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ELA Vocabulary

ELA Terms for 8th Grade

TermDefinition
Allusion A reference to a historical or literary figure or event. For instance, if you were trying to instill confidence in a friend and said, “Use the force,” that would be an allusion to Stars Wars. The verb form of allusion is to allude
Antagonist A major character who opposes or goes against the main character. It can be another character, the forces of nature, fate, chance, or any combination of these. For example: The Joker from Batman
Characterization The technique writers use to reveal the character they create. Think STEAL Speech of character Thoughts of character Effect character has on others Actions of character Looks of character
Conflict The problem between opposing forces. -Character vs. self -Character vs. character -Character vs. society -Character vs. nature -Character vs. technology -Character vs. fate/supernatural
Dialogue A conversation between two or more characters
Figurative Language The creative use of language. Words are used outside of their typical or usual way. Examples are similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, hyperbole, personification
Foreshadowing A technique in which an author gives hints as to what is to come next in a story
Imagery The use of language to appeal to the readers’ five senses; it helps the readers visualize or imagine the world of the story and it can bring up readers’ emotions, making them feel more connected to the story For example, “The young bird’s white, feathered wings flutter as he made his way across the nighttime sky
Irony A difference between two things that can add suspense, tension, humor, etc. Verbal: A character says something but means the opposite of what he/she is saying. Situational: An event happens that is the opposite of what is expected. Dramatic: The readers know something that the character(s) do not.
Mood The atmosphere and feeling that a writer creates in a story through the choice of setting, imagery, details, and descriptions. For example: Creepy, dark, sad, happy, e
Personification A figure of speech in which human characteristics are given to non-human animals, objects, and ideas. Personification is an example of figurative language. For example: The wind howled through the trees
Plot The events in a story that generally present and then resolve the conflict. When people tell or discuss a story, they discuss plot
Point of View The perspective from which the story is told.
Protagonist The main character in a story. For example: Batman
Setting The time and place in which the action of the story occurs. For example: July 17, 1987, San Diego, California
Simile A figure of speech that compares two different things by using “like” or “as.” For example: She was as pretty as a rose.
Symbol An object, person, place, event or color that stands for or represents something else, such as an idea. For example: In Harry Potter, Harry’s scar represented the death of his parents.
Theme The underlying meaning of a story, a main idea explored in a story, or the writer’s commentary about people or life in general. For example: All that glitters is not gold.
Tone The attitude a writer has toward his or her subject. It is revealed by a writer’s diction (word choice) and arrangement of ideas, events, and descriptions