Alliteration the repetition of initial consonant
analogy makes a comparison between two or more
things that are similar in some ways but otherwise unalike
anecdote a brief story about an interesting,
amusing, or strange event
antagonist a character or a force in conflict
with a main character, or protagonist
autobiography the story of the writer’s
own life, told by the writer
biography form of nonfiction in which a writer
tells the life story of another person
character a person or animal that takes
part in the action of a literary work.
called the turning of point, is the high point in the action of the plot
comedy a literary work, especially a play, which is light often humorous or satirical
and ends happily
conflict a struggle between opposing forces;
normally the story’s central problem
dialect the form of a language spoken
by people in a particular region or group
dialogue a conversation between characters
drama a story written to be performed by actors
essay a short nonfiction work about a particular
exposition introduction of the
setting, characters, and basic situation
writing that explains or informs
fable a brief story
or poem, usually with animal characters that teaches a lesson, or moral
highly imaginative writing that contains elements not found in real life
prose writing that tells about imaginary characters and events
figurative language writing or speech that
is not meant to be taken literally
flashback a scene within a story that interrupts
the sequence of events to relate events that occurred in the past
folk tales told to entertain, but also to communicate
the shared ideas of a culture. The often deal with romance, magic, adventure
foreshadowing author’s use of clues to
hint at what might happen later in the story.
a division or type of literature. Is commonly divided into three major
groups poetry, prose, an drama
Real events, places, or people are incorporated into a fictional or made-up story
or phrases that appeal to one or more of the five senses. Writers use this term
to describe how their subjects look, sound, feel, taste, and smell.
Legend: stories based on facts; overtime details
in legends move further away from factual events to describe people and actions that are more fictional than real
a figure of speech in which something is described as though it were something else.
lesson taught by a literary work. In fables, it is usually directly stated; in
other works, it is not directly stated.
myth fictional tales that explain
the actions of gods and heroes or explain natural phenomena.
universal theme a message about life that can
be understood by people of most cultures
irony involves surprising, interesting, or
hyperbole an exaggeration or an overstatement.
local customs unique traditions
or ways of life of a particular group.
narrator a speaker or a character who tells
nonfiction prose writing that presents and
explains ideas or that tells about real people places, objects, or events.
long work of fiction
fiction work that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel
onomatopoeia the use of words
that imitate sounds such as crash, buzz, hiss.
oral tradition the passing of
songs, stories, and poems from generation to generation by word of mouth.
personification a type of figurative
language in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics
plot the arrangement of events
in a story.
rising action events that increase
falling action events that follow
resolution the final outcome
point of view the perspective
from which the story is told, either first person or third person
protagonist the main character in a literary
divided parts of an act
stage directions sets of bracketed
information that tell what the stage looks like and how the characters should move.
the construction on stage that suggests the time and place of the action
the movable items such as books, a suitcase, or a flashlight used by actors to make their actions look
the form of drama in which events lead to the downfall of the main character. This character is often a person of great
scripts from which movies are produced
the written format of radio broadcasts. They included sound effects,
but not lighting or stage directions.
scripts from which movies are produced
science fiction combines elements of fiction and fantasy with scientific
a brief work of fiction longer than a novella and not as long as
simile a figure of speech that uses like or as to make a direct comparison between two unlike
a central message, concern, or purpose in a literary work. Usually expressed as a generalization, or statement, about human beings or about life.