Vocab Term

Fiction and Non-fiction
Fiction- narrative prose about characters and events from the author's imagination.  
Setting- The time and place in which a story takes place.
Exposition- The beginning details of the story are revealed.
Conflict- A problem that sets off a sequence of actions.
Climax- A point of greatest intensity.
Resolution- How the story is concluded.
Dialogue- A conversation between characters
Dialect- A way of speaking in particular to a group or region.
Idiomatic expressions- Phrases that mean something different from their individual words.
Point of view- The perspective from which a story is told.
First person point of view- The story is told by a narrator who participates in the action of the story.
Third-person point of view- The story is told by a narrator outside the story.
Theme- The underlying meaning that an author conveys in a story. 
Novels- Extended works of fiction that are usually organized into segments called chapters.
Novellas- Intermediate works of fiction that are longer that short stories but are more concise and focused than novels.
Short stories- Brief narratives with carefully limited action that allows the author to focus on one main plot complication.
Elements of Non-fiction
- expresses an author's attitude toward the subject and the readers.  It is conveyed through choice of words.
Perspective- The author's point of view on the subject, including the opinions that the author expresses and the source of the author's information.
Purpose- The author's reason for writing, whether it is to persuade, to inform, to entertain, or to describe.
Types of Non-fiction
Literary nonfiction texts:
Combines personal examples and ideas with factual information to explain, to entertain, to describe, or to present a perspective. Examples include essays and speeches.
Personal essays: Combines personal examples and ideas with information to explain, to entertain, to describe, or to present a perspective.
Biographies: Narrative of a person's life that include everything from birth to death revealing facts in an outsider's objective tone.
Expository Texts: Presents facts to increase the knowledge and understanding of an audience. 
Persuasive Texts: Are written to influence the opinions or actions of an audience.
Procedural Texts:  Explain a process. These texts often include visuals to help illustrate steps.

Poetry Terminology

A ballad is a poem that tells a story. It is often of folk origin and intended to be sung. Ballads often consist of simple stanzas and usually have a refrain (a repeated phrase or stanza).

A stanza is a division in poetry shown by a line break. In poetry, a stanza is the equivalent of a paragraph, only a stanza is made up of lines of poetry. In the poem below, each stanza is made up of four lines.

A blank versepoem is written in iambic pentameter. That means each line has ten syllables. The syllables have a pattern of unstressed syllable, stressed syllable, unstressed syllable, stressed syllable, and so on. The lines do not have an end rhyme scheme.

A couplet is a pair of lines that usually rhyme. Couplets can appear in other poetry forms, such as sonnets.

An elegy is traditionally written in response to the death of a person or group. In content, it is similar to an epitaph (written on a tombstone) or a eulogy (written using prose). An elegy focuses on the loss or grief itself.

An epic poem is a long poem narrating the heroic exploits of an individual in a way central to the beliefs and culture of the society. Typical elements include fabulous adventures, superhuman deeds, majestic language, and a mythical

Unlike ballads and epic poetry, lyric poetry does not attempt to tell a story. It is of a more personal nature. Rather than portraying characters and actions, the lyric poet addresses the reader directly, portraying the speaker's feelings,
states of mind, and perceptions. Lyric poetry often is written with a specific rhyme scheme and meter.

A haiku(pronounced HIGH-koo) is a Japanese form of poetry, also known as hokku. It consists of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables.

Narrative poems are poems that tell a story. They have characters and plot just like a story. Sometimes they have dialogue, themes, and conflicts. Narrative poems can sometimes be categorized as another form, such as ballads or epics.

ode is a poem that focuses on one subject and finds an original way to express what is good and unique about it. The structure of odes has changed over the last 100 years, but traditional odes follow a rhyme scheme of ABABCDECDE for each stanza.

Free verse is poetry written without regard to form, rhyme, rhythm, meter, or line breaks. A poem written in free verse doesn't have a clear traditional form.

A sonnet is a form of poetry written in fourteen lines and ending in a couplet. Sonnets also have a specific rhythm the poet must follow. They are usually written in iambic pentameter.

Slant rhyme is also called half rhyme, imperfect rhyme, near rhyme, oblique rhyme, and off rhyme. It is a rhyme in which either the vowels or the consonants of stressed syllables are identical.

Internal rhyme is a rhyme that occurs within a line of verse.

Consonance is the repetition of consonants or of a consonant pattern, especially at the
ends of words.

Assonance is also called vowel rhyme. It is a rhyme in which the same vowel sounds are used with different consonants in the stressed syllables of the rhyming words.

