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A narrative in which the characters , behavior, and even the setting demonstrate multiple levels of meaning and significance. The underlying meaning may be moral, religious, social, political, or satiric.


The sequential repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words.


A literary, historical, mythological, or biblical reference assumed to be well-known enough to be recognized by the reader.


A comparision of two similar, yet different things, usually to clarify an action or a relationship.


The regular repetition of the same words or phrases at the beginning of successful phrases or clauses. i.e. "Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark... ect."


The Repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds, usually in successive or proximate words. "How now brown cow?"


The sense expressed by the tone of voice or mood of a piece of writing; the author's feeling toward their subject , characters, events, or theme.


Descriptive writing that greatly exaggerates a specific feature of a person's appearance or facet of their personality.


In argumentation, an assertion of something as a fact.


Words or phrases used in everyday conversation and informal writing; the diction of common, ordinary folks, especially of a common region. For instance, most people expect Southerner's to use the expression 'y'all' when addressing others.


The implied, suggested, or underlying meaning of a word or phrase because of its association in the reader's mind.


the repetition of two or more consonant sounds with a change in the intervening vowels, such as pitter-patter, splish-splash, click-clack or ping pong.


an accepted manner, model, or tradition.

Deductive reasoning

the method of argument in which specific statements and conclusions are drawn or inferred from generalities; movement from the general to the specific.


the literal meaning of a word as defined in the dictionary.


The picturing in words of something or someone through detailed observation of color, motion, taste, sound, smell and touch.


the language and speech idiosyncrasies of a specific area, region, or group.


the specific word or choice an author uses to persuade or convey tone, purpose, or effect.


Writing or speech with an instructive purpose or lesson.


Spoken or written language, including literary works. The four traditionally classified modes of ________ are description, exposition, narration and persuasion.


Harsh or grating sounds that do not go together.


A poem or prose work that laments- or mediates upon the death of- a person or persons. Sometimes ending with words of consolation.


In rhetoric, the repetition of a phrase at the end of successive sentences.


Writing in praise of a dead person, most often inscribed upon a headstone.


In rhetoric, the appeal of a text to the credibility and character of the speaker, writer, or narrator.


an indirect, kinder way of expressing unpleasant information in an effort to avoid bluntness. "Passed on" translates to died.


the immediate revelation to the audience of the setting and other background information necessary for understanding the plot.


A speech or written passage in praise of a person.

Extended Metaphor

a series of comparisons within a piece of writing.

Figurative language

contains levels of meaning expressed through figures of speech such as metaphor, simile, personification, and hyperbole, in order to create associations that are imaginative rather than literal.


An earlier event inserted into the normal chronology of the narration; also known as retrospection.


Traditional stories, songs, dances, and customs that are preserved among a people, passed down from generation to generation until recorded by scholars.


The use of a hint or clue to suggest a larger event that occurs later in the work.


A type or class of literature, such as narrative, poetry, history, biography, or epic.


A sermon, but more contemporary uses included any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual life.


The excessive pride or ambition that leads a tragic hero to disregard warnings of impending doom, ultimately causing their downfall.


Any sensory detail or evocation in a work; the use of figurative language to evoke a felling, call to mind an idea, or describe an object. It involves any or all of the five senses to create a mental picture.


The method of argument in which general statements and conclusions are drawn or inferred from specifics. Movement from the specific to the general


A conclusion or proposition arrive at by considering the facts, observations, or some other specific data.

Interior monologue

Writing that records the conversation which occurs inside a character's mind


the contrast between what is stated explicitly and what is really meant.

Dramatic Irony

Facts or situations are known to the reader or audience but not to the characters.

Situational irony

When events end up the opposite of what is expected

Verbal irony

What the author/narrator says is actually the opposite of what is meant.


Parallel structure in which the elements are similar not only in grammatical structure, but also in length. "Many are called, but few are chosen."


Specialized or technical language of a trade, profession, or similar group.


One thing is placed adjacent to another to create an effect, reveal an attitude, or accomplish some other purpose.


A figure of speech that emphasizes its subject by conscious understatement. "Not bad" meaning a very well done job.

Loose sentence

A sentence that is grammatically complete before it's end, such as, "She played the violin with a dexterity never before seen in a high school musical." The sentence is grammatically complete after the word violin.


one thing is pictures as if it were something else, suggesting a likeness or analogy. It is an implicit comparison or identification of one thing with another without the use of 'like' or 'as'.


A figure of speech that uses the name of an object, person, or idea to represent something with which it is associated, such as using 'the crown' to rewfer to a king.

mode of discourse

The manner in which information is presented in written or spoken form: narration, discription, argumentation and exposition (cause and effect, process analysis, and compare/contrast).


a feeling or ambience resulting from the tone of a piece as well as the emotional attitude and point of view of the writer/narrator. establishes the atmosphere in a work.


the main theme or subject of a work elaborated on in the development of the piece; a recurrent pattern or idea.


a mode of discourse that tells a story and is based on sequences of connected events, usually presented in a straightforward, chronological framework.


