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Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences. The use punctuation marks enable
readers to understand a piece of writing.

the period (.)

the comma (,)

the exclamation mark (!)

the question mark (?)

the colon (:)

the semicolon (;)

the quotation mark (“ ”)

the apostrophe (')


Figures of Speech

Figures of speech lend themselves particularly well to literature and poetry. They also pack a punch in
speeches and movie lines. Indeed, these tools abound in nearly every corner of life.

Simile- A comparison between two unlike things using the words "like" or "as." Examples include:

As slippery as an eel

Like peas in a pod

As blind as a bat

Eats like a pig

As wise as an owl

Metaphor- Makes a comparison between two unlike things or ideas. Examples include:

Heart of stone

Time is money

The world is a stage

She’s a night owl

Personification- Gives human qualities to non-living things or ideas. Examples include:

The flowers nodded.

The snowflakes danced.

The thunder grumbled.

The fog crept in.

The wind howled.

Onomatopoeia- is the term for a word that sounds like what it is describing. Examples include:





Assonance - is the repetition of vowel sounds (not just letters) in words that are close together. The
sounds don't have to be at the beginning of the word. Examples include:

A - For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore. (Poe)

E - Therefore, all seasons shall be sweet to thee. (Coleridge)

I - From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who favor fire. (Frost)

O - Oh hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn. (Wordsworth)

U - Uncertain rustling of each purple curtain (Poe)

Hyperbole- uses exaggeration for emphasis or effect. Examples include:

I've told you to stop a thousand times.

That must have cost a billion dollars.

I could do this forever.

Everybody knows that.


Irony occurs when there's a marked contrast between what is said and what is meant, or between
appearance and reality. Examples include:

"How nice!" she said, when I told her I had to work all weekend. (Verbal irony)

A traffic cop gets suspended for not paying his parking tickets. (Situational irony)

The Titanic was said to be unsinkable but sank on its first voyage. (Situational irony)

Naming a tiny Chihuahua Brutus. (Verbal irony)

When the audience knows the killer is hiding in a closet in a scary movie, but the actors do not.
(Dramatic irony)



Elements of fiction and elements of story in general can be used by the reader to increase their
enjoyment and understanding of different literary pieces.


Types of Characters:

1. Protagonist (hero): the central figure with whom we usually sympathize or identify
2. Antagonist (villain): the figure who opposes the protagonist and creates the conflict
3. Foil Character: the figure whose personality traits are the opposite of the main character’s. This
is a supporting character and usually made to shine the protagonist.


It refers to the time, the geographical locations, and the general environment and circumstances that
prevail in a narrative. The setting helps to establish the mood of a story.

Two types of setting:

1. Integral Setting: the setting is fully described in both time and place, usually found in historical
2. Backdrop Setting: the setting is vague and general, which helps to convey a universal, timeless
tale. This type of setting is often found in folktales and simply sets the stage and the mood. For
example, "long ago in a cottage in the deep woods" and "once upon a time there was a great
land that had an Emperor."
Narrative Point of View

1. Internal Narrator (First-person Narrator; the narrator uses "I" to refer to himself/herself): the
narrator is a character in the story, often, but not necessarily, the protagonist. This narrative
point of view allows for a very personal touch in the story telling.
2. Omniscient Narrator (multiple points of view; the narrator is "all-knowing"): the narrator is not a
character in the story but knows everything about the story. The omniscient narrator can show
the thoughts and experiences of any character in the story. It permits the writer the broadest
3. Limited Narrator (External Subjective Narrator; the 3rd person point of view): the narrator is not
a character in the story but looks at things only through the eyes of a single character. This type
of narrative permits the narrator to quickly build a close bond between the protagonist and the
reader, without being confined by the protagonist’s educational or language restrictions.


A series of interconnected events in which every occurrence has a specific purpose. A plot is all about
establishing connections, suggesting causes, and showing relationships.

1. Beginnings or Exposition-this is when characters and problems are introduced to the reader.
2. Rising Action-this is where the problem and characters are developed through a series of actions
that builds to the…
3. Climax-this is where the problem (or conflict) is resolved in one way or another. The climax is
often called the "turning point" in a story.
4. Falling Action or Denoument-this is where the reader learns what happens as a result of the
climax-or the way in which the problem was solved.
5. Resolution- where the entire plot is wrapped up and there is a sense of closure for the reader.


