• Literary Terms

    1. Plot- the series of related events that make up a story. It consists of an exposition, rising action,

    climax, falling action, and resolution.

    2. Exposition- the introduction of the plot that tells us who the characters are and what their conflict


    3. Rising Action- a part of the plot when complications arise and the characters take steps to resolve

    the conflict.

    4. Climax- the most emotional or suspenseful moment in the story.

    5. Falling Action- when the outcome of the climax is decided one way or another.

    6. Resolution- the conclusion of the story where the character’s problems are solved and the story


    7. Setting- the time and place in which the events of a work of literature take place.

    8. Characters- a person or animal who takes part in the action of a story, play, or other literary work.

    9. Conflict- a struggle or clash between opposing characters or forces.

    10. External Conflict- a character struggles against an outside force.

    11. Internal Conflict- takes place within the character’s mind.

    12. Suspense- the uncertainty or anxiety you feel about what will happen next in a story.

    13. Fiction- a prose account that is made up rather than true.

    14. Non-Fiction- prose writing that deals with real people, events, and places without changing any


    15. Autobiography- the story of a person’s life, written and told by that person.

    16. Biography- the story of a real person’s life, written and told by another person.

    17. Novel- a fictional story that is usually more than one hundred book pages long.

    18. Short Story- a fictional prose narrative that is usually ten to twenty book pages long.

    19. Drama- a story written to be acted for an audience

    20. Essay- a short piece of nonfiction prose that examines a single subject.

    21. Fable- a brief story in prose or verse that teaches a moral or gives a practical lesson about how to

    get along in life.

    22. Folk Tale- a story with no known author that originally was passed on from one generation to

    another by word of mouth.

    23. Myth- a story that explains something about the world and typically involves gods and other

    superhuman beings.

    24. Description- The kind of writing that creates a clear image of something, usually by using details

    that appeal to one or more of the senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch

    25. Figure of Speech- a word or phrase that describes one thing in terms of something else and is not

    literally true.

    26. Alliteration- the repetition of the same or very similar consonant sounds in words that are close


    27. Allusion- a reference to a statement, a person a place, or an event fro =m literature, history,

    religion, mythology, politics, sports, or science.

    28. Irony- the contrast between expectation and reality

    29. Verbal Irony- involves a contrast between what is said or written and what is meant

    30. Situational Irony- occurs when what happens is very different from what is expected to happen

    31. Dramatic Irony- occurs when the audience or the reader knows something a character does not


    32. Metaphor- an imaginative comparison between two unlike things in which one thing is said to be

    another thing

    33. Simile- a comparison between two unlike things, using words such as like, as, than, of resembles

    34. Onomatopoeia- the use of words whose sounds echo their sense

    35. Personification- a figure of speech in which nonhuman or nonliving thing or quality is talked

    about as if it were human or alive

    36. Symbol- a person, place, thing, or an event that has its own meaning and stands for something

    beyond itself as well.

    37. Point of View- the vantage point from which a story is told

    38. Omniscient Point of View - all knowing (most common);

    39. Third Person Limited Point of View- narrator focuses on the thoughts and feelings of only one


    40. First Person Point of View- one of the characters using the personal pronoun I is telling the story

    41. Mood- the overall emotion created by a work of literature

    42. Atmosphere- the overall mood or emotion of a work of literature

    43. Tone- the attitude that a writer takes toward the audience, a subject, or a character

    44. Theme- the truth about life revealed in a work of literature

    45. Dialogue- conversation between two or more characters

    46. Dialect- a way of speaking that is characteristic of a particular region or group of people

    47. Metamorphosis- a marvelous change from one shape or form to another one.

    48. Flashback- an interruption in the action of a plot to tell what happened at an earlier time

    49. Foreshadowing- The use of clues to suggest events that will happen later in the plot

    50. Connotation- the feelings and associations that a word suggests

    51. Denotation- the literal. Dictionary definition of a word

    52. Inference- an educated guess

    53. Free Verse- poetry without a regular meter or a rhyme scheme

    54. Poetry- a kind or rhythmic, compressed language that uses figures of speech and imagery designed

    as an appeal to emotion and imagination

    55. Refrain- a group of words repeated at intervals in a poem, song, or speech

    56. Rhyme- the repetition of accented vowel sounds and all sounds following them in words close

    together in a poem

    57. Rhythm- a musical quality produced by the repetition of stressed and unstressed syllables or by the

    repetition of certain other sound patterns

    58. Speaker- the voice talking in the poem

    59. Stanza- in a poem a group of consecutive lines that form a single unit