English I : Final Exam Study Guide The following is a list of the terms

English I : Final Exam Study Guide
The following is a list of the terms for each of the units we studied in class. You will be tested
over these definitions.
I have also included the list of readings from each unit. I WILL NOT ask you specific
comprehension questions about each text, but I may, AND WILL, give you passages from some
of the texts and then ask you questions about those passages (as they relate to the literary
terms of each unit). You may want to look back at some of the readings just to refresh your
My teacher website contains nearly EVERY PowerPoint, etc. that you have seen in class. Revisit
Bell-Ringer and Exit Slip Questions, Introduction lessons, and other websites and useful links.
Unit 1: Literary Elements & Unit 2: To Kill A Mockingbird:
Readings: H.H. Munro, “The Monkey’s Paw”; James Thurber, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”; Guy de
Maupassant, “The Necklace”; Toni Cade Bambara, “Blues Ain’t No Mockin Bird”; Harper Lee, To Kill A
protagonist: main character
antagonist: the character who opposes or competes with the protagonist
foil: a character whose main role is to highlight and emphasize, by contrast, the development taking
place in other characters. An "opposite character."
setting: where and when the story takes place
plot: the events in a story (what happens and the order in which it happens)
tone: the reflection of a writer’s mood, manner, and attitude.
style: the way in which an author uses words to tell a story
mood: how a story makes you feel
audience: a writer’s reader
infer: to draw a conclusion from facts or evidence
exposition: the part of the plot that introduces the setting and the characters
rising action: the part of the plot where the problem is introduced
climax: the moment of maximum tension in a story
denouement: the resolution of the plot in a story or play
foreshadowing: a hint or clue about an event that will happen later in the story
flashback: the sequence of the story is interrupted to tell about an earlier event
theme: the central idea or meaning of a story
motif: a recurrent image, symbol, concept, or theme that unifies a work. (Ex. "journeys" in The Wizard
of Oz)
symbol: an object that represents something else in a philosophic, religious, spiritual, or social way
point of view: the position from which the story is
told. (Ex. first person, third person omniscient, etc.)
dynamic character: a character who changes significantly as a result of his/her experiences in a story
static character: a character who remains the same throughout a story
connotation: emotional implications that a word may carry
denotation: the dictionary meaning of a word
idiom: a common figure of speech whose meaning is different from the literal meaning of its words. (Ex.
"it's raining cats and dogs" means its raining heavily.)
allusion: a brief reference to a famous person, place, event or literary work
cliché: a trite, overused statement or idea. (Ex. “Don't count your chickens before they hatch.”)
irony: a strong contrast between reality and expectations
verbal irony : saying one thing and meaning another (sarcasm)
situational irony: an outcome that turns out to be very different from what was expected
oxymoron: combining two normally opposite ideas (ex. jumbo shrimp or pretty ugly)
paradox: a statement that may seem contradictory and absurd but is often true. (Ex. "less is more" and
"She loved him and hated him at the same time")
Unit 3: Poetry
Readings: Langston Hughes, “Dream Deferred” and “Dream”; William Wordsworth, “I wandered lonely
as a cloud”; Gabriela Mistral, “Meciendo/Rocking”; Jean de Sponde, “Sonnets on Love XIII”; Brautigan,
“All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace”; Dickinson, “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” and
“Much Madness is divinest Sense”; Kunitz, “The War Against the Trees”; Myers, “Summer”; Tennyson,
“The Eagle”; Swenson, “Analysis of Baseball”; Poe, “The Bells”; Komunyakaa, “Slam, Dunk, & Hook”;
Carroll, “Jabberwocky”
Sounds of Poetry
Alliteration: Using the same consonant to start two or more stressed words or syllables in a phrase or
verse line, or using a series of vowels to begin such words or syllables in sequence. Alliteration need not
re-use all initial consonants: words like “train” and “terrific” are alliterate.
Assonance: The rhyming of a word with another in one or more of their accented vowels, but not in
their consonants; sometimes called vowel rhyme.
Consonance: Sometimes just a resemblance in sound between two words, or an initial or head rhyme
like alliteration, but also refined to mean shared consonants, whether in sequence (“bud” and “bad”) or
reversed (“bud” and “dab”).
Onomatopoeia: A word that imitates a noise or action. Example: “buzz”
Figures of Speech
Simile: A comparison made with “as,” “like,” or “than.”
Metaphor: Compares two different things without using a word of comparison, such as “like” or “as.”
Hyperbole: Exaggeration beyond reason – sometimes meant to be funny.
Personification: A figure of speech where the poet describes an abstraction, thing, or a non-human form
as if it were a person.
Imagery: A set of mental pictures or images; the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects,
actions, or ideas; the use of expressive or evocative images in art, literature, or music; a group or body
of related images, as in a painting or poem.
Strong Verbs: Using powerful verbs to portray vividly an event in a story or poem.
Symbol: A word or object that has its own meaning and represents another word, object or idea.
