1. Education

Glossary of Literary Terms

Literary terms may be part of a larger exam, a quiz, or a literary terms test. Literary terms are essential to a complete understanding of literature: what happens with words, how writers structure sentences, how poetics and rhetoric work, and more. Here are some tips and resources related to literary terms.

Abcedarian poem
What is an abcedarian poem? Why do we write abcedarian poems? Read more about abcedarian poems.

Acatalectic
What is an acatalectic? Why do we write acatalectics? Read more about acatalectic in literature.

Accent
What is an accent? Why is it important to literature? Read more about the accent.

Acrostic Poem
What is an Acrostic Poem? How does it relate to literature? Read more about acrostic poems.

Act
What is an act? How does it relate to literature? Read more about the act in literature.

Aestheticism (Aesthetic Movement)
What is Aestheticism? Read more about Aestheticism as it relates to books and literature.

Allegory
What is an allegory? How does it relate to literature? Read more about allegories.

Alliteration
What is an alliteration? How does it relate to literature? Read on.

Allusion
What is an allusion? How does it relate to literature? Read on.

Ambiguity
What is ambiguity? Is it always a bad thing? Why do writers sometimes write in an ambigious way? Read more about ambiguity.

Antagonist
What is an antagonist? How does it relate to literature? Read more about the antagonists in literature.

Archetype
What is an archetype? How does it relate to literature? Why do these archetypal patterns appear across cultures in myths and stories? Read more about the archtype, as it relates to literature and writing.

Authorial Intrusion
What is authorial intrusion? How does it relate to books and literature? Read on.

Autobiography
What is autobiography? Why do we read it? Why is autobiography important? Read more about autobiography.

Ballad
What is a ballad? Why are ballads important to literature and literary history?

Bibliomania
What is Bibliomania? Why is it important?

Bildungsroman
What is a Bildungsroman? How does it relate to literature? Read more about the Bildungsroman.

Biography
What is a biography? Why is it important to literature? Read more about the biography.

Blank Verse
What is blank verse? How does it relate to books and literature? Read on.

Bloomsbury Group
What was the Bloomsbury Group? How does this group relate to books and literature? Read on.

Books
What is a book? Why do we write books? Read more about books.

Canon
What is the canon? How does it relate to literature? Read more about the canon.

Characters
In A History of English Literature, Robert Huntington Fletcher writes about characters.

Classic
What is a classic? Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve writes: "A classic, according to the usual definition, is an old author canonised by admiration, and an authority in his particular style. The word classic was first used in this sense by the Romans..."

Cloud storage
What is cloud storage? Why is it important to back-up your ebook collection?

Death
What is death? Why is death such a big part of literature? Read more about death and dying in literature.

Diction
What is diction? How does it relate to books and literature? Read on.

Dramatic Irony
What is dramatic irony? How does dramatic irony relate to literature? Read more about dramatic irony!

Ebook
What is a ebook? Where are they located, and how does one access an ebook?

Edwardian Age
What is the Edwardian Age? Read more about it.

Elizabethan Age
What was the Elizabethan Age? Read more about it.

Epigram
What is an epigram? Read more about epigrams.

Epigraph
What is an epigraph? How do epigraphs relate to literature? Read more about it.

Escape literature
What is escape literature? Why do we write escape literature? Read more about escape!

Euphemism
What is a euphemism? Why do we use euphemisms when we mean something else? Read more about euphemisms.

Existentialism
What is Existentialism? When did it start, and how did it develop?

Exposition
What is exposition? Read more about how exposition relates to literature.

Feminist criticism
What is feminist criticism? Why do we read and write feminist criticism? Read more about feminist criticism.

Fiction
What is fiction? How does fiction relate to literature? Read on.

Fiction
What is fiction? Why do we read it? Why is fiction important? Read more about fiction.

Foreshadowing
What is foreshadowing? How does an author use foreshadowing in literature? Read on.

Galley
What is a galley? Why is it important? How would you define it?

Genre
What is a genre? How does it relate to literature? Why is everyone always talking about genre? Discover what genre is all about...

Graveyard School
What is the Graveyard School? How does it related to books and literature? Read on.

Historical Fiction
What is historical fiction? Why do we read it? Why is historical fiction important? Read more about historical fiction.

Ideology
What is ideology? How does ideology relate to literature? Read more about ideology.

Informal Writing
What is informal writing? Why do we write it? What's it often used for?

Interpretive literature
What is interpretive literature? Why do we write interpretive literature? Read more about interpretive literature!

Literary convention
Literary convention is a practice or device.

Literature
What is literature? Why do we read it? Why is literature important? Read more about literature.

Memoir
What is a memoir? Why do we write memoirs? Read more about memoirs and the personal experience of the writer!

Nonfiction
What is nonfiction? Why do we read it? Why is nonfiction important? Read more about nonfiction.

Novel
What is a novel? Why do we read it? Why is a novel important? Read more about novels.

Pantheism
What is Pantheism? How does it relate to books and literature? Read on.

Play
What is a play? Why do we ready and study plays? Read more about plays...

Plot
What is plot? Why is plot so important in literature? Read more about plot, and how we connect the events.

Point of View
What is a point of view? Why is it important in literature? Read on.

Protagonist
What is a protagonist? How do protagonists relate to books and literature? Read on.

Realism - American Literature
What is the Realism? Read more about it.

Sentimental novel
What is a sentimental novel? How does it relate to literature? Read more about sentimental novels.

Setting
What is the setting and why is it important in literature? Read more about it here...

Stereotype
What is a stereotype? How do stereotypes relate to books and literature? Read on.

Stream of Consciousness
What is stream of consciousness? Read more about stream of consciousness.

Style
What is style? How does it relate to literature? Read more about style?

Epic
What is an epic, and why is it important to literature? Here's a series of definitions and discussion.

Theme
What is a theme? Why is it important in literature?

Juxtaposition
Juxtaposition

Absurd, Theatre of the
What is the Theatre of the Absurd?

Abcedarian Poem
What is an Abcedarian Poem?

What is Burlesque Literature?
Burlesque Literature: An overview, with examples.

Literary Reference: Manuscripts and Archives
Resources for conducting research into manuscripts, finding and using archives, and learning more about the history of a literary classic.

Is This Book Totally Epic?
What is an "epic?" A brief overview with classic and contemporary examples.

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.