Literary Terminology<br />Abstract: an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object.<br />Active Voice: the subject of a sentence does the action. For example, the dog ran into the street use. Use the active voice when possible. It uses fewer words and is more precise than the passive voice.<br />Ad Hominem Fallacy: a general category of fallacies in which a claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument. Typically, this fallacy involves two steps. First, an attack against the character of person making the claim, her circumstances, or her actions is made (or the character, circumstances, or actions of the person reporting the claim). Second, this attack is taken to be evidence against the claim or argument the person in question is making (or presenting). This type of "
has the following form: <br />Person A makes claim X. <br />Person B makes an attack on person A. <br />Therefore A's claim is false. <br />The reason why an Ad Hominem (of any kind) is a fallacy is that the character, circumstances, or actions of a person do not (in most cases) have a bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim being made (or the quality of the argument being made).<br />Ad Misericordiam Fallacy: (argument from pity or misery) the fallacy committed when pity or a related emotion such as sympathy or compassion is appealed to for the sake of getting a conclusion accepted.<br />Aerial Shot: usually done with a crane or with a camera attached to a special helicopter to view large landscapes. This sort of shot would be restricted to exterior locations. A good area to do this shot would be a scene that takes place on a building. If the aerial shot is of a character it can make them seem insignificant or vulnerable.<br />Apostrophe: a digression in the form of an address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea, as “O Death, where is thy sting?”<br />Archetype: a theme, symbol, character, or setting that can be found throughout literature, folklore, and media so often that it comes to reflect some universal human character or experience. For example, Robin Hood is an archetypal hero.<br />Art (Visual) Essay: a video that documents a person’s opinion on a certain topic<br />Artistic Unity: every part is essential in some way to every part.<br />Bibliography (Works Cited List): a list of source materials that are used or consulted in the preparation of a work or that are referred to in the text.<br />Catharsis: the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, esp. through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.<br />Character Foil: a character that contrasts with another character (usually the protagonist) in order to highlight various features of the main character's personality: to throw the character of the protagonist into sharper relief. A foil usually has some important characteristics in common with the other character, such as, frequently, superficial traits or personal history.<br />Cinematography: the art or technique of motion-picture photography.<br />Citation: the act of citing or quoting a reference to an authority or a precedent.<br />Cliché: a trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse, as sadder but wiser, or strong as an ox.<br />Close-up Shot: In film, television, still photography and the comic strip medium a close-up tightly frames a person or an object. Close-ups are one of the standard shots used regularly with medium shots and long shots. Close-ups display the most detail, but they do not include the broader scene. Moving in to a close-up or away from a close-up is a common type of zooming.<br />Coherence: the property of unity in a written text or a segment of spoken discourse that stems from the links among its underlying ideas and from the logical organization and development of its thematic content.<br />Colloquialism: characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal.<br />Comic Relief: an amusing scene, incident, or speech introduced into serious or tragic elements, as in a play, in order to provide temporary relief from tension, or to intensify the dramatic action.<br />Composition: a short essay written as a school exercise.<br />Controlling Idea: an idea that makes a reader ask a question. Any time a topic sentence has a good "
idea, the reader will have his or her curiosity raised.<br />Critical Analysis: an appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation<br />Critical Essay: informative; it emphasizes the literary work being studied rather than the feelings and opinions of the person writing about the literary work; in this kind of writing, all claims made about the work need to be backed up with evidence.<br />Deus Ex Machina Ending: a plot device in which a person or thing appears "
out of the blue"
to help a character to overcome a seemingly insolvable difficulty. It is generally considered to be poor storytelling technique.<br />Diction: the accent, inflection, intonation, and speech-sound quality manifested by an individual speaker, usually judged in terms of prevailing standards of acceptability; enunciation.<br />Director: the person responsible for the interpretive aspects of a stage, film, or television production; the person who supervises the integration of all the elements, as acting, staging, and lighting, required to realize the writer's conception.<br />Didactic: teaching or intending to teach a moral lesson.<br />Documentary: based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.<br />Dollying: to move a camera on a dolly, esp. toward or away from the subject being filmed or televised (often fol. by in or out): to dolly in for a close-up.<br />Editorial: an article in a newspaper or other periodical presenting the opinion of the publisher, editor, or editors.<br />Elegy: a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, esp. a funeral song or a lament for the dead.<br />Essay: a short literary composition on a particular theme or subject, usually in prose and generally analytic, speculative, or interpretative.<br />Eulogy: a speech or writing in praise of a person or thing, esp. a set oration in honor of a deceased person.<br />Exposition: (in a play, novel, etc.) dialogue, description, etc., that gives the audience or reader the background of the characters and the present situation.<br />Expository: of the nature of exposition; serving to expound, set forth, or explain: an expository essay; expository writing.<br />Extended Metaphor: a metaphor that is extended through a stanza or entire poem, often by multiple comparisons of unlike objects or ideas.<br />Eye-level Shot: tend to be neutral. Much like the medium shot, an eye-level shot puts the viewer on equal footing with the subject being filmed. lt has none of the diminishing or exaggerating qualities of the high- and low-angle shots.<br />Figurative Language: uses words to paint a picture, draw an interesting comparison, or create a poetic effect.<br />Formal Essay: A formal essay has an opening paragraph that tells the reader what you're going to tell him. It has at least 3 paragraphs to elaborate on what you said in the opening paragraph. Then it has a closing paragraph which summarizes what you've said. A formal essay never uses the words 'I' or 'me' or 'you.' For instance, it would say, "
One never imagines..."
