Literary Terms Understanding Authors’ Words

Literary Terms
Understanding Authors’ Words
Language Arts
Grade 7
Literary Terms
Literary Terms are devices the author
uses to make his or her writing more
The devices contribute to the mood,
meaning, or effect of the poem.
Most literary terms can be found in
prose (“regular text”) as well as poetry.
Literary Terms
Some of the definitions found in this
presentation are not literary devices but
are definitions of new literature-related
The terms that follow this slide should be
copied into your Reader’s Notebook
under the “Literary Vocabulary” tab
Definition: When you paraphrase something, you
are putting it into your own words:
Actual Text:
Paraphrased Text:
“I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than loveI and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.” (Poe)
The two of us were kids,
In this seaside town;
We loved each other a lot.
Annabel Lee and I;
The angels in heaven
Wanted us to be with them.
Definition: Refers to how you define a word
based on its emotional meaning. For instance:
I love pizza!
 Love
in this case refers to enjoying something a great deal,
but no harm will come if you don’t get pizza for dinner
I love you!
 Love
in this case refers to the emotional feelings one person
has for another. If something happens in the relationship
which causes it to fail, someone will be emotionally hurt.
Definition: The important message about life that
the author is trying to convey in the literary piece.
Often the theme is not stated directly.
 You must analyze the whole story to understand the
message the author is conveying.
 There may be multiple themes in a poem or story.
Definition: Words or phrases that appeal to one
of the five senses.
 Look
 Sound
 Feel
 Taste
 Smell
Imagery helps you to more fully understand the
poem or story
It makes you feel like part of the poem or story
Definition: Comparing two unlike things using like
or as.
I was as hungry as a bear.
I am comparing myself to a bear
The water sparkled like diamonds.
The water is being compared to diamonds.
Definition: Comparing two unlike things without
using like or as.
 John is a bull in a china shop.
 John
is being compared to a bull; the metaphor helps
the reader to understand that John is clumsy and
probably will break things unintentionally.
Life is a box of chocolates. (Forrest Gump)
 Life
is being compared to a candy box. You never know
what kind of chocolate you are going to get until you
bite into it. Similarly, you never know what’s going to
happen in life until you live it!
Definition: The repetition of initial consonant
Used to draw a reader’s attention to certain words or
 For example:
The sneaky snake slithered down the slimy path.
Definition: A non-human subject is given human
The bright sunlight winked at me from the sky.
The tree waved its huge branches over the house.
Definition: Two or more uses of the same sound,
word, phrase, clause or sentence.
“One step too far
One day too long
One trip to a star
One lonely, sad song.”
(“One” Kendjel)
Definition: The repetition of sounds at the end of
“One step too far
One day too long
One trip to a star
One lonely, sad song.”
(“One” Kendjel)
Definition: Words that imitate sounds
For example: crash, buzz, jingle, hiss
Definition: An exaggeration
For example:
I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!
After we returned from our vacation, the mail was piled
up to the sky.
Definition: A writer’s word choice and the way he
puts words together.
For example:
I have a bad headache.
I have an excruciating headache.
Excruciating is a much stronger word than bad. The
reader can sense the headache is very painful.
Definition: The feeling that is created in the
reader by a literary work or passage.
 This is influenced by the author’s choice of words
(diction), as well as his use of other literary devices.
“The wind moaned outside the dirty window and I could
see nothing except dark, mysterious shapes moving
maddeningly in the distance. (Brown)”
Forms of Poetry
Each form of poetry has rules that guide its
 Lyric poem: expresses the poet’s thoughts and
feelings about a single image or idea in vivid ,
musical language. (“There Will Come Soft Rains”)
 Concrete poem: the poet uses graphical elements
by arranging letters and lines. It creates a visual
image that suggests the poem’s subject. (“Forsythia”)
 Haiku: traditional form of Japanese poetry that is
often about nature.
Graphic Elements
Definition: Visual features that can influence a
poem’s meaning.
 Capital letters
 Line length
 Word position

similar documents