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Literary Terms

Literary Terms

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Literary Terms

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  1. Literary Terms

  2. Expository Exposition is a type of oral or written discourse that is used to explain, describe, give information or inform.

  3. Thesis • in expository writing, the thesis statement is the sentence or group of sentences that directly express • the author's opinion, purpose, meaning, or proposition

  4. Paraphrase • a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.

  5. Primary Source • first or highest in rank or importance; chief; principal • his primary goals in life.

  6. Secondary Source • next after the first in order, place, time, etc.

  7. Antecedent • the word, phrase, or clause referred to by a pronoun

  8. Extended Metaphor • a metaphor developed at great length, occurring frequently in or throughout a work

  9. Alliteration:The repetition of sounds in a group of words as in “Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers.”

  10. Imagery:The use of description that helps the reader imagine how something looks, sounds, feels, smells, or tastes. Most of the time, it refers to appearance.e.g. “Tita was so sensitive to onions, any time they were being chopped, they say she would just cry and cry; when she was still in my great-grandmother’s belly her sobs were so loud that even Nacha, the cook, who was half-deaf, could hear them easily.”--Like Water for Chocolate

  11. Metaphor:A comparison of two unlike things using any form of the verb “to be”–-i.e. am, are, is, was, were. Ex: “This chair is a rock,” or “I am an island.”

  12. Meter:The pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in the lines of a poem.

  13. Monologue:A long speech by one character in a play or story.

  14. Mood:The feeling created in the reader by a literary work or passage.  The mood may be suggested by the writer's choice of words, by events in the work, or by the physical setting.  

  15. Onomatopoeia:The use of words that sound like what they mean such as “buzz,” “bang,” or “tic-tock.”

  16. Parallelism: The use of similar grammatical structure for effect. e.g. I came, I saw, I conquered. Also, a requirement in grammar to use the same grammatical form for cojoined ideas. e.g. We went biking, sailing, and hiking on our trip, not We went biking, sailing, and hiked on our trip.

  17. Personification:Giving inanimate objects human characteristics. e.g. “The wind howled through the night.”

  18. Satire:A work that makes fun of something or someone. e.g. Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”The SimpsonsSouth Park

  19. Simile:Comparing two unlike things using “like” or “as.” e.g. “I’m as hungry as a pig,” or “Your eyes are like stars that brighten my night.”

  20. Tone:The author’s attitude toward the subject of the work. Usually positive or negative.e.g. The tone of a piece of literature could be pessimistic, optimistic, angry, or sarcastic.

  21. Voice:The authorial presence in a piece of literature whether in the first, second, or third person.