Short Stories: Definition, Characteristics & Examples


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question 1 of 3

What is the general definition of a short story?

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1. Which of the following storytelling methods has contributed to the development of the short story?

2. The literary concept known as 'in medias res' is actually a Latin phrase meaning what?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

How short does a short story have to be to be considered a short story? Our quiz and worksheet combo will assess your knowledge of this literary form, including some commonly shared traits and examples from history.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This worksheet and quiz will teach you about:

  • The definition of a short story
  • Common length
  • In medias res
  • Types of prose considered to be short stories

Skills Practiced

Use these skills when working with the worksheet and quiz:

  • Critical thinking - apply relevant concepts to examine information about the short story form in a different light
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about historical forms of short stories
  • Defining key concepts - ensure that you can accurately define main phrases, such as in medias res

Additional Learning

The attached lesson on characteristics of short stories will prepare you to:

  • Trace examples of the first short stories in history
  • List traits that almost all short stories share, including length
  • Name some examples of short stories and list their authors and years of publication