Literary Terms


5. Plot: the sequence of events in a story. 6. Conflict: the problem in the story 11. Resolution: the final part of a story or science. literally true. 25. Inference: a guess based on clues.

Literary Terms and Concepts (8

7. Internal Conflict: the struggle or problem within a character. 12. Setting: the time and place in which events occur in a story 19. Irony: a contrast between expectation and reality. 26. Compare: to look at how two or more things are similar. 27. Contrast: to look at how two or more things are different. 28. Prediction: a guess about what will happen next. 29. Cause: the reason that an action or reaction takes place. 30. Effect: the result or consequence of the cause. 31. Genre: type of literature 32. Fiction: a prose account that is made up rather than true 34. Short Story: a short fictional prose narrative 36. Article: a short informational text about a topic 37. Statistic: facts in number form 38. Examples: specific instances that illustrate reasons or facts 39. Anecdotes: brief stories, such as personal experiences 43. Dialogue: conversation between two or more characters

the list.

1. Context Clues: hints or clues as to the meaning of an unfamiliar word 3. Denotative meaning of a word: the dictionary definition of a word 4. Character: a person or an animal in a story, a play, or another literary work 9. Characterization: the way a writer reveals the personality of a character 14. Subplot: a minor plot that relates in some way to the main story 40. Opinion: a belief, feeling, or thought about a topic; it cannot be proven 41. Reason: it answers the question “why?” about a proposed statement 44. Main Idea: the writer’s most important point, opinion, or message


grade ELA) You are responsible for understanding each of the following as well as maintaining this terms list. You may also be required to add concepts to

2. Connotative meaning of a word: the meaning of the word as it is used in the sentence 8. External Conflict: the struggle or problem that a character has with an opposing force. 10. Climax: the turning point of the story; the point that creates the greatest suspense or interest 13. Exposition: beginning of the plot; introduces the characters, setting, and the conflict(s 15. Exaggeration: (Hyperbole) a literary device used for overstating something, usually for the purpose of creating a comic effect 16. Allusion: a reference to a statement, a person, a place, or an event from literature, the arts, history, religion, mythology, politics, sports, 17. Figurative Language/Figure of Speech: a word/phrase that describes one thing in terms of another and is not meant to be understood as 18. Idiom: an expression peculiar to a particular language that means something different from the literal meaning of the word. 20. Verbal Irony: involves a contrast between what is said or written and what is really meant. 21. Dramatic Irony: occurs when the reader knows something a character doesn’t know 22. Situational Irony: occurs when what happens is very different from what we expected would happen. 23. Foreshadowing: the use of clues or hints to suggest events that will occur later in the plot. 24. Conclusion: a final idea or judgment that you draw, or come to, after you’ve considered all the evidence. 33. Nonfiction: prose writing that deals with real people, things, events, and places. 35. Symbol: a person, place, thing, or event that has meaning in itself and stands for something beyond it as well 42. Theme: the general idea or insight about life that a work of literature reveals 45. Pun: a play on the multiple meanings of a word or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings 46. Dialect: A way of speaking that is characteristic of a certain geographical area or a certain group of people 47. Autobiography: a person’s account of his or her own life or of part

of it