Mr. Mulgrew's Master Glossary of English Terminology

A.)  Alphabetical Listing
B.)  Genre Listing
C.)  Poetry Listing

Alphabetical Listing:

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds. (ex.  Cool, calm, and collectively, the quiet killer crept.)

Anecdote a very brief story told to illustrate a point.

Antagonist is the character or force with whom the protagonist has a conflict. Not all stories have an antagonist.

Aphorism or Proverb  a short, memorable statement that is passed by word of mouth from person to person, usually over many generations.  (ex. "Slow to start, quick to finish."   "The early bird catches the worm.")

Article an extended piece of nonfiction writing of the kind found in newspapers and magazines.

Autobiography the story of a personís life written by that person; a type of nonfiction.

Ballad a simple narrative poem in four-line stanzas, usually sung.

Biography the story of a personís life written by someone else; a type of nonfiction.

Character/Characterization a being who takes part in the action of a literary work.  The portrayal of a fictitious character as a realistic being.

Cliche'  An overused expression. (It's raining cats and ___)

Climax is the high point of interest or suspense in the story where the problem has turned.

Comedy originally referring to any literary work with a happy ending, this term is now used primarily of dramas that are light hearted or humorous or in which the main character meets a pleasant fate.

Conflict struggle in which the characters are involved. Conflict can be internal (inside a character) or external (with a person or force outside the character).

Crisis is also known as the turning point in which something decisive happens that affects how the conflict will be resolved.

Criticism the act of interpreting and/or evaluating a literary work.

Conclusion or Resolution  when the outcome of the central conflict is decided.

Couplet is a two-line stanza.

Dialog or Dialogue  A conversational passage in a play or screenplay.

Denouement is the description of how the loose ends of the plot are tied up.

Description a type of writing that has as its purpose presenting a portrait, in words, of some subject.

Diary a day to day account of events; a journal.

Drama writing that presents events through dialogue and sometimes the movements and actions of characters. Types of drama include stage plays, screenplays, radio plays and readerís theater. Dramas may be read or performed by actors.

Epic a long story, often in verse, involving heroes and gods and providing a portrait of a culture, of its legends, beliefs, values, laws, arts and ways of life. Examples: the Iliad, the Aeneid, Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

Essay a brief work of prose nonfiction. A good essay develops a single controlling idea and is characterized by unity and coherence.

Exposition  or Introduction is the part of the plot in which background information is introduced.  

Expository writing-- writing that presents information about a subject. Also known as informative writing it presents facts, not opinions.

Expressive writing-- writing that has its major purpose describing personal feelings, attitudes, ideas, values or beliefs. Personal essays are a kind of expressive writing.

Fable a brief story with animal characters told to illustrate a moral.

Falling Action is the events that occur after the turning point.

Fantasy a literary work that contains highly unrealistic elements, such as Gulliverís Travels.

Fiction a literary work in prose that tells about imaginary people, places and events. Examples are short stories, novellas and novels.

Figurative Language-- Words, phrases, or sentence that are meant to be taken imaginatively rather than literally.  (Pun, idiom, proverb, metaphor, simile, oxymoron, hyperbole)

Flashback a section of a literary work that presents an event or series of events that occurred earlier than the current time in the work.

Forces  The antagonist can be a power against the protagonist.
                    Man Vs. Man
                    Man Vs. Nature
                    Man Vs. Unknown (Alien)
                    Man Vs. Society

Foreshadowing  A hint, preview or omen of future events.  It helps to build suspense.

Folk Tale a brief story passed by word of mouth from generation to generation.

Free Verse poetry that avoids the use of regular rhyme, rhythm, meter or division into stanzas.

Genre one of the types or categories into which literary works are divided.

Hyperbole  Exaggeration to prove a point. "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse." or,  "My heart cries for you."

Idioms-- A phrase or expression where the meaning is different than what is said literally. (A cat has got your tongue; taken to the cleaners...)

Image a word or phrase that names something that can be seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled.  It creates a mental picture.

Imagery the collective images used in a work  It is very vivid and descriptive.

Inciting Incident is the part of the plot in which the central conflict is presented.  The event that lets the reader know the problem of the story.  "When the detective entered the room and saw a body on the floor, I knew this story was about solving a murder."

Irony a difference between appearance and reality. Sometimes irony results from a difference between what the reader knows and what the character knows.  

Journal a day to day account of events; a diary

Legend a story which may be partially or wholly true about a hero or heroine.

Lyric Poem a short, highly musical verse that expresses the thoughts and emotions of a speaker.

Memoir an account of events from the past, told by someone who took part in those events.

Metaphor figure of speech directly comparing two unlike things. (ex. Her anger simmered and finally came to a full boil.  "The silver dollar moon.")

Metrical verse has meter, the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that form a rhythm.  "When in doubt, think of a limerick." 