Common types of conflicts:

1. The Protagonist against Another 3. The Protagonist against Nature

2. The Protagonist against Society 4. The Protagonist against Self

A single story may contain more than one type of conflict, although one often predominates. The
conflict provides the excitement and makes possible the growth and development of the protagonist’s


The main, underlying idea of a piece of literature. It is woven subtly into the fabric of the story rather than
being lectured or preached by the author.


NOUN - (Naming word)

A noun is the name of a person, place, thing or idea.

Examples of nouns: Daniel, London, table, dog, teacher, pen, city, happiness, hope

Example sentences: Steve lives in Sydney. Mary uses pen and paper to write letters.

Know the difference between a common and a proper noun:

Common Nouns Proper Nouns

hospital Mercy General Hospital

woman Martha Washington

school Sayville Middle School

newspaper The New York Times

PRONOUN - (Replaces a Noun)

A pronoun is used in place of a noun or noun phrase to avoid repetition.

Examples of pronouns: I, you, we, they, he, she, it, me, us, them, him, her, this, those

Example sentences: Mary is tired. She wants to sleep. I want her to dance with me.

Here are the types of pronoun:

1. A reflexive pronoun is formed by adding –self or –selves to certain personal pronouns. Examples
of reflexive pronouns are myself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, themselves, yourself, and
yourselves. The sentence, “I found it myself,” contains the personal pronouns I and the reflexive
pronoun myself.
2. An interrogative pronoun is used to ask a question. These pronouns are which, who, whom, and
3. A demonstrative pronoun is used to point out a specific person or thing. These pronouns include
this, that, these, and those. In the sentence, “Theresa, is this yours?” this is the demonstrative
pronoun, and yours is the personal pronoun.
ADJECTIVE - (Describing word)

An adjective describes, modifies or gives more information about a noun or pronoun.

Examples: big, happy, green, young, fun, crazy, three

Example sentences: The little girl had a pink hat.

VERB - (Action Word)

A verb shows an action or state of being. A verb shows what someone or something is doing.

Examples: go, speak, run, eat, play, live, walk, have, like, are, is

Example sentences: I like Woodward English. I study their charts and play their games.

ADVERB - (Describes a verb)

An adverb describes/modifies a verb, an adjective or another adverb. It tells how, where, when, how
often or to what extent. Many adverbs end in -LY

Examples: slowly, quietly, very, always, never, too, well, tomorrow, here

Example sentences: I am usually busy. Yesterday, I ate my lunch quickly.

PREPOSITION - (Shows relationship)

A preposition shows the relationship of a noun or pronoun to another word. They can indicate time,
place, or relationship.

Examples: at, on, in, from, with, near, between, about, under

Example sentences: I left my keys on the table for you.

CONJUNCTION - (Joining word)

A conjunction joins two words, ideas, phrases or clauses together in a sentence and shows how they are

Examples: and, or, but, because, so, yet, unless, since, if.

Example sentences: I was hot and exhausted but I still finished the marathon.

INTERJECTION - (Expressive word)

An interjection is a word or phrase that expresses a strong feeling or emotion. It is a short exclamation
Examples: Ouch! Wow! Great! Help! Oh! Hey! Hi!

Example sentences: Wow! I passed my English test. Great! – Ouch! That hurt.


Subject and Predicate

Understanding Subject and Predicate is the key to good sentence writing. The subject of a complete
sentence is who or what the sentence is about, and the predicate tells about that subject.

“The dog ran.”

The dog is the subject of the sentence, because the sentence is telling something about that dog. And
what is it telling? It says that the dog ran. So in this example the subject is “dog” and the predicate is “ran.”

“The dog ran after the cat.”

Here we have more detail, but the subject is still “dog.” How can we know that the subject is “dog” and
not “cat” since the sentence seems to be about both animals?

To determine the subject of a sentence, first find the verb and then ask “who?” or “what?” In this
sentence, the verb is “ran.” If we ask, “who ran?” the answer is, “the dog ran.” This is how we know that
“dog” is the subject of the sentence.


Dictionary- collection of words in one or more specific languages, often arranged alphabetically (or by
radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include information on definitions, usage,
etymologies, pronunciations, translation, etc.


Antonyms are words with opposite meanings.

Synonyms are words with the same or similar meaning.

Homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced the same, but have different meanings.