Mood: The feeling a poem creates for its reader.
Tone: the attitude a poet takes towards his/her subject.
Style: the way a poet uses words, forms, or imagery to create an effect on the reader.
Stanza- A unit of lines grouped together. Similar to a paragraph in prose.
Couplet- A stanza consisting of TWO lines that rhyme.
Quatrain- A stanza consisting of four lines.
Refrain- The repetition of one or more phrases or lines at certain intervals, usually at the end of each
stanza. Similar to the “chorus” in a song.
Repetition- A word or phrase repeated within a line or stanza.
Example: “gazed and gazed”
Rhythm: the pattern created by the stressed and unstressed syllables of words in a sequence. A
controlled pattern of rhythm is called “meter.”
Rhyme: the repetition of identical or similar sounds in stressed syllables.
Rhyme Scheme: The pattern in which “end rhyme” occurs.
Types of Poetry
Narrative: the poet tells a story in verse form. Narrative poems include “epics” and “ballads.” Epic
poems are long poems about gods and heroes (The Odyssey). Ballads are songlike poems about
adventure and romance.
Dramatic: the poet tells a story using a characters own thoughts or statements.
Lyric: a brief poem in which the poet expresses the feelings of a single speaker, creating a single effect
on the reader. These poems are known for their musical qualities, achieved through the use of rhyme
and rhythm.
Forms of Poetry:
Sonnet: a fourteen-line lyric poem with formal patterns of rhyme, rhythm, and line structure
(Shakespearean and Italian).
Haiku: a poem containing three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables. A Japanese form that
uses imagery to convey a single emotion.
Unit 4: Epic Poetry:
Reading: The Odyssey (there will be no specific questions devoted to The Odyssey, but you may be given
questions and then be asked to identify various elements of poetry from those
Epic poems are long, narrative poems about important events in the history or folklore of a nation or
The protagonist in an epic poem is known as an epic hero, the larger-than-life central character.
Through adventurous deeds, the epic hero demonstrates traits that are highly valued in his/her society
(bravery, war accomplishments, etc).
Unit 5: Drama:
Reading: Wilder, Our Town
Aristotle’s SIX Elements of Drama
1. Diction: Specific words the playwright chooses to use.
2. Spectacle: All the visuals represented in the play. Represents everything you see: set, costumes,
lights, etc.
3. Thought: What the audience learns - the moral of the play. (THEME)
4. Characters: The play must be about someone or something - can be human or non-human.
5. Melody: Everything you hear - music, sound effects, silence are all examples of this.
6. Plot: Show must have a beginning, middle and end. Something needs to happen and a character
must be challenged.
Literary Elements of Theater/Drama
Character: a person portrayed in a drama, novel, or other artistic piece.
Conflict: the internal or external struggle between opposing forces, ideas, or interests that creates
dramatic tension.
Suspense: a feeling of uncertainty as to the outcome, used to build interest and excitement on the part
of the audience.
Theme: the basic idea of a play; the idea, point of view, or perception that binds together a work of art.
Technical Elements of Theater/Drama
Act: a major division in a play.
Scene: a real or fictional episode; a division of an act in a play.
Lighting: the arrangement of lights to achieve particular effects in order to help create mood or tone in a
Sound: the effects an audience hears during a performance to communicate character, context, or
Set Design: everything on the stage including furniture and props, and environment in which the action
of a play occurs.
Costumes: the clothing worn by the actors who play the characters. Oftentimes, these help to establish
characterizations, mood, and tone.
Unit 6: Literary Nonfiction:
Readings: Walker, “Before Hip Hop Was Hip Hop”; Sandburg, from A Lincoln Preface; King, “I
Have A Dream”; Cosby, “Go Deep to the Sewer”
Types of Nonfiction
ESSAY: examines and discusses a focused topic, often including the writer’s personal viewpoints.
ARTICLE: provides information about a topic, person, or event.
SPEECH: written to be read aloud; presents a topic and may persuade, inform, explain, or entertain.
Types of Essays
NARRATIVE essays tell the stories of real-life events. Examples include autobiographies and memoirs.
EXPOSITORY essays inform or explain. Examples include analytical essays and research reports.
PERSUASIVE essays present reasons and evidence to convince the reader to act or think in a certain
way. Examples include editorials and political speeches.
DESCRIPTIVE essays use details related to the senses to create mental images for the reader. Examples
include character sketches and scientific observations.
REFLECTIVE essays express the writer’s thoughts and feelings in response to a personal experience or to
an idea.
Important Elements:
Style: the way an author uses language; reflects personality.
Examples: formal v. slang language; use of figurative language; word choice; sentence patterns
Tone: the author’s attitude toward both the subject and the audience; you can “hear” tone; often can
be described in one word.
Perspective: the viewpoint or opinion of the author. Bias occurs when the author chooses a particular
side in an argument.
Purpose: the author’s reason for writing. (Persuade, entertain, inform, etc.).