Mood the emotional quality evoked by a literary work.  It may feel romantic, mysterious, fearfull or dark, etc. to the reader.

Motivation a force, object or circumstance that impels a character to act as he or she does.

Motive a reason why a character acts as he or she does.

Myth a fanciful story dealing with a god or goddess or with supernatural occurrences.

Narrative any work of prose, poetry or drama, fictional or non-fictional, that tells a story.

Narrator is the voice that tells the story.

Narrative Poem a verse that tells a story.

Nonfiction any literary work, generally in prose, that presents factual information or that presents actual people, places and events. (examples: speeches, essays, memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, textbooks and reference works)

Novel a long work of prose fiction.

Onomatopoeia is the use of words or phases that sound like the things that they describe. (ex. buzz, chop, clatter, mumble, clank)

Oxymoron  A contradiction used to make a comparison.  (ex. Jumbo shrimp, Civil War, Casual elegance.)

Parody a literary work that imitates another work for humorous, often satirical purposes.  (ex. The Simpson's)

Periodical a magazine, newsletter or other publication that appears on a regular basis.

Personal essay a short nonfiction work about a single topic that is autobiographical or biographical in nature or that expresses a subjective, personal view of a subject.

Personification   A figure of speech in which something that is not human is described as though it were. (ex. The old car coughed and spit as it trudged up the hill.  The talking teapot.)  

Persuasive writing writing whose purpose is to convince others.  It should have a Michigan Three-part Thesis Statement that contains your topic, position, and three to five reasons, all in one sentence.

Plot is the series of major events in the narrative.

Point of View is the standpoint from which the story is told.

First Person Point of View Ė The narrator tells the story using words such as I and we.  They might take part in the narratorís actions.

Third person point of view Ė The narrator tells the story using words such as he, she and they and does not participate in the narrativeís action.

Protagonist is the main character of a selection. Usually the main character experiences some conflict or struggle and goes through some important change.

Proverb or Aphorism  a short, memorable statement that is passed by word of mouth from person to person, usually over many generations.  (ex. "Slow to start, quick to finish."   "The early bird catches the worm."

Pun-- A word or phrase that uses its double meaning to place a humorous twist in wording.  (My doctor is so funny, she keeps me in stitches.)

Purpose the aim or goal of a piece of writing. Common purposes include to inform, to persuade, to describe, to compare, to contrast, to define, to classify, to entertain, to express personal thoughts or feelings.

Quatrain is a four-line stanza.

Review a type of nonfiction essay in which a critic presents an interpretation and evaluation of a work or group of works such as a play, movie, novel, concert or exhibition of paintings.

Repetition the use of any element again and again such as a sound, word or phrase to create an effect.

Resolution  or Conclusion  when the outcome of the central conflict is decided.

Rhyme Scheme the sound pattern a poem has at the conclusion of each line.  Example:
     Remember me when I am gone away (a)
     Gone far away into the silent land (b)
     When you can no more hold me by the hand (b)
     Nor I half turn to go, yet turning, stay (a) 
The rhyme scheme of these lines is abba.

Rhymed Verse poetry with a regular rhythm.

Rising Action is the part of the plot in which the central conflict is developed.  It helps build the suspense.

Satire a humorous literary work, in prose or in poetry, in which a writer pokes fun at something in order to point out errors, falsehood or failings.

Setting the time and place in which a work of literature occurs.

Short Story a brief fictional work dealing with a central conflict and creating a single dominant impression.

Simile figure of speech comparing two things using like, as, similar to, seems, or appears. (ex. Her anger simmered like a pot of soup over a low steady flame.)

Sonnet is a poem with fourteen lines having one of several standard stanza forms and rhyme schemes.

Stanza a recurring pattern of grouped lines or a paragraph in a poem.

Style-- The way a writer chooses and arrainges words in getting a message across or telling a story.

Summary a restatement in other fewer words.

Suspense is a feeling of curiosity or expectation, often tinged with anxiety created by questions about what the outcome will be in a literary work.

Symbol is something that stands both for itself and for something beyond itself. (ex. The lion is a symbol of courage.)

Tall Tale a story containing wildly exaggerated characters and events like Paul Bunyon.

Theme a central idea in a literary work. Sometimes the theme is a lesson learned by the protagonist. It is a timeless and universal message about people and they way they act in life. (Everybody wants to be loved, friendships are important; love conquers all.)

Thesis Statement a statement of the main idea of an essay. It appears in the introduction and may be a single sentence or more than one sentence.

Tone is the attitude that the author or narrator takes toward a subject or toward the reader. (ex. playful, ironic, serious) remember mood is about the reader, tone is about the author.

Tragedy a type of drama in which the main character falls from a high to a low state due to some failing or weakness known as a tragic flaw. The main character may also meet a negative fate.

Transition any word or phrase used to relate one idea or group of ideas in a piece of writing to other ideas or groups of ideas (examples: first, next, in fact, as a result and in conclusion).

