50 Literary terms every English teacher should know

My english teacher knew more cliche's than you can poke a stick at

My english teacher knew more cliche's than you can poke a stick at

Every aspect of life has its own vocabulary.  Jargon, lingo and terminology which is essential to function in that field of expertise and appear credible to those around you.  

As an English teacher, tutor or even a student there are some essential terms required to run and participate in an effective English class.

Knowing these literary terms and their meanings will greatly enhance your students learning opportunities and enhance your own professional understanding of your craft.

Hopefully, you already know most of these but here is the definitive list of what you need to know in order to 'walk the walk, and talk the talk' as a quality English teacher

Accented:   a word, syllable, or musical note or chord) stressed or emphasized.

Allegory:  A story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Alliteration:  The occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. ‘the alliteration of ‘sweet birds sang’’

Analysis:  Detailed examination of the elements or structure of something.

Assonance:  Resemblance of sound between syllables of nearby words, arising particularly from the rhyming of two or more stressed vowels, but not consonants (e.g. sonnet, porridge), but also from the use of identical consonants with different vowels (e.g. killed, cold, culled) ‘the use of assonance throughout the poem creates the sound of despair’

Ballad:  A poem or song narrating a story in short stanzas. Traditional ballads are typically of unknown authorship, having been passed on orally from one generation to the next.

Biography:  An account of someone's life written by someone else.

Character:  A person in a novel, play, or film. - The mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. 

Chiasmus:  A rhetorical or literary figure in which words, grammatical constructions, or concepts are repeated in reverse order. 

Chronological:  following the order in which they occurred.

Cliche:  A phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.‘that old cliché ‘a woman's place is in the home’’

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison:  A consideration or estimate of the similarities or dissimilarities between two things or people.

‘they drew a comparison between Gandhi's teaching and that of other teachers’

Contrast:  The state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.

‘the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine’  

Description:  A spoken or written account of a person, object, or event.

Dialogue:  A conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or film.

Drama:  A play for theatre, radio, or television.

Epic:  A long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the past history of a nation.

Fact:  A thing that is known or proved to be true.

Fantasy:  A genre of imaginative fiction involving magic and adventure, especially in a setting other than the real world.

Fiction:  Literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.

A figure of speech:  A word or phrase used in a non-literal sense for rhetorical or vivid effect.

Fairy Tale:  A children's story about magical and imaginary beings and lands; a fairy story.

Folk Tale:  A story originating in popular culture, typically passed on by word of mouth.

Form:  The structure of a word, phrase, sentence, or discourse.

Generalization:  A general statement or concept obtained by inference from specific cases.

Genre:  A style or category of art, music, or literature.

Hyperbole:  Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

Idiom:  A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moon, see the light).

Imagery:  Visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work.

Inference:  A conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

Isn't it ironic?

Isn't it ironic?

Irony:  The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Kenning:  A compound expression in Old English and Old Norse poetry with metaphorical meaning, e.g. oar-steed = ship.

Metaphor:  A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Metonymy:  A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Moral:  A lesson that can be derived from a story or experience.

Motive:  A reason for doing something.

Narrative Poetry:  Poetry that tells a story.

Narrator:  A person who narrates something, especially a character who recounts the events of a novel or narrative poem.

Non-fiction:  Prose writing that is informative or factual rather than fictional.

Novel:  A fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.

Ode:  A lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, written in varied or irregular meter.

Onomatopoeia:  in action in many comics

Onomatopoeia:  in action in many comics

Onomatopoeia:  the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoosizzle ).

Oxymoron:  A figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g. faith unfaithful kept him falsely true).

Personification:  The attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human, or the representation of an abstract quality in human form.

Plot:  The main events of a play, novel, film, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.

Poetry:  Literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.

Point of view:   (in fictional writing) the narrator's position in relation to a story being told.

Predictions:  A thing predicted; a forecast.

Rhyme:   A short poem in which the sound of the word or syllable at the end of each line corresponds with that at the end of another.

Rhythm:  The measured flow of words and phrases in verse or prose as determined by the relation of long and short or stressed and unstressed syllables.

Science Fiction:  Fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets.

Sequence:  A particular order in which related things follow each other.

Setting:  The place or type of surroundings where something is positioned or where an event takes place.

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Simile:  A figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid (e.g. as brave as a lion).

Solution:  A means of solving a problem or dealing with a difficult situation.

Stanza:  A group of lines forming the basic recurring metrical unit in a poem; a verse.

Theme:  An idea that recurs in or pervades a work of art or literature.

Voice:  The distinctive tone or style of a literary work or author.