Writing Terms

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In your language arts and English classes, you will encounter many specific terms that relate to writing.
Knowing the meanings of these terms will make you a more effective reader and writer.
Here are twenty important writing terms whose meanings you should know.

Anecdote - A short account of a particular incident or event, typically of an interesting or amusing nature.

Autobiography - A writer`s account of his or her own life. This is in contrast to a biography, which is a story of someone`s life written by another person.

Characterization - A process by which a writer reveals a fictional character`s personality to the reader.

Cliche - A phrase or expression that has been so overused that it has lost its significance. Good writing avoids the use of cliches.

Connotation - The emotion or feeling that a word creates.

Denouement - The final clarification or resolution of a plot in a written work.

Dialog - A conversation between two or more characters in a literary work. Dialog is set off by quotation marks.

Didactic - A form of writing that teaches something.

Epigram - A brief or witty saying or poem.

Hyperbole - An excessive exaggeration.

Irony - An outcome of events that is contrary to what was expected to happen.

Juxtaposition - Placing two words or ideas close together for contrast or interest.

Myth - A story passed down over the generations that was once believed to be true.

Oxymoron - Two words of nearly opposite meaning that are put together for a special effect.

Parable - A short story that teaches a moral or religious lesson.

Protagonist - The main character or hero in a story.

Pseudonym - A false name used by a writer, often referred to as a pen name.

Style - How a piece of literature is written rather than what is actually said.

Theme - The idea that a writer wishes to convey about a subject.

Tone - The attitude of a writer toward his or her subject.

Knowing the meanings of these twenty terms will be helpful to you in your language arts and English classes.


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