Literary Terms Review 1

Topics: CultureTraditions

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Last updated: December 2, 2019

essay
a short nonfiction work about a particular subject. They can be classified as formal or informal, personal or impersonal. They can be classified according to purpose.

autobiography
a form a nonfiction in which a person tells his or her own story

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narrative
a story told in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama. These are often classified by their content or purpose

novel
a long work of fiction that often has a complicated plot, many major and minor characters, a significant theme, and several varied settings

myth
a fictional tale that explains the actions of gods or heroes or the causes of natural phenomena

nonfiction
prose writing that presents and explains ideas or tells about real people, places, objects, or events. Examples include essays, biographies, autobiographies, journals, and reports

prose
the ordinary form of written language.

It includes writing that is not poetry, drama, or song and it occurs in two forms: fiction and nonfiction

allegory
a story or tale with two or more levels of meaning – a literal level and one or more symbolic levels. Its events, settings, and characters are symbols for ideas or qualities

poetry
one of the three major types of literature that is often divided into lines and stanzas, and often employs regular rhythmical patterns, or meters

genre
a division or type of literature. There are three major ones: poetry, prose, and drama

oratory
public speaking that is formal, persuasive, and emotionally appealing

exposition
writing or speech that explains, informs, or presents information. ITs main techniques include analysis, classification, comparison and contrast, definition, and exemplification or illustration

short story
a brief work of fiction that resembles a novel but generally has a simpler plot and setting.

It also tends to reveal character at a crucial moment rather than developing it through many incidents

narration
writing that tells a story, or the act of telling a story. It may be true or fictional, but usually uses chronological order and may include flashbacks and foreshadowing

drama
a story written to be performed by actors

letter
a written message or communication addressed to a reader or readers that is generally sent by mail. It may be private or public depending on the intended audience

journal
a daily autobiographical account of events and personal reactions

persuasion
writing or speech that attempts to convince a reader to think or act in a particular way. This is used in advertising, editorials, sermons, and political speeches

folk literature
the body of stories, legends, myths, ballads, songs, riddles, sayings, and other works arising out of the oral traditions of people around the globe

biography
a form of nonfiction in which a writer tells the life story of another person

fiction
prose writing that tells about imaginary characters and events. Short stories and novels are examples of this type of literature

legend
a traditional story that usually deals with a particular person – a hero, saint, or a national leader.

Often these reflect a person’s cultural values

description
a portrayal, in words, of something that can be perceived by the senses. Writers create this by using images.

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