certain way.

Appeals to Emotion

A persuasive technique in which the writer 'tugs on the heartstrings' of his audience, attempting to sway opinion by resorting to sentiment or passion more than logic.

Appeals to Logic

A persuasive technique in which the writer uses statistics, facts, anecdotes, and expert opinions to sway his audience.

Figurative Language

A persuasive technique in which the writer uses similes, metaphor, hyperbole and allusion to make connections and show his argument in a unique fashion.

Stream of Consciousness

A style of writing that portrays the inner (often chaotic) working of a character's mind


The distinctive way in which a writer expresses ideas which show his/her attitude, personality and

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