Dialect: the language of a particular district, class or group of persons; the sounds, grammar, and diction employed by people distinguished from others.
Dialectics: formal debates usually over the nature of truth.
Dichotomy: split or break between two opposing things.
Diction: the style of speaking or writing as reflected in the choice and use of words.
Didactic: having to do with the transmission of information; education.
Dogmatic: rigid in beliefs and principles.
Elegy: a mournful, melancholy poem, especially a funeral song or lament for the dead, sometimes contains general reflections on death, often with a rural or pastoral setting.
Epic: a long narrative poem unified by a hero who reflects the customs, mores, and aspirations of his nation of race as he makes his way through legendary and historic exploits, usually over a long period of time (definition bordering on circumlocution).
Epigram: witty aphorism.
Epitaph: any brief inscription in prose or verse on a tombstone; a short formal poem of commemoration often a credo written by the person who wishes it to be on his tombstone.
Epithet: a short, descriptive name or phrase that may insult someone’s character, characteristics
Euphemism: the use of an indirect, mild or vague word or expression for one thought to be coarse, offensive, or blunt.
Evocative (evocation): a calling forth of memories and sensations; the suggestion or production through artistry and imagination of a sense of reality.
Exposition: beginning of a story that sets forth facts, ideas, and/or characters, in a detailed explanation.
Expressionism: movement in art, literature, and music consisting of unrealistic representation of an inner idea or feeling(s).
Fable: a short, simple story, usually with animals as characters, designed to teach a moral truth.
Fallacy: from Latin word “to deceive”, a false or misleading notion, belief, or argument; any kind of erroneous reasoning that makes arguments unsound.
Falling Action: part of the narrative or drama after the climax.
Farce: a boisterous comedy involving ludicrous action and dialogue.
Figurative Language: apt and imaginative language characterized by figures of speech (such as metaphor and simile).
Flashback: a narrative device that flashes back to prior events.
Foil: a person or thing that, by contrast, makes another seem better or more prominent.
Folk Tale: story passed on by word of mouth.
Foreshadowing: in fiction and drama, a device to prepare the reader for the outcome of the action; “planning” to make the outcome convincing, though not to give it away.
Free Verse: verse without conventional metrical pattern, with irregular pattern or no rhyme.
Genre: a category or class of artistic endeavor having a particular form, technique, or content.
Gothic Tale: a style in literature characterized by gloomy settings, violent or grotesque action, and a mood of decay, degeneration, and decadence.
Hyperbole: an exaggerated statement often used as a figure of speech or to prove a point.
Imagery: figures of speech or vivid description, conveying images through any of the senses.
Implication: a meaning or understanding that is to be arrive at by the reader but that is not fully and explicitly stated by the author.
Incongruity: the deliberate joining of opposites or of elements that are not appropriate to each other.
Inference: a judgement or conclusion based on evidence presented; the forming of an opinion which possesses some degree of probability according to facts already available.
Irony: a contrast or incongruity between what is said and what is meant, or what is expected to happen and what actually happens, or what is thought to be happening and what is actually happening.
Interior Monologue: a form of writing which represents the inner thoughts of a character; the recording of the internal, emotional experience(s) of an individual; generally the reader is given the impression of overhearing the interior monologue.
Inversion: words out of order for emphasis.
Juxtaposition: the intentional placement of a word, phrase, sentences of paragraph to contrast with another nearby.
Lyric: a poem having musical form and quality; a short outburst of the author’s innermost thoughts and feelings.
Magic(al) Realism: a genre developed in Latin America which juxtaposes the everyday with the marvelous or magical.
Metaphor: an analogy that compare two different
-Extended: a metaphor that is extended or developed as far as the writer
wants to take it.
-Controlling: a metaphor that runs throughout the piece of work.
-Mixed: a metaphor that ineffectively blends two or more analogies.
Metonymy: literally “name changing” a device of figurative language in which the name of an attribute or associated thing is substituted for the usual name of a thing.
Mode of Discourse: argument (persuasion), narration, description, and exposition.
Modernism: literary movement characterized by stylistic experimentation, rejection of tradition, interest in symbolism and psychology
Monologue: an extended speech by a character in a play, short story, novel, or narrative poem.
Mood: the predominating atmosphere evoked by a literary piece.
Motif: a recurring feature (name, image, or phrase) in a piece of literature.
Myth: a story, often about immortals, and sometimes connected with religious rituals, that attempts to give meaning to the mysteries of the world.
Narrative: a story or description of events.
Narrator: one who narrates, or tells, a story.
Naturalism: extreme form of realism.
Novelette/Novella: short story; short prose narrative, often satirical.
Omniscient Point of View: knowing all things, usually the third person.
Onomatopoeia: use of a word whose sound in some degree imitates or suggests its
Oxymoron: a figure of speech in which two contradicting words or phrases are combined to produce a rhetorical effect by means of a concise paradox.
Pacing: rate of movement; tempo.
Parable: a story designed to convey some religious principle, moral lesson, or general truth.
Paradox: a statement apparently self-contradictory or absurd but really containing a possible truth; an opinion contrary to generally accepted ideas.
Parallelism: the principle in sentence structure that states elements of equal function should have equal form.
Parody: an imitation of mimicking of a composition or of the style of a well-known artist.
Pathos: the ability in literature to call forth feelings of pity, compassion, and/or sadness.
Pedantry: a display of learning for its own sake.
Personification: a figure of speech attributing human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract ideas.
Plot: a plan or scheme to accomplish a purpose.
Poignant: eliciting sorrow or sentiment.
Point of View: the attitude unifying any oral or written argumentation; in description, the physical point from which the observer views what he is describing.
Postmodernism: literature characterized by experimentation, irony, nontraditional forms, multiple meanings, playfulness and a blurred boundary between real and imaginary.
Prose: the ordinary form of spoken and written language; language that does not have a regular rhyme pattern.
Protagonist: the central character in a work of fiction; opposes antagonist.