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TAKS Vocabulary
  1. Alliteration is the repetition of specific sounds within a line of text. (Sounds may be found anywhere in the word or words.)
  1. An allusion is a reference to a person, place, event, or literary work that the writer expects the reader to recognize.
  1. An analogy is a comparison made between two things to show similarities.
  1. An anecdote is a short account of an incident in someone’s life (a scenario).
  1. The antagonist is the person or force which deceives, frustrates, or opposes the protagonist.
  1. Antonyms are words with opposite meanings.
  1. An author is the writer of a literary work.
  1. Cause/effect is the explanation of why actions or situations (causes) produce certain results (effects).
  1. A character is a person, or anything presented as a person, in a story, poem, or other work.
  1. Characterization is the author’s method of portraying a character.
    • When using direct characterization, the author states directly what the character is like.
    • When using indirect characterization, the author gives clues and hints to reveal a character.
  1. The climax is the decisive moment or turning point in a story that determines the outcome of the conflict.
  1. To compare/contrast is to find similarities and differences between stories or characters.
  1. The conclusion is the close or termination (ending) of a written work.
  1. A conflict is a struggle or clash between opposing forces. Common conflicts include:
Man vs. Self                        Man vs. Technology
Man vs. Man                                         Man vs. Nature
Man vs. Society                                    Man vs. Fate
  1. Connotation is the implied meaning of a symbol or word.
  1. Denotation is the literal meaning of a symbol or word (dictionary definition).
  1. Descriptive writing is expressive, vivid, or colorful.
  1. Dialogue is any conversation within a text.
  1. Diction is a writer’s choice of words, phrases, and figurative language which combines to help create meaning.
  1. The exposition is the introductory material which gives the setting, creates the tone, and presents the characters and other facts necessary to understanding a story.
  1. An expository selection is a non-fictional piece of writing.
  1. A fact is something that is known with certainty and can be proved or disproved.
  1. Figurative language is a way of saying one thing and meaning something else in order to create a more forceful or dramatic image. Examples include: simile, metaphor, irony, personification, paradox, apostrophe, oxymoron, and hyperbole.
  1. A flashback is a method used to present past events during current events in order to provide background information.
  1. Foreshadowing is the use of hints and suggestions to offer clues to future developments in a work.
  1. A generalization is a simple or general statement about a story.
  1. Homonyms are words that sound alike but have different meanings.
  1. A hyperbole is a figure of speech that intentionally uses exaggeration, or overstatement, for special effect. For example, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.”
  1. An idiom is an expression that cannot be translated literally. For example, “It was raining cats and dogs.”
  1. Imagery is a word or words which appeal to the senses –sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell– and helps to create pictures, or images, in the reader’s mind.
  1. The impact is the influence or effect an author seeks to create.
  1. To imply is to say something indirectly; to hint; to suggest.
  1. To infer is to reach a conclusion based on reasoning rather than direct statement. An author or speaker implies; a reader or listener infers.
  1. An inference is a conclusion based on reasoning rather than on direct statement.
  1. Irony is a situation or event that expresses a reality different from and or opposite to what is expected; an implied inconsistency between what is said and what is meant. (A firehouse burning down would be considered ironic.)
  1. A metaphor is the comparison of two unlike things without using “like” or “as.”
  1. The mood is the atmosphere or feeling created in a literary work.
  1. A narrative is a collection of events, placed in a particular order, which tells a story.
  1. The narrator is anyone who tells a story.
  1. Onomatopoeia is the use of words whose sounds suggest their meaning (ex. hiss, pop, bang, crackle).
  1. An opinion is a belief or conclusion that is not provable (someone’s belief).
  1. An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory ideas or terms are combined (ex. a foolish genius, deafening silence).
  1. A parable is a short story that is designed to teach a truth or lesson.
  1. A paradox is a statement which seems to be self-contradictory or absurd yet turns out to make good sense. For example, “I always lie,” or, “Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.”
  1. Personification is a figure of speech which gives animals, objects, or ideas human characteristics.
  1. The plot is the structure or sequence in which a story is arranged.
  1. Point of view is the way the events in a story are told to the reader.
·        First Person – The person telling the story is a character in the story. (I, me, my, our, us)
·        Second Person – The person telling the story is NOT a character in the story. (you, your, yours)
·        Third Person – The person telling the story is NOT a character in the story. (he, she, it, they, their, etc.)
  1. The protagonist is the hero/heroine or central character of a literary work. Many change in some important way by the end of the piece.
  1. Purpose is the reason a character or the author does something (intention or goal).
  1. The resolution is the part of the plot which suggests the outcome of the conflict.
  1. Sarcasm is a statement or expression that is mean-spirited and intended to hurt or upset the person to whom it is directed or about whom it is said.
  1. The sequence is the arrangement or order of events within a story.
  1. The setting is the time, place, physical details, and circumstances in which a situation unfolds.
  1. A short story is a brief prose narrative with many of the same characteristics of a novel (ex. characters, setting, plot).
  1. Significance is the importance of something in a passage.
  1. A simile is a comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as.”
  1. A stereotype is an author’s oversimplified treatment of characters so that they are immediately identified with a group (ex. dumb blondes, Italian mobsters).
  1. A summary is a shortened version of a story that includes a generalized theme and topics.
  1. Suspense is the method an author uses to build anticipation within a story.
  1. A symbol is an object used to represent or suggest something else (ex. heart = love, dove = peace).
  1. Symbolism is the use of an object to represent or suggest something else.
  1. Synonyms are words with similar meanings.
  1. A theme is a common thread or repeated idea that is incorporated throughout a literary work. (Themes are rarely stated directly.)
  1. Tone is the author’s attitude or mood toward the subject or characters.
  1. Voice is the expression of an author’s personality through his or her writing.
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