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Ch 1: Literary Terms & Techniques

About This Chapter

Watch our video lessons that will introduce you to literary terms and techniques, and take self-assessment quizzes to see how well you're grasping the material. These video lessons are short and engaging and make learning easy!

Literary Terms and Techniques - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Allegory, hyperbole, personification, soliloquy, narrative point-of-view, epistolary - Do you know what any of these words mean? If you feel a bit confused, don't worry. This chapter covers all the literary vocabulary you need to know to understand literature from yesterday and today. The glossary of terms covered will introduce you to literary styles, time periods and techniques. You'll learn about prose and poetry. (Prose, in case you don't know, covers everything that isn't poetry. See? You're already learning literary vocabulary.)

Here's a look at more terms you may come across as you watch the videos in this chapter:

  • Satire
  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Picaresque novel
  • Chivalric romance
  • Modernism
  • Fabliau

These lessons will introduce you to the work you can expect to study as you explore the Western literary tradition, meaning the work from England and the United States. You'll also get a glimpse into what the different periods in literature were all about. As you examine the various terms, you'll be introduced to some famous writers who used the techniques and styles, like Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, the Bronte sisters and Alexander Pope. You may even get the chance to look at some of these writers' most well-known works as you study these literary terms and techniques. Some of the vocabulary you learn may also be related to:

  • Historical information about the literary periods
  • Literary theory and criticism
  • Poetry techniques
  • Techniques and styles of prose

10 Lessons in Chapter 1: Literary Terms & Techniques
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Overview of Literary Periods and Movements: A Historical Crash Course

1. 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.

Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry

2. 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!

Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose

3. 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.

Introduction to Literary Theory: Major Critics and Movements

4. 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.

How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide

5. How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide

In this lesson, we will examine the steps involved in the basic analysis of literature. Then, using a well-known fable, we will go through each step of analysis: comprehension, interpreting and drawing conclusions.

How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions About Literature: Test-Taking Strategies

6. How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions About Literature: Test-Taking Strategies

In this lesson, we will examine test taking strategies involved in answering multiple-choice questions about literature. Breaking the process down into manageable parts, we will take a look at the literary text, the question itself, and then the given choices.

Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

7. 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.

Allusion and Illusion: Definitions and Examples

8. 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.

Synecdoche vs. Metonymy: Definitions & Examples

9. 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.

Similes in Literature: Definition and Examples

10. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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