Literary terms

  • Literary Terms 

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    1..  Main Idea- What a piece of writing is mostly about

    2. Summary- gives the main idea and important details of a passage

    3. Theme- a more generally stated topic concerning a passage's main ideas

    4. Genre- a classification of literature, such as fiction, drama, poetry, etc.

    5. Fiction- a type of literature that tells a made-up story

    6. Non-fiction- a type of literature that tell about real-life people, places, events, things. etc.

    7. Drama- a play written to be performed by actors

    8. Myth- a folktale (fictional story) about gods and goddesses (mythology)

    9. Tall Tale- an American Hero folktale full of extreme exaggerations

    10. Fable- a folktale, usually with talking animals, that always has a moral to it

    11.  Analogy- A comparison that shows a relationship between two things

    12.  Simile- A comparison of two UNlike things using the words "like" or "as"

    13.  Metaphor- A comparison of two UNlike things NOT using the words "like" or "as"

    14.  Paraphrase- restating something using different words (re-phrasing)

    15. Context Clues- words, phrases, or sentences that give meaning to unknown words

    16.  Denotation- the dictionary definition of the word-- the literal meaning

    17.  Connotation- the extra sense that the word implies-- positive or negative

    18.   Repetition- creating a special effect by repeating sounds or words

    19.  Suspense- a feeling of uncertainty or dread about what will happen next

    20. Oxymoron- a seemingly contradictory combination of words     example: Jumbo Shrimp 

    21. Sarcasm- a personal, jeering expression that's intended to hurt

    22. Onomatopoeia- a word or phrase that imitates a


    23. Plot-the action of the story
    24. Resolution- the final outcome of the story-or the solution of the problem
    25. Character- a person or other creature in a story
    26. Setting- the time and place of the story's events
    27. Climax- the point of greatest interest or suspense in the story
    28. Conflict- the main problem the character faces         (withothers, self, or nature)
    29. Personification- gives animals or objects human qualities or characteristics
    30. Hyperbole- the deliberate use of exaggeration.
    31. Symbolism- the use of one thing to stand for or represent another
    32. Imagery- the use of vivid description to create a picture in the reader's mind
    33. Foreshadow- gives clues that suggest what might happen in the future
    34. Flashback- interrupting the story with events from the past
    35. Irony- a statement meaning the opposite of what is literally stated.
    36. Idiom- a saying that cannot be literally translated
    37. Allusion- a reference to a well-known work of literature, art, music, etc.
    38. Audience- the person or persons to whom the writing is addressed
    39. Author- the person who wrote the story or passage, etc.
    40. Narrator- the person who is telling the story.
    41.  Point of View-