End rhyme is a rhyme that occurs in the last syllables of verses.

Alliteration is the repetition of the same sounds or of the same kinds of sounds at the
beginning of words or in stressed syllables.

Onomatopoeia is the use of words such as "buzz" or "moo" that imitate the sounds associated
with the objects to which they refer.

Personification is a figure of speech in which things are endowed with human qualities or are
represented as possessing human form.

Drama Terminology

Comedy refers to any play which consistently features humor and light-hearted events.

Tragedy deals with humans as victims of destiny, character flaw, moral weakness, or social pressure.

Cast  A play will list the names of the characters needed. Some lists will even give a little description of each role, such as who the character is or what he or she is wearing. The list of characters, or "cast," is shown at the top of the play.

Dialogue is the words spoken by characters in a play.

Soliloquy is narrative spoken by a single actor in which his or her thoughts are revealed to the audience. It can be written as if the actor is speaking to himself or herself. Usually, the actor is alone on stage, or the other performers are temporarily not engaged in the

Dramatic Monologue Similar to soliloquy, a dramatic monologue is a long speech by a single actor. The actor can either be alone on stage or interacting with other performers.

A Character Foil  is a character whose traits are in direct contrast to those of the principal character. The foil therefore highlights the traits of the protagonist.

Scene Design is the creative process of developing and executing aesthetic or functional designs in a production, such as costumes, lighting, sets, and makeup.

Aside The term refers to a speech or comment made by an actor directly to the audience about the action of the play or another
character. The audience is to understand that this comment is not heard or noticed by the other characters in
the play.

Stage Directions tell actors how to move and speak.Most stage
directions are in parentheses ( ) or in italics. They can also tell you where the play is taking place or give information about how to make the stage look to set the scene.

A Prop is an article or object that appears on the stage during a play. The word "prop" comes from the term "theatrical property." Props in the play Romeo and Juliet include the swords used in the fight scenes.

Exploring Types of Nonfiction After Fiction and Nonfiction

Article- a short nonfiction piece, often found in newspapers, magazines, textbooks, and encyclopedias.
Newspaper article- explores an event or an issue and fairly presents different points of view.
Essay- usually longer and has more literary value.
Informal essay- gives writers the freedom to bring their own thoughts, feeling, and reflections into the discussion.
Autobiographical essay- takes self-reflection to chisel out the themes.

Themes- give the meaning to a life.
Autobiography- someone's life as a unified story.
Vignettes- brief narratives.
Informational texts- expository, persuasive, or procedural.
Literary nonfiction- combines personal examples and ideas with factual information to explain, to entertain, to describe, or to present a perspective.
Essay- examines and discusses a topic, often presenting the writer's personal viewpoints.
Speech- presents a topic and often marks a specific occasion.
Style- the distinctive way one author uses language.
Imagery- language that creates word pictures.
Diction- word choice.
Syntax- sentence patterns.
Tone- the author's attitude toward both the subject and the audience.
Perspective- the viewpoint or opinion an author expresses.
Purpose- the author's reason for writing or speaking.
Narrative essay- tells the story of real events or experiences.
Descriptive essay- creates an impression about a person, an object, or an experience.
Expository essay- provides information, explores ideas, or explains a process.
Persuasive essay- attempts to convince readers to take a course of action or adopt the writer's position on an issue.
Reflective essay- conveys the writer's thoughts and feelings about a personal experience or an idea.
Address- a formal, prepared speech that is usually delivered by someone of importance.
Talk- an informational speech delivered in a conversational style.
Oration- an eloquent speech given on a formal occasion.
Lecture- a prepared speech that informs or instructs an audience.

Persuasive Writing Terms
BANDWAGON-tries to persuade the reader to do, think, or buy
something because it is popular or everyone is doing it, tries to persuade the
reader to do, think, or buy something because it is popular or everyone is doing

TESTIMONIAL- is any advertisement in which a person speaks on
behalf of a product.
EXAMPLE: I used Windex and it cleaned all the spots on
my windows!

PLAIN FOLKS- This is when a product or candidate appeals to the
average 'man on the street'.
EXAMPLE: Photos of presidential candidates
working on farms or driving tractors. Images of housewives using
products. Average people using products.

TRANSFER- The use of symbols, quotes or images to create a
feeling in the audience that is then (hopefully)
transferred to the
EXAMPLE: An image of an American flag might be used in an
advertisement for insurance - designed to make the
audience feel patriotic,
secure and safe - and then those feelings get associated with the
FEAR- Making the audience feel that if they do not buy a
certain product or vote for a certain candidate, something bad
will happen
to them.
EXAMPLE: Home security commercials that show a burglar breaking
into a home.