Triplet or Tercet is a three-line stanza.

Voice-- The way a writer's personality shows through the writing.

Genres:

Genre one of the types or categories into which literary works are divided.

Autobiography the story of a personís life written by that person; a type of nonfiction.

Ballad a simple narrative poem in four-line stanzas, usually sung.

Biography the story of a personís life written by someone else; a type of nonfiction.

Character a being who takes part in the action of a literary work.

Comedy originally referring to any literary work with a happy ending, this term is now used primarily of dramas that are light hearted or humorous or in which the main character meets a pleasant fate.

Diary a day to day account of events; a journal.

Drama writing that presents events through dialogue and sometimes the movements and actions of characters. Types of drama include stage plays, screenplays, radio plays and readerís theater. Dramas may be read or performed by actors.

Epic a long story, often in verse, involving heroes and gods and providing a portrait of a culture, of its legends, beliefs, values, laws, arts and ways of life. Examples: the Iliad, the Aeneid, Beowulf and Paradise Lost.

Essay a brief work of prose nonfiction. A good essay develops a single controlling idea and is characterized by unity and coherence.

Fable a brief story with animal characters told to illustrate a moral.

Fantasy a literary work that contains highly unrealistic elements, such as Gulliverís Travels.

Fiction a literary work in prose that tells about imaginary people, places and events. Examples are short stories, novellas and novels.

Folk Tale a brief story passed by word of mouth from generation to generation.

Journal a day to day account of events; a diary.

Legend a story which may be partially or wholly true about a hero or heroine.

Lyric Poem a short, highly musical verse that expresses the thoughts and emotions of a speaker.

Memoir an account of events from the past, told by someone who took part in those events.

Myth a fanciful story dealing with a god or goddess or with supernatural occurrences.

Nonfiction any literary work, generally in prose, that presents factual information or that presents actual people, places and events. (examples: speeches, essays, memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, textbooks and reference works)

Novel a long work of prose fiction

Parody a literary work that imitates another work for humorous, often satirical purposes.

Poetry  A written expression incorporating senses, emotions, and depth of understanding that goes beyond informative writing.

Short Story a brief fictional work dealing with a central conflict and creating a single dominant impression.

Tall Tale a story containing wildly exaggerated characters and events like Paul Bunyon.

Tragedy a type of drama in which the main character falls from a high to a low state due to some failing or weakness known as a tragic flaw. The main character may also meet a negative fate.

 

Poetry Listing:

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds. (ex.  Cool, calm, and collectively, the quiet killer crept.)

Ballad a simple narrative poem in four-line stanzas, usually sung.

Couplet is a two-line stanza.

Free Verse poetry that avoids the use of regular rhyme, rhythm, meter or division into stanzas.

Hyperbole  Exaggeration to prove a point. "I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse."  and,  "My heart cries for you."

Image a word or phrase that names something that can be seen, heard, touched, tasted or smelled.

Imagery the collective images used in a work.  It is very vivid and descriptive.

Lyric Poem a short, highly musical verse that expresses the thoughts and emotions of a speaker

Metaphor figure of speech directly comparing two unlike things. (ex. Her anger simmered and finally came to a full boil.  "The silver dollar moon.")

Metrical verse has meter, the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables that form a rhythm.  "When in doubt, think of a limerick."

Example: / marks a stressed syllable

marks an unstressed syllable

Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?

Narrative Poem a verse that tells a story.

Onomatopoeia is the use of words or phases that sound like the things that they describe. (ex. buzz, chop, clatter, mumble, clank)

Oxymoron  A contradiction used to make a comparison.  (ex. Jumbo shrimp, Civil War, Casual elegance.)

Personification   A figure of speech in which something that is not human is described as though it were. (ex. The old car coughed and spit as it trudged up the hill.  The talking teapot.)  

Quatrain is a four-line stanza

Repetition the use of any element again and again such as a sound, word or phrase to create an effect.

Rhyme Scheme the sound pattern a poem has at the conclusion of each line.

Example:

Remember me when I am gone away (a)

Gone far away into the silent land (b)

When you can no more hold me by the hand (b)

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning, stay (a) the rhyme scheme of these lines is abba.

Rhymed Verse poetry with a regular rhythm.

Simile figure of speech comparing two unlike things using like or as. (ex. Her anger simmered like a pot of soup over a low steady flame.)

Sonnet is a poem with fourteen lines having one of several standard stanza forms and rhyme schemes.

Stanza a recurring pattern of grouped lines or a paragraph in a poem.

Symbol is something that stands both for itself and for something beyond itself. (ex. The lion is a symbol of courage.)

Triplet or Tercet is a three-line stanza.

Tone is the attitude that the author or narrator takes toward a subject or toward the reader. (ex. playful, ironic, serious)

Theme a central idea in a literary work. Sometimes the theme is a lesson learned by the protagonist.

 

 


"Take me home?"