English – Literary Devices, Grammar, Poetry, and Writing

allegory
a complete narrative which involves characters, and events that stand for an abstract idea or an event; used to teach a moral lesson; ex: ‘Animal Farm’, written by George Orwell

allusion
a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance

analogy
a comparison in which an idea or a thing is compared to another thing that is quite different from it. It aims at explaining that idea or thing by comparing it to something that is familiar; includes metaphor and simile

anapest
a metrical foot consisting of two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllable. Lord Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib”

anecdote
a short and interesting story or an amusing event often proposed to support or demonstrate some point and make readers and listeners laugh; ex: The stories of Abigail in “The Crucible”

aphorism
concise statement of principle, sage advice, “adage”; ex: Early to bed, Early to rise

assonance
two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds. “Men sell the wedding bells.”

consonance
repetitive sounds produced by consonants within a sentence or phrase

colloquialism
an expression that is usually accepted in informal situations, may also be regional “wicked awesome”.

enjambment
in poetry it means moving over from one line to another without a terminating punctuation mark

foot
the basic unit of measurement of accentual-syllabic meter in poetry. It usually contains one stressed syllable and at least one unstressed syllable.

iamb
A metrical foot consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable (unstressed, stressed). The most common meter of poetry in English (including all the plays and poems of William Shakespeare), as it is closest to the rhythms of English speech. Ex: “unite” and “provide”

trochee
A metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by an unaccented syllable (stressed, unstressed). Ex: William Blake opens “The Tyger” with the line: “Tyger! Tyger! Burning bright.” Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”; Ex: “garden” and “highway”

dactyl
A metrical foot consisting of an accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables (stressed, unstressed, unstressed); Tennyson’s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”; Ex: “poetry” and “basketball”

free verse
Nonmetrical, nonrhyming lines that closely follow the natural rhythms of speech. Matthew Arnold and Walt Whitman in the late 1800s. Majority of published lyric poetry since 1900.

genre
category of literature defined by style, form, content.

couplet
a pair of lines of poetic verse, written in iambic pentameter

irony
the use of a word or phrase that means the exact opposite of its literal or expected meaning

dramatic irony
when the audience knows something that the majority of the characters don’t know

verbal irony
when the writer says one thing but means another

situational irony
when the opposite happens of what is expected

meter
rhythmical pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in verse

oxymoron
A phrase that consists of two contradictory terms; Ex: “jumbo shrimp”

rhetoric
persuasive writing

diction
the author’s choice of words based on their clearness, conscience, effectiveness and authenticity.

style
the way a writer writes and it is the technique which an individual author uses in his writing

tone
an attitude of a writer toward a subject or an audience; generally conveyed through the choice of words or the viewpoint of a writer on a particular subject

jargon
specialized words

hyperbole
an exaggeration

internal rhyme
rhyme that happens within a line of verse

paradox
a contradictory statement that makes sense; Ex: man learns from history that man learns nothing from history

personification
a literary device in which animals, ideas and things represent human traits

refrain
a phrase or line repeated at intervals within a poem, especially at the end of a stanza

verse
metric line of poetry

ballad
a type of poetry or verse, often written by an anonymous author, comprised of short verses intended to be sung

canto
a long subsection of an epic or long narrative poem

elegy
a form of literature which can be defined as a poem or song in the form of couplets, written in honor of someone deceased. It typically laments or mourns the death of the individual; Ex: Tennyson’s “In Memoriam”

epic
a long narrative poem in which a heroic protagonist engages in an action of great mythic or historical significance

haiku
poem written in 17 syllables with three lines of five, seven, five syllables

limerick
a humorous verse form of five anapestic lines with a rhyme scheme of aabba

lyric
a short poem about personal feelings

sonnet
14 line poem, usually in iambic pentameter

fable
a literary device which can be defined as a concise and brief story intended to provide a moral lesson at the end

frame tale
a narrative technique in which the main story is composed primarily for the purpose or organizing shorter stories, each is a story within a story. — Chaucer’s “Canterbury tales and Emily Bronte’s Wulthering Heights

legend
a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated

novella
A short 50-100 line narrative; Ex: Orwell’s Animal Farm, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

infinitive
made up of “to” and the base form of a verb (to order, to abandon)

participle
verb form ending in (-ing or -ed) that operates as an adjective (barking dog, painted fence)

gerund
a verb ending in “ing” that functions as a noun (gardening is my favorite activity)

antecedent
the noun to which the pronoun is refering

phonetics
the study of sounds of language

morphology
the study of the structure of words

semantics
the study of the meaning in language, in language, study of meanings of words

syntax
the study of the structure of sentences, studies of the rules for forming admissible sentences

antithesis
literally means ‘opposite’; a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect

fallacy
a misconception resulting from incorrect reasoning

masculine rhyme
a rhyme ending on the final stressed syllable

feminine rhyme
latter two syllables of first word rhyme with latter two syllables of second word (ceiling appealing)

orthography
the art or study of correct spelling according to established usage; “spelling”

comma splice
two sentences joined incorrectly with only a comma

dangling modifier
no noun or pronoun to modify

imperative sentence
gives a command or makes a request and ends with a period

alliteration
use of the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable in a line of verse

blank verse
a literary device defined as un-rhyming verse, usually written in iambic pentameter; Ex: Mending Walls by Robert Frost “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun”

apostrophe
address to an absent or imaginary person or audience

denouement
the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work

Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review
SQ3R Study Method

etymology
the history of a word.

conditional sentence
a sentence that expresses wishes or conditions contrary to fact.

compound sentence
a sentence composed of at least two independent clauses.

complex sentence
a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

compound/complex sentence
a sentence with two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

transitive
a verb that has a direct object (object of the verb).

intransitive
a verb that does not have a direct object

demonstrative pronouns
pronouns that point out people, places, or things without naming them.

clause
has a subject and a predicate.

prewriting
Writing Process – gathering and selecting ideas; creating lists, researching, brainstorming, reading to discover, talking, and free-writing

drafting
Writing Process – begin writing, connecting, and developing ideas…

Revision
Writing Process – re-writing, re-seeing; Looking at the piece alone or with another; Examining meaning/sense, diction, voice, and organization

editing
Writing Process – checking for style , conventions, grammar

publishing
Writing Process – sharing piece with larger audience

evaluating
Writing Process – looking back, Critical Reviews, etc.

MLA
Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye (underlined). New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 1945

APA
Salinger, J.D. (1945). The Catcher in the Rye (italicized). New York: Little, Brown, and Company

extended metaphor
a metaphor developed at great length, occurring frequently in or throughout a work.

antagonist
a character or a group of characters which stand in opposition to the protagonist or the main character

archetype
a typical character, an action or a situation that seems to represent such universal patterns of human nature.

cadence
term used to signal the rising and falling of the voice when reading a literary piece

euphemism
polite, indirect expressions which replace words and phrases considered harsh and impolite or which suggest something unpleasant; Ex: “Kick the bucket”