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44 terms

Forms or Genres

STUDY
PLAY
Allegory
the use of characters or events to represent ideas or principles in a story, play, or picture.
Analogy
a comparison of two different things which are similar in some way
Anecdote
a brief story about an interesting, amusing, or strange event, which is told to entertain or to make a point
Aphorism
a terse statement of known authorship which expresses a general truth or moral principle. Can be a memorable summation of the author's point.
Autobiography
an account of the writer's own life
Biography
an account of someone's life written by another person
Comedy
a work of literature, especially a play, usually humorous and having a happy ending
Diary
a day by day chronicle of events; a journal
Discourse
mode or category of expression
Persuasion
convinces by establishing the truth or falsity of a proposition
Description
depicts a scene or setting. Most frequently goes hand in hand with narration (usually deals with space)
Exposition
explains something (identification, definition, classification, illustration, comparison, and analysis)
Narration
recounts events (usually deals with time)
Essay
a moderately brief prose discussion of a restricted topic.
Formal
qualities of a formal essay includeserious purpose, dignity, logical organization, length.
The term may include short discussions, exposition or argument, and longer treatises.
Informal
qualities that make an essay informal include the personal element, humor, graceful
style, rambling structure, unconventionality or novelty, freedom from stiffness and affectation,
incomplete or tentative treatment of topic.
Epigram
a brief, pithy saying (short and intelligent)
Epistle (literary letter)
a literary composition in the form of a letter
Epitaph
an inscription on a tombstone
Epithet
an adjective used to point out a characteristic of a person or thing ("swift-footed Achilles" or "rosy-fingered dawn")
Eulogy
a formal speech praising a person who has died
Fable
a brief story, usually with animal characters, that teaches a lesson or moral
Fantasy
a story which concerns an unreal world or which contains unreal characters; it may be merely whimsical, or it may present a serious point
Farce
an exaggerated comedy, one that relies on improbable situations, physical humor, and broad wit
rather than on in-depth characters and believable plots
Genre
a division or type of literature; literature is generally divided into 3 major genres - poetry, prose, and drama
Generic conventions
describes traditions for each genre; these conventions help to define each genre
Gothic
comes from an architectural style of late Middle Ages Europe. Later used to describe romantic, scary novels with mysterious atmospheres and sinister, supernatural events
Homily
literally means "sermon," but more informally, it can include any serious talk, speech, or lecture involving moral or spiritual advice
Jeremiad
a literary work or speech expressing a bitter lament or a righteous prophecy of doom
Legend
a narrative handed down from the past that contains historical elements and usually supernatural elements
Myth
a traditional story presenting supernatural characters and episodes that help explain natural events
Novel
any extended fictional prose narrative focusing on a few primary characters but often involving scores of secondary characters
Novella
An extended fictional prose narrative that is longer than a short story, but not quite as long as a novel.
Parable
a short narrative designed to convey a moral truth
Parody
a work that closely imitates the style or content of another with the specific aim of comic effect and/or ridicule; often distorts or exaggerates distinctive features of the original
Prose
the ordinary form of written language; writing that is not poetry, drama, or song is considered prose
Proverb
a saying that briefly and memorably expresses some recognized truth about life.
Pun
generic name for a play on words: "Your argument is sound, nothing but sound."
Romance
In general, a story in which an idealized hero undertakes a quest and is successful. In a romance, beauty, innocence, and goodness usually prevail over evil. Traditionally set in the distant past and uses a great deal of fantasy.
Short Story
"A brief prose tale," as Edgar Allan Poe labeled it. This work of narrative fiction may contain description, dialogue and commentary, but usually plot functions as the engine driving the art. The best short stories, according to Poe, seek to achieve a single, major, unified impact.
Tall tale
an exaggerated humorous story that is obviously unbelievable
Tragedy
a work of literature, especially a play, that results in a catastrophe for the main character; the cause of a tragedy is usually a tragic flaw, or weakness, in the hero's character
Trilogy
a work in three parts, each of which is a complete work in itself
Verse
used in two senses: (1) as a unit of poetry, in which case it has the same significance as a stanza or line; and (2) as a name given generally to metrical composition