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Reading Standards for Literature Vocabulary

adaptation
This is a version of an original source (such as a diary, an autobiography, or a story) which is modified for presentation in another form, such as a film, a musical, or a play.

allusion
This is the reference to a person, place, or event from history, literature, or religion with which a reader is likely to be familiar.

analyze
This is to separate a whole into its parts.

archetypal character
This is a character in a work that represents a certain type of person.

central argument
This is the dominant and controlling argument.

central idea
The key point made in a written passage; the chief topic.

central message
This is the theme of a passage, story, novel, poem, or drama that readers can apply to life.

character
This is an individual’s mental or moral quality.

characterzation
This is the combination of ways that an author shows readers what a person in a literary selection is like.

characters
These are the people or animals who take part in a literary work.

citation
This is the notation of a source used for a paper.

cite
This is to quote as an authority or as an example: to mention as support, illustration, or proof.

classic
Something widely recognized as a model or example of a type of literary work.

classical literature
This includes great masterpieces of the Greek, Roman, and other ancient civilizations as well as any writing that is widely considered a model of its form.

conclusion
This is when you use pieces of information on a subject to base your opinion or make a decision. You draw a ________.

conflict
Often, an antagonistic relationship called a _________ drives the plot of a story or novel.

connotation
This refers to the feelings and associations that go beyond the dictionary definition of a word.

context
This is the framework of meaning which surrounds a specific word, sentence, idea, or passage.

context
When we find the meaning of a word (or phrase) by looking at the words and sentences around it, we are using ____ clues.

context clues
These are in the text surrounding a word and give hints for the meaning of the word.

controlling
the author’s opinion or the perspective he/she wants to convey expressed through the thesis statement for an essay, or through a topic sentence within an individual paragraph

cultural elements
This includes language, ideologies, beliefs, values, and norms. These elements help to shape the life of a society.

cultural setting
This is the phrase for the set of values, beliefs, and opinions shared by a group and surrounding the author at the time of her writing.

definition
Usually found in a dictionary, this tells you the meaning of a word or phrase.

detail
This is a piece of information that is used to support a main idea.

diction
This is the writer’s choice of words, including the vocabulary used, the appropriateness of the words, and the vividness of the language.

direct characterzation
When a character is revealed by clear descriptions by the author, this is called _____ characterization.

dynamic character
A character who changes during the course of a story is called a _____ character.

event
This word means anything that happens to or is done by a character in a story.

evidence
This is information that supports a thought or belief.

experience
This is the name for what is gathered through the general process of living, or for the process itself.

fiction
This is writing that tells about imaginary characters and events.

flashback
This is a scene, a conversation, or an event that interrupts the present action to show something that happened in the past.

flat character
This is a person in a fictional work that is never fully developed by the author.

formal language
This kind of language usually has longer sentences and a greater variety of words than everyday speech. Slang, contractions, and jargon are avoided.

historical context
The setting and circumstances in which a literary work is written or an event occurs.

historical setting
This is the political, social, cultural, and economic ‘time and place’ surrounding the creation of a literary text.

implied meaning
This is a suggested, but not stated, definition.

indirect characterization
This is when an author reveals a person in the story characterization through his/her words, thoughts, appearance, action, or what others think or say about him/her.

infer
This is to get a conclusion from the facts or context; to figure out what is being implied by reading between the lines.

inference
This is reading between the lines. It is taking something that you read and putting it together with something that you already know to make sense of what you read. You make an _____

informal language
This is what people use in everyday speech. It usually consists of fairly short sentences and simple vocabulary. It is called _______ speech or language.

informational text
This is a type of real-world writing that presents material that is necessary or valuable to the reader.

internal conflict
This is when a character has a problem within him or herself.

jargon
This refers to the language of a specialized type, usually dealing with a narrow area of study or knowledge. It has a slightly negative connotation, and can imply that the language is mere word play.

literal meaning
This is the ordinary, usual, or exact meaning of words, phrases, or passages. No figurative language or interpretation is involved.

literary summary
A _____ summary is a synopsis of the events, characters, and ideas in a work of literature.

main idea
This is the central and most important idea of a reading passage or presentation.

media
This is the main means of mass communication.

medium
A way of communicating information

motivation
This is the wants, needs, or beliefs that cause a character to act or react in a particular way.

mystery
This is a genre that often includes detectives and a crime that must be solved.

myth
This is a traditional tale about gods, goddesses, heroes, and other characters.

mythology
This is a body or collection of tales belonging to a people and addressing their origin, history, deities, ancestors, and heroes. It explains the actions of gods and goddesses or the cause of natural phenomena and includes supernatural elements.

opinion
This is an expression of an author’s personal belief. It is not something that can be proved to be true or false.

paraphrase
This is the restatement of a written work in one’s own words that keeps the basic meaning of the original work.

person vs self
This describes the type of conflict when the leading character struggles with himself/herself; with his conscience, feelings, or ideas.

perspective
This is a writer’s or speaker’s point of view about a particular subject, and is often influenced by their beliefs or by events in their lives.

plot
This is the series of events that happen in a literary work.

point of view
This is the perspective from which a story is told. It is the way the author lets the readers see and hear the story; who tells the story.

quote
If you repeat the words someone else has said or written, you ______ them.

scene
This is a small division of a play that usually happens in a particular time and place.

sequence
This is the order in which things are told in a story

sequencing
This is arranging things in order so they can be numbered or related in a connected series.

setting
This is the time and place in which a literary work happens.

Shakespeare
He was a great poet and playwright during the English Renaissance. His works include Romeo and Juliet, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and many sonnets.

source
This is a person, book, document, website or record that provides information.

source
A research __________ is any material that can be used to locate information about a given topic.

static character
A _________ character does not change during the course of the action.

structure
This refers to a writer’s arrangement or overall design of a literary work. It is the way words, sentences, and paragraphs are organized to create a complete work.

summarize
This is to state briefly.

support
to strengthen or prove an argument or idea by providing facts, details, examples and other information

supporting evidence
These are the facts or details that back up a main idea, theme, or thesis.

supporting sentence
A _____ sentence helps to clarify, describe, explain, or enhance the main idea of a paragraph

technical writing
This is writing that communicates specific information about a particular subject, craft, or occupation.

tension
This is a form of suspense or potential conflict. It can occur between characters or arise from general situations.

theme
This is the message, usually about life or society, that an author wishes to convey through a literary work.

thesis
In expository writing, this is the main point or central idea that a writer states and then endeavors to prove valid by means of a systematic argument.

thesis statement
This is the way in which the main idea of a literary work is expressed, usually as a generalization that is supported with concrete evidence

tone
This is the attitude that an author takes toward the audience, the subject, or a character.

topic
This is the specific part of a subject that is dealt with in a research paper or in an essay.

traditional text
This is the CONVENTIONAL means of relating a story or information-generally in print format like novels or storybooks. It includes CLASSIC stories such as myths and folktales.

universal theme
This is the central message of a story, poem, novel, or play that many readers can apply to their own experiences, or to those of all people.

viewpoint
This is a writer’s opinion or standpoint on an issue.

word choice
This is the author’s or speaker’s craft or style. It might be formal, informal, or even slang. Diction is a synonym.

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