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English III EOC Review. Some Terms to Know

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english iii eoc review

English III EOC Review

Some Terms to Know

Note: Terms are divided into sections by the type of literature they are most commonly associated with. However, many terms can be used across genres, so just because a term is in the poetry section, does not mean that it can’t be used in drama, fiction, nonfiction, etc.

  • Main purpose of an allegory is to tell a story that has characters, a setting, as well as other types of symbols, that have both literal and figurative meanings.
    • a story that serves as an extended metaphor
    • Characters, events, objects, locations are symbolic
    • Form includes fables, parables, poems, stories, and almost any other style or genre
  • Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible as an allegory for McCarthyism.
  • a reference in a literary work to a person, place, or thing in history or another work of literature
    • “I blessed his name that gave and took” (Anne Bradstreet’s “Here Follow Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House”; allusion to Biblical story of Job)
    • “We are apt to shut our eyes against the painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she turns us into beasts.“ (Patrick Henry’s “Speech to the Virginia Convention”; allusion to mythological sirens who look and sound beautiful, but in reality, they lead sailors to their deaths)
  • Comparison of two things, people, etc.
  • Often expressed like ratio
    • Finger : Hand :: Leaf : Tree
    • This would be read “Finger is to Hand as Leaf is to Tree.”
    • A finger is part of a hand, just as a leaf is part of a tree.
example analogy
Example Analogy

Underqualified : Credentials :: __________ : Enthusiasm

A. Energy

B. Lackluster

C. Coach

D. esprit de corps

The answer is:

B. Lackluster.

Just as “underqualified” suggests a lack of credentials, so “lackluster” suggests a lack of enthusiasm.

allusions types
Allusions (types)
  • Classical: allusions to events, characters, etc. in classical works of literature, such as mythology, the Bible, Homer (Iliad/Odyssey)
  • Literary: allusions to events in other literary texts, such as Shakespeare, a well-known poem (like Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun alluding to Langston Hughes’ poem of the same name)
  • Historical: allusions to events or people in history, such as calling someone a Benedict Arnold (traitor) or referring to someone’s Waterloo (defeat; alluding to the place Napoleon was defeated)
  • A universally understood symbol
    • Tom Walker’s wife is the archetypal character of the shrew (nagging, unpleasant woman).
    • The story of Tom Walker follows an archetypal plot called the Faustian legend (selling your soul to the devil).
    • In “The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls,” the sun’s setting (“darkness settles on roofs and walls”) is a symbol of death. Night is an archetype representing death.
  • External Conflicts
    • Man vs. Man
    • Man vs. Nature
    • Man vs. Society
  • Internal Conflict
    • Man vs. Self
elements of plot1
Elements of Plot
  • Exposition: Beginning of story; learn the characters, setting, basic situation
  • Conflict: The problem
  • Rising Action: Bulk of the story; builds on conflict and includes complications
  • Climax (turning point): highest point of interest of suspense; after this event, there’s no more “building” of intensity
  • Falling action: events after the climax (wrapping up loose ends)
  • Resolution / Denouement: End of the story; conflict is resolved
point of view
Point of View
  • First person: Character involved in the action tells the story; Pronouns used: I, we, us, me
  • Third person objective: the writer tells what happens without stating more than can be inferred from the story's action and dialogue. The narrator never discloses anything about what the characters think or feel, remaining a detached observer.
  • Third person limited: A narrator whose knowledge is limited to one character, either major or minor
  • Third person omniscient: A narrator who knows everything about all the characters is all knowing, or omniscient.
  • Irony involves a difference or contrast between appearance and reality - that is a discrepancy between what appears to be true and what really is true
    • Verbal irony : people say the opposite of what they mean (overstatment/hyperbole; understatement)
    • situational irony : the situation is different from what common sense indicates it is, will be, or ought to be
    • Dramatic irony:a character states something that they believe to be true but that the reader knows is not true.
other elements of fiction
Other Elements of Fiction
  • Foreshadowing: Hints about what may occur later in the story
  • Setting: When/where the story takes place; atmosphere
  • Theme: main idea of the story; an idea that can apply to humankind, not just the characters in the story; insight offered by literature
  • Flashback: narrative technique that allows a writer to present past events during current events, in order to provide background for the current narration. By giving material that occurred prior to the present event, the writer provides the reader with insight into a character's motivation and or background to a conflict. 
types of stories
Types of Stories
  • Parable: a brief and often simple narrative that illustrates a moral or religious lesson
    • Hawthorne called “The Minister’s Black Veil” a parable.
  • Parody: Imitation (usually humorous) of a literary work or film.
    • The Austin Powers movies are parodies of spy films.
  • Satire: Literary work that attacks or pokes fun at vices and imperfections; political cartoon that does the same. Satire may make the reader laugh at or feel disgust for the person or thing satirized.
    • The TV program Saturday Night Live often uses satire to expose abuses and follies.
  • a pattern of sound that includes the repetition of consonant sounds
    • “While I nodded, nearly napping . . .” (“The Raven”)
    • “And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain. Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before” (“The Raven”)
  • Used to call attention to a phrase and fix it into the reader's mind (emphasis)
  • Used to provide poetry or prose with a unique sound
  • Can place emphasis on specific phrases and represent the action that is taking place (The “s” sound above imitates the sound of the wind blowing the curtains or the curtains rustling.) 
types of poems
Types of Poems
  • Ballad: a narrative (tells a story) folk song (steady rhythm and rhyme)
  • Dramatic poetry: the action seems to unfold as it is read (like a play)
  • Epic: a very long poem about the heroic deeds of a superhuman character
  • Lyric: Expresses the thoughts and feelings of the speaker
  • *Sonnet: 14 line poem with a set rhyme scheme and meter
meter rhyme
Meter & Rhyme
  • Blank verse: unrhymed, iambic pentameter
    • “Thanatopsis” is blank verse

