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a reference to something literary, mythological, or historical that the author assumes the reader will recognize


the intended reader of a piece

Author's Purpose

The reason the author wrote a literary work, or shared information, events, motivations, etc. inside a literary work.


people or animals who take part in the action of a literary work

Character - Protagonist

is the central character of a drama, novel, short story, or narrative poem

Character - Antagonist

the character that the main character (protagonist) struggles against

Character - Round

The literary character's traits express the emotions and concerns of real people. The audience can usually identify with the feelings of this character.

Character - Flat

A character who has one dominant trait that is more noticeable than anything or anyone else and usually have only one job to perform in the text of a story. a character who embodies a single quality and who does not develop in the course of a story

Character - Dynamic

Change in response to actions through which he/she passes

Character - Static

Change little or none over the course of a literary work despite being given opportunities to do so


the problem or problems characters face in a literary work

Conflict - Internal

An internal conflict is a struggle that takes place within a character's mind or heart. In an internal conflict, a character might struggle with paralyzing fear or a need for revenge

Conflict - External

a struggle between two forces. An external conflict can take place between two characters; between a character and a group; between a character and society as a whole; or between a character and an animal or a force of nature

Figurative Language

language that is used in writing to produce images in a reader's mind and to express ideas in fresh, vivid, and imaginative ways

Figurative Language - Simile

a comparison using the words "like" or "as"

Figurative Language - Metaphor

a comparison that does not use the words "like" or "as"

Figurative Language - Hyperbole

intentional exaggeration to create an effect

Figurative Language - Onomatopoeia

a word formed from the imitation of natural sounds

Figurative Language - Personification

endowing non-human objects or creatures with human qualities or characteristics


a conclusion one draws (infers) based on premises or evidence


the time, place, and environment in which action takes place


the events that take place in a story

Plot - Exposition

the opening of a story, when the characters and their conflicts are introduced

Plot - Rising Action

following the exposition; the events that build up to the climax

Plot - Climax

This is the turning point of the story and the point of highest interest. Plot turning point: the point in a work in which a very significant change occurs

Plot - Falling Action

following the climax; when the story begins to resolve conflicts and outstanding issues

Plot - Resolution

All the loose ends are tied up, and the story comes to a reasonable ending

Historical Context

the historical period that shapes a work of literature and allows the reader to understand important issues in a given time period


comparing similarities between two or more ideas, stories, characters, things, etc.


showing the differences between two or more ideas, stories, characters, things, etc.


the insertion or flashing to an earlier event into the normal chronological order of a narrative (story)


when a something is written to appeal to the five senses.

Imagery - TASTE

when description helps the reader understand how something tastes.

Imagery - TOUCH

when description helps the reader understand how something feels to the touch.

Imagery - SIGHT

when description helps the reader understand how something looks when viewed.

Imagery - SOUND

when description helps the reader understand how something would sound.

Imagery - SMELL

when description helps the reader understand how something would smell

Main Idea

What the passage is mostly about (like the topic)


the person telling the story. A narrator can be in 1st , 2nd, or 3rd Person

Point of View

the vantage point from which a story is told

Point of View - FIRST PERSON

a story told by an "I" narrator. An "I" narrator is a character in the story

Point of View - SECOND PERSON

a story directed to the reader using "you"; used most commonly when giving directions

Point of View - THIRD PERSON

a story told by a non-participating narrator, either omniscient or limited


the emotional atmosphere of a work


how the author gets the point across


conversation between two or more people


the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning; or, incongruity between what is expected and what actually happens


an object that is used to represent something else (usually a larger, philosophical and more important idea)


a central lesson of a work


the writer's or speaker's attitude toward the subject of a story, toward a character, or toward the audience (the readers).

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