LOGICAL FALLACIES- Logic or reasoning that appears accurate, but is
Premise 1: Danny goes to MRHS.
Premise 2: All MRHS
students are smart.
Conclusion: Danny is smart.
We can see in this
example that the Conclusion is created by a twisting of logic, and is therefore
a fallacy.

GLITTERING GENERALITIES- Using exaggerated words and claims that make a
product sound perfect or flawless.
EXAMPLE: Whizzo floor wax is the BEST
floor wax in the world!

approach. Name-calling tries to make a
product sound BAD without offering
any evidence to support the claim.
EXAMPLE: "The leading brand just doesn't

PERSUASION- Trying to convince someone to think or act a certain

ARISTOTLE- A Greek philosopher who studied persuasion and

RHETORIC-The art of speaking and writing

ADVERTISING- Information that is spread to promote a product or
service that is for

PROPAGANDA- Information that is spread to promote an opinion or
BIAS- A preference for or against something that is formed
without considering all of
the information.

ETHOS/ETHICAL APPEAL- Something that appeals to a person's sense of what is
right and wrong.
Also refers to how believable or trustworthy the speaker

PATHOS/EMOTIONAL APPEAL- Something that appeals to a person's emotions or

LOGOS/LOGICAL APPEAL- Something that appeals to a person's logical side -
facts, figures, numbers, statistics, etc.

POSITION STATEMENT- A sentence that explains/states the author's purpose

ARGUMENT- A fact or assertion offered as evidence that
something is true

EVIDENCE- Information that helps the writer improve his
argument that can be based on facts, statistics, quotations, expert opinions,
personal memoirs or analogies
FACTS- Dates, names of people and places, and other things
that can be proved true

STATISTICS- Measurements and numbers that can be used to support

QUOTATIONS- Exact words from people who know a lot about the

EXPERT OPINIONS- Ideas from people who know a lot about the

PERSONAL MEMOIRS-Stories author tells about his or her experience with
the topic

ANALOGIES-Comparisons of complicated or abstract topics to
ideas that are easily understood

CONCESSION- An argumentative strategy by which a speaker or
writer acknowledges the validity of an opponent's point.

REBUTTAL- a response intended to disprove a previous

CALL FOR ACTION-part of concluson that tells what to do about the

AFFIRMATIVE- positive assertion; a word or statement conveying


Symbolism- is a device in which a concrete object represents an abstract idea

Allegory- is a story, poem or play that serves as an extended metaphor to reveal a hidden meaning

Allusion- a reference to a familiar person, place, thing, event, or literary work in a text

Pronoun- a word that takes the place of a noun and functions in the same way

Object pronoun- functions as the subject in a sentence

Reciprocal pronouns- functions as the object in a sentence

Verbs- are words that show action or occurrence or describe a state of being

Active- when the subject performs an action

Passive- when the subject is acted upon by something or someone else

Mood- describes the attitude that a verb conveys in a sentence

Subjunctive Mood- used to speculate or express a wish, possibility, or a statement contrary to fact

Verbals- words that are created from verbs; however, a verbal can also act as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb

Gerund- usually the noun form of a verb, and it always ends in -ing.

Infinitive- a verb in its basic form that usually functions as a noun

Participle- acts as an adjective or modifier in front of a noun

Participle phrase- is a group of words that modifies a noun or pronoun. 

Sentence variety- a technique that writers use to make their prose more rhythmic and effective

Independent clause- a group of words, containing a subject and verb that can stand alone as a senence

Simple sentence- consists of one independent clause

Compound sentence- made up of two or more independent clauses joined by a comma and a coordinating conjunction

Coordinating conjunction­- are connecting words such as “and, but, for, so, or, nor, yet, while”

Complex Sentence- has at least one dependent clause connected to an independent clause

Dependant clause- has a subject and verb buy cannot stand alone as a sentence

Subordinating Conjunctions- connecting words such as “although, before, since, because, when, if”

Compound Complex- sentences include two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause

Punctuation- the set of marks that separate phrases, clauses, and sentences

Restrictive clauses- dependent clauses yet add essential information

Nonrestrictive clauses- can be dropped from a sentence because they do not add essential information

Quotation marks- usually indicate dialogue or cite words as they appear in a text

Dashes- often used in informal writing, but some literary authors also use them