Common Literary Terms



okay so the EOC is Monday and Tuesday and I gather that some of you are still a little bit stressed out about the constructed-response what I want you to keep in mind as you're preparing for the constructed-response is that we have talked about all different manner of literary terms we've talked about how to write a thesis statement a topic sentence how to organize your essays so you are prepared if you'll recall a lot of the practice prompts that you were given allowed you to choose your own specific literary elements to analyze a passage with that in mind I wanted to make this quick video just to remind you of some of the more common literary terms techniques devices that sort of thing that we've discussed this year now of course in pre AP we spend a lot of time on diction and we talked a lot about syntax so those are a couple of stained eyes that you can fall back on pretty easily remember though the diction is not just saying he used this word this word in this word you're going to need to give specific examples of why one phrase is used over another phrase and when syntax you're talking about specific sentence trucks or choices that the author made a couple of other terms that you might want to throw out these are just the basic most common ones that we've discussed this year you have alliteration and of course that's repetition of a sound as intense and consonants or terms that are slightly less common but if you remember those you are more than welcome to use them particularly if you're discussing poetry the term allusion there's a notebook anyone allusion of course is a reference to something outside of the work of literature usually it's going to be a reference to mythology other existing literature may be to a movie common culture that sort of thing next we have the archetype if you'll recall we spend a lot of time in class talking about archetypes if you go to the blog you can view the poster that is on the classroom wall currently covered up next you have characterization don't forget to talk about characterization that's an easy one that you can always talk about are the characters direct characterization is it indirect how does that come about how are those characters portrayed so that's an easy thing to discuss with conflict obviously you can talk about conflict pretty easily also don't forget if you're talking about contrast there are all different types of terms with contrast that you can use like oxymoron paradox juxtaposition and antithesis that sort of thing connotation denotation another obvious one that you can pick up to discuss we've talked about this one in class all the time it is cold in here so it is cool that's a temperature term versus it's really cool for you to do well on your test and not flunk it that would be great ah next is flashback it's one that a lot of people often forget and I'm not really sure why flashbacks an easy one if in fact your author has used it for shadowing another one that people often forget about think about the times that you've been watching a scary movie and you hear that music in the background da dum da dum da da da that well gee what's about to happen that's foreshadowing so that one's an easy one people sometimes forget hyperbole exaggeration I'm so hungry I could eat horse I'm so tired I might fall over in the floor I'm exaggerating next we have imagery don't forget that imagery is not just visual imagery a lot of times you guys do that imagery also refers to well really all the five senses so is something described that you can literally hear it in your head if they describe food can you almost taste it so you know stick to not just visual images next we have rhyme it's an obvious one that sometimes people just completely forget about when they get stressed comparison terms metaphor conceit simile worked like that those are easy to throw around you've known them since you were a small child a motif motifs if you Forgotten are things that recur throughout your passage your novel that sort of thing like for example in The Count of Monte Cristo that that red silk first just kept coming back up over and over again they kept talking about suicide they kept talking about politics and things like that so those are thieves sonification it's an easy one if it exists you can talk about that one point of view I think one of the practice esc questions that we had you had to contrast two particular works so if you do that look for is one written in first-person point of view as one written in third person point of view maybe it's omniscient and the author knows the insights of all the different characters so don't forget about point of view another obvious one that you sometimes for it is setting that's an easy one that you should pick up on right away don't just say it is set in a house in the country okay Wow why in the country why not in New York City or Los Angeles or Madisonville what's the purpose of this setting symbolism that's a gimme if you see symbolism you need to talk about it next we've got theme a lot of the pre-ap questions that we practice have asked you to consider the meaning of the work as a whole which is basically the theme so if you get an opportunity to talk about that do also consider discussing the author's tone style or mood that's something on your major work status sheet that a lot of you seem to have problems with and you'd write something like the author style is a love story know what I'm looking for when I'm looking for the author's tone is the author serious is the author light-hearted are they sarcastic do they use a lot of humor to convey what it is that they want to say the audience so those are just a few of the common literary terms elements devices that sort of thing that we have discussed this year you might want to review the literary terms glossary that I gave you just to kind of get a little refresher if there are some other terms that you'd like to throw out and impress your readers otherwise I will see you Monday morning first thing and I'm sure you will do fine

2 thoughts on “Common Literary Terms

  1. You should get more view, this is so helpful before any exams involving literary analysis (IB English A Paper 1 – in my case)! Great!

  2. I could listen to you say 'prepared' all day long. Wonderful accent.

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