The reader may agree with..."
etc.<br />Genre: a class or category of artistic endeavour having a particular form, content, technique, or the like: the genre of epic poetry; the genre of symphonic music. <br />High-angle Shot: usually when the camera is located high. With this type of angle, the camera looks down on the subject and the point of focus often get "
by the setting. High angle shots also make the figure or object seem vulnerable or powerless.<br />High Culture: the culture of an elite such as the aristocracy or intelligentsia. It is contrasted with the low culture or popular culture of barbarians, philistines or the masses.<br />Implied Thesis: this type of thesis is never stated, just hinted at throughout, most often, a piece of fiction. For example, in Stephen King's book, The Stand, King never comes out and tells the reader that this is a story about a final showdown between good and evil. We gather that from characterization, plot, dialogue, word's choice, etc., but it is never directly stated. That is why, in fiction, several different interpretations of a work may occur. In poetry also, the point is often implied and not stated explicitly.<br />Informal Essay: written mainly for enjoyment. This is not to say that it cannot be informative or persuasive; however, it is less a formal statement than a relaxed expression of opinion, observation, humor or pleasure. A good informal essay has a relaxed style but retains a strong structure, though that structure may be less rigid than in a formal paper.<br />Informational Essay: an essay used to inform the reader on a certain topic.<br />In Medias Res: (Latin for "
into the midst of affairs (lit. into mid-affairs)"
), refers to a literary and artistic technique where the narrative starts in the middle of the story instead of from its beginning. The characters, setting, and conflict are often introduced through a series of flashbacks or through characters relating past events to each other.<br />Language Arts: the skills, including reading, composition, speech, spelling, and dramatics, taught in elementary and secondary schools to give students a thorough proficiency in using the language.<br />Long Shot: a camera shot taken at a relatively great distance from the subject and permitting a broad view of a scene.<br />Low-angle Shot: a shot taken with the camera placed in a position below and pointing upward at the subject<br />Low Culture: a derogatory term for some forms of popular culture. The term is often encountered in discourses on the nature of culture. Its opposite is high culture. It has been said by culture theorists that both high culture and low culture are subcultures.<br />Matters of Choice: the choice of words a person uses.<br />Matters of Correctness: the way words are put together in a sentence.<br />Metacognition: awareness and understanding one's thinking and cognitive processes; thinking about thinking<br />Panning: to photograph or televise while rotating a camera on its vertical or horizontal axis in order to keep a moving person or object in view or allow the film to record a panorama: to pan from one end of the playing field to the other during the opening of the football game.<br />Passive Voice: the subject of the verb receives the action: the fire was extinguished.<br />Personal Essay: a short composition that deals with a subject drawn directly from the writer’s life.<br />Photo Essay: a set or series of photographs that are intended to tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewer. A photo essay will often show pictures in deep emotional stages. Photo essays range from purely photographic works to photographs with captions or small notes to full text essays with a few or many accompanying photographs. Photo essays can be sequential in nature, intended to be viewed in a particular order, or they may consist of non-ordered photographs which may be viewed all at once or in an order chosen by the viewer. All photo essays are collections of photographs, but not all collections of photographs are photo essays. Photo essays often address a certain issue or attempt to capture the character of places and events.<br />Playwright: a writer of plays; dramatist.<br />Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc Fallacy: is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence appears to be integral to casualty. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based solely on the order of events, rather than taking into account the other factors that might rule out the connection.<br />Rhetorical Device: a use of language that creates a literary effect (but often without regard for literal significance).<br />Rhetorical Question: a question that is asked for effect, and that does not invite a reply. The purpose of a rhetorical question is to introduce a topic or to focus the reader on a concern. For example, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.<br />Sarcasm: a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark.<br />Sardonic: characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin.<br />Satire: a work that criticizes something—for example, a person, a characteristic, an institution, or a government—by depicting it in a humorous, sarcastic, or scornful way.<br />Screenplay: a motion-picture or television scenario.<br />Script: the manuscript or one of various copies of the written text of a play, motion picture, or radio or television broadcast.<br />Stage Directions: an instruction written into the script of a play, indicating stage actions, movements of performers, or production requirements.<br />Stream-of-Consciousness Story: a literary technique that presents the thoughts and feelings of a character as they occur.