Ch 13: Literary Terms for 12th Grade

About This Chapter

Learn all about important literary terms through our online video presentations and quizzes. These easy-to-follow lessons are just a portion of our online study guide and video collection.

Literary Terms for 12th Grade - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Effective use of key literary devices can make your writing stand out from the rest. In this chapter, learn how to use metaphors, similes, personification and irony. Exceptional stories contain themes, motifs, foreshadowing, symbolism and imagery. You can learn what those terms mean and how to incorporate them into your own writing. Finally, find out the differences between prose and poetry, and explore the major literary periods and movements. This chapter is designed to teach:

  • Types of writing viewpoints
  • The difference between allusion and illusion
  • Strategies to use in your writing and traps to avoid
  • Historical foundations of writing periods and movements

Video Objective
What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types Learn to find them and why they are effective in writing.
Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples This lesson describes two particular types of metaphors and how to spot them in writing pieces.
Clichés, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples Find out how these can weaken your writing, but how they can sometimes be used effectively.
What is a Simile? - Examples, Definitions & Types Learn the differences between similes and metaphors.
Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples This lesson explains how these two literary devices show great imagination concerning non-humans and non-living objects.
Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions Explore three different types of irony in this lesson.
Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples Find out how understanding allusions are dependent upon prior knowledge.
What Are Themes and Motifs? Learn how motifs can contribute to themes in literature.
Point of View: First, Second & Third Person In this lesson, explore how to decide which point of view to use in your writing.
Types of Point of View: Limited, Objective, & Omniscient Narration Find out how point of view can affect the scope of your story.
What is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & Definitions Learn about the direct and more subtle forms of this literary device.
What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama Find out how this purging of emotions can happen in both tragedy and comedy.
Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & Examples This lesson shows how an allegory is much like a story within a story.
Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples Find out how the sounds of words can affect the tone of writing.
Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples Learn that litotes are a special type of understatement, and look at examples of each.
Euphemism: Definition & Examples This lesson shows you how to say something without actually coming out and saying it.
Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples Discover the differences between symbolism and imagery.
Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose In this lesson, learn about basics such as conflict, narrator, tropes and ambiguity, in addition to reviewing literary terms addressed in separate lessons.
Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry Learn technical aspects of how poems are organized.
Introduction to Literary Theory: Major Critics and Movements This lesson discusses formalism, deconstructionism and postmodernism.
Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course In this lesson, you can look at an overview of periods such as Medieval, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romantic, Victorian, Modern and Postmodern. Find out the typical sort of writing accomplished during these periods and well-known writers that fit into those movements.

21 Lessons in Chapter 13: Literary Terms for 12th Grade
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

1. What is a Metaphor? - Examples, Definition & Types

Metaphors are all around you. They're the bright sparkling lights that turn plain evergreens into Christmas trees. Learn how to spot them, why writers write with them, and how to use them yourself right here.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

2. Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

Would you lend your ears for a moment (or at least your eyeballs)? This lesson will explain what synecdoche and metonymy mean and how to spot them in a piece of prose or poetry.

Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

3. Cliches, Paradoxes & Equivocations: Definitions & Examples

Learn about cliches, paradoxes, and equivocations, and how they can weaken or strengthen certain types of writing. Explore examples of all three from literature and daily life.

Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

4. Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

Explore the simile and how, through comparison, it is used as a shorthand to say many things at once. Learn the difference between similes and metaphors, along with many examples of both.

Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples

5. Personification and Apostrophe: Differences & Examples

In this lesson, explore how writers use personification to give human characteristics to objects, ideas, and animals. Learn about apostrophe, or when characters speak to objects, ideas, and even imaginary people as if they were also characters.

Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

6. Types of Irony: Examples & Definitions

Discover, once and for all, what irony is and is not. Explore three types of irony: verbal, situational and dramatic, and learn about some famous and everyday examples.

Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

7. Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

Allusions and illusions have little in common besides the fact that they sound similar. Learn the difference between the two and how allusions are an important part of literature and writing - and how to spot them in text.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

8. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.

Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

9. Point of View: First, Second & Third Person

Just who is telling this story? In this lesson, we'll look at point of view, or the perspective from which a work is told. We'll review first person, second person and third person points of view.

Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

10. Narrators in Literature: Types and Definitions

Learn how point of view, or the angle from which a story is told, impacts the narrative voice of a work of literature. Explore, through examples, how point of view can be limited, objective, or omniscient.

What is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & Definitions

11. What is Foreshadowing? - Types, Examples & Definitions

Learn about how authors use foreshadowing, both subtle and direct, as part of their storytelling process. Explore many examples of foreshadowing, from classical plays to contemporary stories.

What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama

12. What is Catharsis? - Definition, Examples & History in Literature and Drama

In this lesson, learn about catharsis, a purging of feelings that occurs when audiences have strong emotional reactions to a work of literature. Explore examples of literary works which lead to catharsis, including tragedies.

Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & Examples

13. Allegory in Literature: History, Definition & Examples

Learn about allegories and how stories can be used to deliver messages, lessons or even commentaries on big concepts and institutions. Explore how allegories range from straightforward to heavily-veiled and subtle.

Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

14. Consonance, Assonance, and Repetition: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the different ways authors repeat consonant and vowel sounds in their literary works. Learn about how writers use repeated words and phrases with well-known examples.

Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

15. Understatement & Litotes: Differences, Definitions & Examples

In this lesson, explore the use of understatement as a way to draw attention to a specific quality or to add humor. Learn about litotes, a specific form of understatement, and discover examples from literature.

Euphemism: Definition & Examples

16. Euphemism: Definition & Examples

This lesson defines euphemisms, alternate language used in place of offensive language or when discussing taboo topics. Explore some examples of euphemisms in everyday language and well-known examples from literature.

Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

17. Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson you will learn how poets and authors use symbolism in their writing to make it more meaningful and interesting. Explore how descriptive writing called imagery appeals to the senses, adding to works of literature.

Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose

18. Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose

The study of literature is a broad, diverse field. However, there's some general knowledge you should have before you dive in. Check out these terms to get a handle on the basics of prose study.

Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry

19. Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry

Before you start your study of poetry, you'll want to have these technical, literary and genre terms at your disposal. Read on to learn the basics of analyzing poetry!

Introduction to Literary Theory: Major Critics and Movements

20. Introduction to Literary Theory: Major Critics and Movements

When you hear the word 'theory,' your mind probably darts to the sciences - the theory of relativity, the theory of gravity, etc. Did you know that literature, too, is full of theory? Check out this lesson to get a basic primer on just what literary theory is, and how you might apply it.

Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

21. Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

When it comes to studying literature, there's about 1500 years of it to take in - and that's just in the English language! Fortunately, you can check out our crash course of key literary movements to see how the art form has developed over time.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
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