Literary Terms 9-12 grades
Terms in this set (100)
Describe nouns by answering one of these three questions: What kind is it? How many are there?
Modify the meaning of verbs, adjectives, other adverbs. answer one of these four questions: How? When? Where? and Why?
A reference in a literary work to a person, place, or thing in history or another work of literature.
Examine methodically and in detail the structure of something
A character in a story or poem who deceives, frustrates, or works again the main character, or protagonist, in some way.
Response to a question which prompts a witness to draw inferences from facts of the text or researched texts.
an actor's speech, directed to the audience, that is not supposed to be heard by other actors on stage.
Who you are writing or speaking to.
The effect the writer wants to have on the reader. Author's purpose are 4 types: to entertain, to persuade, to inform, and to inspire.
To preference one item over another.
Main idea that is important to an entire piece of writing
Explains why a character behaves the way he or she does and can be based on personality or desires.
A reference in a research paper or other document to an outside source that the reader used to gain information. Both paraphrases and direct quotations need citations.
To give a writer credit for his or her ideas that you use in your own written work.
A statement that must be proven using specific evidence.
Clearness of thought and style.
A group of words consisting of a noun and a verb. Independent clauses can stand alone while dependent ones need an independent clause to make a complete thought.
In an essay, coherence is putting your ideas into a logical order which allows your reader to more clearly understand your ideas.
A ludicrous and amusing event or series of events designed to provide enjoyment and produce smiles or laughter. Comedy is the opposite of tragedy.
Suggest similarities between items that are different.
To give a lot of information in clearly but in only a few words.
A part of speech that connects two words, phrases, or clauses together. The most common are the FANBOYS: F(or) A(nd) N(or) B(ut) O(r) Y(et) S(o)
An association that comes along with a particular word. Its the ideas or qualities that are implied by that word.
describing the differences between two or more ideas or items; does not always choose one over the other
To be literally believed; used when discussing research sources. For a source to be credible, it must use reliable data.
The characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, etc.
The exact meaning of a word, without the feelings or suggestions that the word may imply.
Major rhetorical strategy in which a writer chooses words carefully for distinct effects. Can include slang, allusions, jargon, hyperboles, similes, metaphors, etc
When the narrator tells the reader DIRECTLY what a particular character is like. It can describe physical characteristics or personality.
Experience changes throughout the plot of a story. Although the change may be sudden, it is expected based on the story's events.
Using an appropriate adjective (often habitually) to characterize a person or thing.
A written form in which people develop ideas concerning a particular topic. Essays are focused and specific. In English class, essays are at least 5 paragraphs long, include a thesis
statement, and argue a claim.
Serves as proof for your claim; usually comes directly from the text or from an expert on the topic.
Type of writing where the purpose is to inform, describe, or explain.
Struggle between a literary or dramatic character and an outside force such as nature or another character, which drives the dramatic action of the plot.
Something that actually occurred or can be proven true.
A deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc.
Does NOT mean exactly what it says, but instead forces the reader to make an imaginative leap in order to comprehend an author's point.
Is a narrative technique that allows a writer to present
past events during current events, in order to provide background for the current narration.
Character with little development who does NOT change or grow during the course of a story.
A character who contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight particular qualities of the other character.
A literary device in which an author hints certain plot developments that perhaps will come to be later in the story.
A plan for the organization and arrangement of your essay. In English classes, we use the MLA Handbook for guidelines on formatting.
Incomplete sentences. Usually, fragments are pieces of sentences that have become disconnected from the main clause.
Poetry that does NOT use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any other musical pattern.
A short story that teaches a moral or spiritual lesson.
An extravagant exaggeration. Ex.) She's older than the hills.
Expressions that are not meant to be taken literally because the meaning is not consistent with the wording.
The audience must infer for themselves what the character is like through the character's thoughts, actions, speech (choice of words, way of talking), looks and
interaction with other characters, including other characters' reactions to that particular person.
Making a logical decision based on the information one knows to be true
The struggle occurring within a character's mind.
Wording that attempts to influence the certain audience by using an appeal to emotion.
A song-like poem written mainly to express the feelings of emotions or thought from a particular person.
The central thought or message to a body of text
Type of figurative language in which a statement is made that says that one thing is something else but, literally, it is not
The act or process of forming opinions that are based on a small amount of information.
Is presented by a single character, most often to express their mental thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience.
A person, place, thing, or idea.
A subtle difference or distinction in expression or, meaning.
Uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices.
A belief about matters commonly considered to be subjective
An argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense.
A balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure.
A restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words
Also called an in-text citation. to document any external sources used within a document (unlessthe material cited is considered general knowledge). In most cases, the parenthetical citations include the author's last name and the specific page number for the information cited.
Allows a writer to share his/her life with others and allows a reader to vicariously experience the things that happen without actually experiencing them.
A figure of speech where animals, ideas or inorganic objects are given human .characteristics.
Representing someone else's ideas or work as your own without giving credit. Toprevent plagiarism, one must use in-text citations and a Works Cited page.
Point of View
A way the events of a story are conveyed to the reader, it is the "vantage point" from which the narrative is passed from author to the reader.
Describes a relationship between other words in a sentence.
A word or phrase that that substitutes for a noun or noun phrase.
A pronoun must agree with its antecedent (the noun it represents) in number.
Considered to be the main character or lead figure in a novel, play, story, or poem. It may also be referred to as the "hero" of a work.
The humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound
but different in meaning; a play on words.
Deals with descriptions; Data can be observed but not measured; Examples include colors, textures, smells, tastes, appearance, beauty, etc.
Deals with numbers; Data which can be measured; Examples are Length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, humidity, sound levels, cost, members, ages, etc.
When you copy an author's words directly from the text and use that exact wording in your essay. When you use quotations, you MUST give the author credit.
The study of effective speaking and writing.
The pattern of rhyming lines in a poem. It is usually referred to by using letters to indicate which lines rhyme.
A major character in a work of fiction who encounters conflict and is changed by it. Round characters tend to be more fully developed.
A mild or pleasant word or phrase that is used instead of one that is unpleasant or offensive.
A literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn.
Is the place and time when a story takes place.
A figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like" or "as"
A device often used in drama when a character speaks to himself or herself, relating thoughts and feelings, thereby also sharing them with the audience. Other characters, however, are not aware of what is being said.
Derives from the Italian word meaning "little song"; consists of fourteen lines, each line containing ten syllables and written in iambic pentameter, in which a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is repeated five times.
Minor characters in a work of fiction who do NOT undergo substantial change or growth in the course of a story.
Is based on truth or fact; can be proven.
Something that is based on personal opinion
Singular subjects need singular verbs; plural subjects need plural verbs.
Details that come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph.
A short, amusing or interesting story about a real incident or person. Usually used to help prove a claim.
Combine ideas so that they are clear and more complex.
Universal message of the text. NOT ONE WORD.
This is your claim, because, and three reasons.
The last sentence of your introductory paragraph that contains the focus of your essay and tells your
reader what the essay is going to be about.
A dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some
overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction
Words or phrases or techniques that help bring two ideas together
Attitude towards subject or audience in a literary work
Conveys an action, an occurrence, or a state of being
A list of citations located at the end of a written work. A works cited page only contains citations for resources cited by an author within the body of his/her work. A works cited page must adhere to the format of a citation style.
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