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Literary Terms

Exam Study Guide

Alliteration Repetition of initial consonant sounds. Writers use alliteration to give emphasis to words, to imitate sounds, and to create musical effects.
Allusion A reference to a well known person or place, event, literary work, or work of art.
Arguement A writing or speech that attempts to convince the reader to adopt a particular opinion or course of action. An argument is a logical way of presenting belief, conclusion, or stance. A good argument is supported with reasoning and evidence.
Charecterization The act of creating and developing a character.
Direct Characterization Direct characterization, an author states the character’s traits.
Indirect Charcaterization Indirect characterization involves the author providing clues about a character through their words and actions.
Claim The key message that the author wants to communicate about the topic.
Conflict A struggle between opposing forces. Characters in conflict form bases of stories, novels, and plays.
External Conflict Main character struggles against an outside force.
Internal Conflict Character in conflict with himself or herself.
Epic Long narrative poem about the deeds of gods or heroes.
Epic Simile An elaborate comparison of unlike subjects.
Figurative Language Writing or speech not meant to be interpreted literally. It is often used to create vivid impressions by setting up comparisons between dissimilar things.
Flashback A flashback is a means by which authors present material that occurred earlier than the present tense of the narrative. Authors may include this material in a character’s memories, dreams, or accounts of past events.
Frame Story A story that brackets or frames another story or group of stories. This device creates a story-within-a-story narrative structure.
Homeric Simile Elaborate comparison of unlike objects.
In Medias Res “In the middle of things”
Internal Monologue To show a character’s thoughts with more dimension, an author uses internal monologue, a kind of conversation a character has with himself or herself.
First-Person Narration When a character in a story tells the story, this is a first person narrator.
Third-Person Narration When a character in a story tells the story, this is a first person narrator.
Myth A traditional story, especially concerning the the early history of a civilization, or explaining a phenomenon.
Sensory Language Writing or speech that uses details to appeal to one or more of the senses.
Tone The tone of a literary work is the writer’s attitude to his or her audience.
Created by: NeilEvans1