Literary Terms

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Transcript Literary Terms

Literary Terms

1. Abstract- expressing a quality apart from an object; the opposite of concrete.

2. Aesthetic- appreciative of things that are pleasing to the senses.

3. Allusion- a reference to another story or poem.

4. Analogy- comparison of two or more things that are similar in some ways.

5. Analysis- thorough and careful study and interpretation of a written work.

6. Annotation- critical or explanatory comments on a literary work.

7. Archetype- a character that appears in literature around the world. (e.g. the wicked stepmother) 8. Argument- writing or speaking to persuade.

9. Autobiography- a writer tells his/her life story.

10.Catalogue- a collection of literary works.

11. Close Reading- reading carefully for in-depth meaning/analysis.

12. Colloquial- informal; conversational.

13. Connotation- the set of ideas associated with a word.

14.Context Clues- parts of a passage that explain the meaning of a word.

15.Definitional Essay- an essay that focuses on defining its main topic.

16.Descriptive- writing that uses sensory details; sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.

17.Denotation- the dictionary meaning of a word.

18. Diction – word choice.

19.Documentary- a written or film work that documents its subject matter.

20.Evaluative- involving evaluation, study, or analysis.

21.Evocative- causing an emotional response.

22. Expository – a writing or speech that explains a process or presents information. 23. Figurative Language – writing or speech that should not be taken literally.

24. Free Verse – poetry that is not written in a regular pattern of meter or rhyme.

25. Graphic Organizer – a strategy to help you organize your thoughts or plan an essay.

26. Imagery – descriptive and/or figurative language used to create mental pictures for the reader.

27. Inference – the act of progressing from one true statement to the belief that another statement is true because it follows it.

28. Interpretive – explaining or telling the meaning of.

29. Kinetic – involving movement or motion.

30. Literal – the actual meaning of words.

31. Literary Analysis – the examining and breaking down of a literary work.

32. Memoir – a story based on a personal experience.

33. Metacognitive – involving several different types of thought processes.

34. Metaphor – a direct comparison.

35. Motif – a dominant idea or central theme.

36. Myth –a fictional tale that describes the actions of gods and heroes. 37. Narrative – a story told in nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or drama.

38. Novella – a work of fiction whose length is between a short story and a novel.

39. Olfactory – related to the sense of smell.

40. Oral History – history obtained through tape recorded interviews.

41. Oxymoron – a combination of words that contradict each other. (e.g. a wise fool or a jumbo shrimp) 42. Paradox – a statement that seems contradictory but may actually express a deeper truth.

43. Parallel Structure – written structures that mirror each other.

44. Paraphrase – re-stating text in other words.

45. Personification –giving a non-human subject human characteristics.

46. Poetry – writing in verse that creates a mental image for the reader or provokes an emotional response.

47. Reflection – a period of self-analysis and/or self evaluation.

48. Repetition – the act of repeating something.

49. Rhetoric –the art of speaking or writing effectively 50. Rhyme – the repetition of similar sounds in a poem.

51. Rhyme scheme – labeling the similar sounds in a poem with letters of the alphabet.

52. Rubric – a model for evaluating a spoken or written work.

53. Satire – a written work that ridicules the foolishness of an individual or society in general.

54. Scholarly – characteristic of a learned person.

55. Simile – a comparison that uses “like” or “as”.

56. Simple Sentence – the main subject and verb of a sentence.

57. Stanza – a repeated grouping of two or more lines in a poem.

58. Summary – a brief covering of the main points.

59. Symbol – a character, place, or thing that stands for something else, often an abstract idea.

60. Tactile – involving the sense of touch.

61. Theme – a central message about life that is revealed through a literary work. 62. Tone – the writer’s attitude toward his or her subject matter and audience. (examples: bitter, ironic, humorous)