A literary movement that grew out of realism in france, england and the us in the late 19th/early-20th centuries; it portrays humans as having no free will, driven only by the natural forces of heredity, environment and animalistic urges over which they have no control.


an impersonal presentation of characters and events.


the use of words that sound like what they mean, such as hiss, boom, and buzz, intended to enhance a passage for the reader or listener.


composed of contradictory words or phrases, such as silent alarm, deafening silence, jumbo shrimp, new tradition, holy war, mutual differences, genuine imitation.


a short tale that teaches a moral; similar but shorter than an allegory.


a statement that seems contradictory or absurd but has a rational meaning. Used to attract attention or secure emphasis.

parallel structure

a structural arrangement of parts of a sentence, sentences, paragraphs and larger units of composition by which one element of equal importance with another is equally developed and similarly phrased.


a work that ridicules the style of another work by imitating and exaggerating its elements.(saturday night live)


a short descriptive narrative, usually a poem, about an idealized country life; also called an idyll.


the element in literature which stimulated pity or sorrow. in argument persuasion it tends to be the evocation of pity in the reader. (THINK OF THE CHILDREN!)

periodic sentence

a sentence that is not grammatically complete until it's last phrase. "Despite Austin's hatred if his sister's laziness and noisy eating habits, he still cared for her."


A fictional voice that a writer adopts to tell a story, determined by the subject matter and audience.


the attribution of human qualities to a nonhuman or inanimate object. example: "Once again the heart of america is heavy. The spirit of america weeps for a tragedy that denies the very meaning of our land"


one of the four modes of discourse (main kinds of writing), it is a form of argumentation in which the language is intended to convince through appeals to reason or emotion. (commercials)

Point of view

the perspective from which a story is presented. in nonfiction, it requires the reader to establish the historical perspective of what is being said.

first person narrator

narration is provided by a character in the story who relates the action through their own perspective, also revealing their thoughts.

limited omniscient narrator

third person narration which reports the thoughts of only one character and generally only what that one character sees.

objective narrator

third person narration which only reports what would be visible to a camera; thoughts and feelings are only revealed if a character speaks them.

omniscient narrator

third person narration, where 'he', 'she' or 'they' is able to see into each character's mind and understands the action.

stream of consciousness narration

like first person narration, but instead placing the reader inside the character's head, making the reader privy to the continious, chaotic flow of disconnected, half-formed thoughts and impressions in the character's mind.


Anything other than poetry. the ordinary form of written language without metrical structure, in contrast to verse and poetry.


the main character in a literary work


attempts to describe nature and life without idealization and with attention to detail. Mark Twain is an author of this school.


the art of using language to persuade in writing or speaking. this involves (1) writers purpose (2) consideration of audience (3) exploration of the subject (4) arrangement and organization of ideas (5) style and tone of expression and (6) form.

rhetorical modes

argumentation, description, exposition, narration.

rhetorical question

asked simply for the sake of stylistic effect, it is a question not expected to be answered.


a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement that began in the 18th century. the focal points are imagination, emotion, and freedom, stressing subjectivity, individuality, the love of nature, and a fascination with the past.


a form of verbal irony in which apparent praise is actually critical. It can be light and gently poke fun at someone/something, or it can be harsh, caustic and mean.


a literary work that holds up human failings to ridicule and censure. several years ago, the ap language exam included a piece by columnist Ellen Goodman, "The Company Man," which attacked the struggled for corporate survival by the little man. Arthur Miller exposed the same subject several decades ago in his tragic play, death of a salesman.


a direct explicit comparison of one thing to another usually the words like or as to make a direct comparison.


The voice of a work; an author may speak as him/herself or as a fictitious persona.


A character who represents a trait that is usually attributed to a particular social or racial group and who lacks individuality.


The manner in which a writer characteristically combines and arranges words, shapes ideas, and utilizes syntax and structure. It is the distinctive manner of expression that represents that writer's particular ____. ** Really important.


A personal presentation of events and characters, influenced by the author's feelings and opinions.


The use of person, place, thing, event, or pattern that figuratively represents or stands for something else.


A figure of speech in which a part signifies the whole. Example When referring to a nice car, saying "Those are some sweet "WHEELS"


The way words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. It is sentence structure and how it influences the way a reader perceives a particular piece of writing. Word choice or diction.


The central or dominant idea, message, or focus of a literary work, it is overall statement the piece makes about its subject.


The attitude the author/ narrator take toward a subject, character, audience, or theme. It is the overall tenor of a piece of writing based on particular stylistic devices employed by the writer.


The quality of a piece of writing, also known as coherence


The way a literary work conveys an authors attitude, the source of the words is either acknowledged or unacknowledged, It is the speaker's or narrator's particular take on an idea based on a particular passage and how all the elements of the style of the piece come together to express their feelings.

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