How can we help?

You can also find more resources in our Help Center.

Short story study guide

Terms
STUDY
PLAY
Autobiographical anecdote
about self, true short story (non-fiction)
3 elements of a short story
usually under 10,000 words
can typically be read under 1 sitting
usually more focused on characters than action
Theme
main idea of a story
3 aspects of setting
time, place, and atmosphere
Protaganist
main character who is struggling to achieve a goal
Antagonist
the force (may or may not be a person) that tries to keep the protaganist from reaching his or her goal
Conflict
a struggle between two opposing forces
Author's purpose
The reason the author wrote a literary work, or shared information, events, motivations, etc. inside a literary work.
Aspects of theme
universal ideas and provide unity
Exposition
exposes (introduces) the reader to the characters, setting, and conflict
Rising action
a series of events which build intensity and show the protaganist trying to solve the conflict
Climax
moment you know the conflict will be resolved
Falling action
action that takes place after the climax
Resolution/Denoumet
conclusion which shows the author's theme
Mood
the feelings or emotions generated by the author's description of the characters and setting
1st person point of view
main character tells his or her own story
3rd person limited point of view
narrarator tells the story from the point of view of one character
3rd person omniscent point of view
narrarator has unlimited knowledge and can describe every characters thoughts and actions