Anecdote: a short entertaining story or report about one event. Example:
Cause and Effect: relationship which one event brings about another Example: Because Bethany went surfing, she was attacked by a shark.
Character: a literary role taken by a human being, a real or personified animal, or a personified object. Example: Harry Potter is a character in the series by J.K. Rowling
Conflict: the struggle between the protagonist and an opposing force. Conflict can be: internal- struggle with one’s self OR external- struggle with another character or outside force: weather Example: Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort
Genre Genre- A type or category of literature is called a genre. There are four main literary genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Fiction: A narrative story that uses made-up characters or events. Nonfiction: Writing that tells about real people, places and events. Poetry: is a type of literature in which ideas, images and feelings are expressed in few words. Drama: a drama or a play is a form of literature meant to be performed for an audience.
Humor the quality that makes something funny is called humor. Writers create humor using exaggeration, word play, sarcasm, witty dialogue, unlikely comparisons, and other devices. Example: Two men walked into a bar…you think one of them would have seen it!
Exaggeration (Hyperbole) an overstating of ideas is called exaggeration. Example: I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!
Idiom An idiom is an expression that has meaning different from the meaning of its individual words. Example: “cat’s got your tongue,” means that you are having difficulty figuring out what to say.
Foreshadowing a hint about an event that will occur later in the story. Example: In Little Red Riding Hood, when the little girl is commenting on her “grandmother’s” big ears, teeth, and eyes, it foreshadows the fact that the grandmother is really the wolf.
Imagery Words that appeal to readers’ senses. Example: When John entered the kitchen, the aroma of chili filled the air. He smelled chili beans and felt the warmth of the cooking.
Irony is the contrast between what is expected to happen and what actually exists. Example: Someone steps into a puddle, then while you are making fun of them for stepping into the puddle, you fall into one.
Literal is when a phrase or group of words are interpreted exactly as written. For example “…go jump in the lake... means to go to the lake and jump into the water.
Figurative figurative language is used to imply meaning. It does not reflect exactly what the words state. Example: “Go jump in the lake!”… means to get lost or I don’t care to continue a conversation with you
Metaphor is a comparison of two things that have some quality in common. Unlike a “simile” a metaphor does not contain a word such as like, as, resembles or than. Example: Life IS a highway.
Moral a lesson taught in a literary work such as a fable. Example: The moral of Little Red Riding Hood is “don’t talk to strangers.”
Myth a traditional story about the origins and workings of the world. The events may be unlikely or realistic. Example: Zeus as God of Lightning
Onomatopoeia a word that sounds like it is pronounced. Examples: “Pow”, “Boom”, Swish”, “Moo”, etc.
Personification giving human characteristics to an animal or an object. Examples: -The writing came to life. -The dog spoke to me.
Palindrome a word, phrase, number or sentence that reads the same way forwards and backwards Examples: : Anna, kayak, mom, dad
Perspective refers to the author’s beliefs and attitudes. These beliefs may be influenced by author’s political views, religion, upbringing, and education.
Audience is the particular group of readers that the writer is addressing. A writer considers his or her audience when deciding on a subject, purpose, style and tone in which to write.
Problem a situation or event that causes trouble and must be dealt with by the protagonist. Example: Bethany getting attacked by a shark is her problem.
Sarcasm Humor that uses words to express something opposite to their literal meaning. Example: "Oh, a sarcasm detector. That ís a really useful invention!” (The Simpsons)
Setting the time and place in which action occurs. Example: The setting of Soul Surfer is in the 2000s and in Hawaii.
Solution the results of attempt(s) to resolve a problem. Example: When Bethany gets attacked by the shark (problem), she is faced with only having one arm. She solves her problem by continuing to surf and trying her best.
Simile is a comparison of two things that have some quality in common. A simile contains a word such as like, as, resembles or than. Example: Life is LIKE a box of chocolates.
Thesis Statement The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Example: Although Bethany and Alana are similar in many ways, they also differ.
Tone the tone of the work shows the writer’s attitude toward his or her subject. It may be humorous, serious, or impatient.
theme is the meaning or the moral of a story. Example: Don’t rush into love. Theme
also called diction, is the process by which writers carefully select words to give precision and impact to their writing. Word Choice
A mood is the feeling that a literary work conveys to readers. A mood is an emotion such as sadness, excitement, or anger. Mood
At the end of this week, you will take a literary terms test. On this test, you will have to match the terms with their definition. Also, you will have to be able to recognize examples of the terms. Therefore, you need to do more than memorize the definitions. You must be able to apply your knowledge. F.Y.I.