“To HIM who IN the LOVE of NA-ture HOLDS

Co-MUN-ion WITH her VIS-ible FORMS, she SPEAKS”

  • Free verse: No regular meter or rhyme
    • Walt Whitman typically wrote in free verse.
      •  I celebrate myself, and sing myself, / And what I assume you shall assume, / For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.
  • Rhyme scheme: pattern of rhyme in a poem (e.g., “ABAB” means that the 1st & 3rd lines rhyme and the 2nd & 4th lines rhyme.)
    • The rhyme scheme of “The Raven” is ABCBBB.
  • Internal rhyme: rhyming words in a single line of poetry
    • “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary” (Poe’s “The Raven”)
figurative language
Figurative Language
  • Metaphor: comparison made between two dissimilar things
    • A conceit is one type of metaphor.
  • Simile: comparison using a connective, such as “like or as”
    • “Toss it yonder like a rind” (Dickinson’s “If You Were Coming in the Fall”)
  • Personification: giving human characteristics to something that is not human
    • “Content to let the north-wind roar / In baffled rage at pane and door” (Whittier’s “Snowbound”; the wind is personified as being angry)
oxymoron paradox
Oxymoron & Paradox
  • Oxymoron: Combining contradictory words to reveal a truth. Oxymoron is a form of paradox. However, unlike paradox, oxymoron places opposing words side by side. Examples: (1) Parting is such sweet sorrow.–Shakespeare. (2) Working in a coal mine is living death. (3) The hurricane turned the lush island retreat into a hellish paradise.
  • Paradox: Contradictory statement that may actually be true. Paradox is similar to oxymoron in that both figures of speech use contradictions to state a truth. However, paradox does not place opposing words side by side, as oxymoron does. Examples: (1) They called him a lion. But in the boxing ring, the lion was a lamb. (2) For slaves, life was death, and death was life.
more poetry terms
More Poetry Terms
  • Onomatopoeia: The use of words to imitate the sounds they describe (e.g., buzz, crack)
  • Pun: play on words; using a word that sounds like another word but has a different meaning.
    • Marriage is a wife sentence.
    • They went and told the sexton and the sexton tolled the bell.–Thomas Hood.
diction word choice
Diction (Word Choice)
  • Denotation – dictionary meaning of a word
  • Connotation – emotional associations we make with words
    • Skinny and slender have similar denotations; however, slender suggests gracefulness and femininity, which are connotations of the word.
elements of drama
Elements of Drama
  • Stage directions: often set off in parentheses or brackets; indicates how characters move; how dialogue should be spoken; description of setting; offstage sounds; etc.
  • Dialogue: conversation between characters (in any type of literature, not just drama)
  • Soliloquy: long speech made by a character who is alone on stage; reveals inner thoughts
  • Monologue: A speech by a single character without another character's response
  • Aside: Words spoken by an actor directly to the audience, which are not "heard" by the other characters on stage during a play.
summary vs critique
Summary vs. Critique

A summary will:

  • restate what you read in
  • your own words
  • present only the main, or
  • important, details
  • maintain a neutral and objective stance

A critique will:

  • move beyond summary
  • assess or analyze what you read
  • offer interpretations and judgments about what you read
  • give evidence to support your evaluation
summary vs paraphrase
Summary vs. Paraphrase


  • Re-writing another writer’s words or ideas in your own words without altering the meaning.
  • Is about the same length as the original since the purpose is to rephrase without leaving out anything, and not to shorten.


  • Writing down the main ideas of someone else’s work in your own words
  • Is always shorter than the original since the idea is to include only the main points of the original work and to leave out the irrelevant. A summary is usually about one-third the size of the original. 
primary vs secondary sources
Primary vs. Secondary Sources


  • Original, first-hand account of an event or time period
  • Usually written or made during or close to the event or time period
  • Original, creative writing or works of art
  • Factual, not interpretive


  • Analyzes and interprets primary sources
  • Second-hand account of an historical event
  • Interprets creative work
primary vs secondary sources examples
Primary vs. Secondary Sources: Examples
  • Diaries, journals, and letters
  • Newspaper and magazine articles (factual accounts)
  • Government records (census, marriage, military)
  • Photographs, maps, postcards, posters
  • Recorded or transcribed speeches
  • Interviews with participants or witnesses (e.g., The Civil Right Movement)
  • Interviews with people who lived during a particular time (e.g., genocide in Rwanda)
  • Biographies
  • Histories
  • Literary Criticism
  • Book, Art, and Theater Reviews
  • Newspaper articles that interpret

Example: The poem “Song of Myself” by Walt Whitman would be a primary source, whereas an article about the poem’s historical significance would be a secondary source.

  • Premise: minor or major propositions or assertions that serve as the bases for an argument 
  • Deductive Reasoning: go from general case to specific case.
    • Doctors make a lot of money. (in general)
    • Tom is a doctor.
    • Tom makes a lot of money. (specific conclusion)
  • Inductive Reasoning: (go from several specific cases to the general case)
    • I did not win the lottery two weeks ago. (specific incident)
    • I did not win the lottery last week. 
    • Therefore I will not win the lottery this week. (general conclusion)