<br />Syntactic: consisting of or noting morphemes that are combined in the same order as they would be if they were separate words in a corresponding construction: The word blackberry, which consists of an adjective followed by a noun, is a syntactic compound.<br />Syntax: the study of the rules for the formation of grammatical sentences in a language.<br />Thesis: a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, esp. one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.<br />Thesis Statement: an explanation of the topic or purpose of a research paper<br />Tracking: dollying; to move a camera on a dolly, esp. toward or away from the subject being filmed or televised (often fol. by in or out): to dolly in for a close-up.<br />Tragedy: a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.<br />Tragic Flaw: the character defect that causes the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedy; hamartia.<br />Tragic Hero: a literary character who makes an error of judgment or has a fatal flaw that, combined with fate and external forces, brings on a tragedy<br />Verisimilitude: the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood; probability: The play lacked verisimilitude.<br />Vocice-over: the voice of an offscreen narrator, announcer, or the like.<br />Weasel Words: a word used to temper the forthrightness of a statement; a word that makes one's views equivocal, misleading, or confusing.<br />Works Cited List (Bibliography): appears at the end of your paper and, as its title suggests, lists only the works you have cited on your paper MLA prefers Works Cited to the more limited heading Bibliography (literally, "
description of books"
) because those headings are more likely to accommodate the variety of sources - articles, films, computer software - that may be cited in a research paper.<br />Writer’s Handbook: a notepad writer’s keep with them in case of sudden ideas.<br />Writing Prompt: having writing done at an appointed time.<br />Social Terminology<br />Identity<br />Liberalism: a collection of ideologies all committed to the principle of the dignity and freedom of the individual as the foundation for society. Liberalism has faith in human progress and tends to favor decentralized power, both in political and economic affairs, and respect for the sovereignty of the reasoning individual.<br />Individualism: a current of thinking that values the freedom and worth of the individual, sometimes over the security and harmony of the group.<br />Common Good: the good of a community; something that benefits the public health, safety, and/or well-being of society as a whole.<br />Collectivism: a current of thinking that values the goals of the group and the common good over the goals of any one individual.<br />Ideology: a set of principles or ideas that explains your world and your place within it, which is based on certain assumptions about human nature and society and provides an interpretation of the past, an explanation of the present, and a vision for the future.<br />Progressivism: a 1920’s movement in the United States, usually associated with President Theodore Roosevelt, that rejected to the perceived abuses of laissez-faire capitalism by large corporations. Progressives favored “a square deal” for average citizens and used legislation and some regulation of the marketplace to achieve this.<br />Individual Rights & Freedoms: a key principle of individualism and an important feature of liberal democracies; example include freedom of religion, freedom of association, and the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person.<br />Competition: the act or an instance of competing or contending with others (for example, for supremacy, a position, or a prize). Competition is seen as an incentive for individuals and groups to work harder and more efficiently.<br />Economic Freedom: the freedom to buy what you want and to sell your labor, idea, or product to whomever you wish.<br />The Rule of Law: a key principle in liberal democracies that states that every individual is equal before the law and all citizens are subject to the law.<br />Private Property: something that is owned by an individual, including real estate, other forms of physical possessions, and intellectual property. The right to the protection of private property is a central principle of liberalism and is seen as a natural extension of the concept of the worth of each individual.<br />Public Property: anything (for example, land, buildings, or vehicles) not privately owned by individuals. Generally speaking, public property is owned by the state or the community, and managed according to the best interests of the community.<br />Collective Responsibility: holding a whole group or collective responsible for the actions of individuals (or individual groups) within the group or collective.<br />Collective Interests: the set of interests that members of a group have in common. The principle of collective interest states that while individual members may have individual interests, these interests are often better addressed by making them a common set of interests that the group can address together. Individuals have both individual interests and collective interests. <br />Cooperation: working together to the same end; a principle emphasized by collectivist ideologies.<br />Economic Equality: a principle common to collectivist ideologies which can have different meanings depending on the person or the ideology. Governments may try to foster economic equality through tax policies and by ensuring that all people earn equal wages for work of similar value.<br />Collective Norms: the accepted social behaviors of society.<br />Resistance to Liberalism<br />John Locke: advocate for democracy and direct involvement of citizens in government; believed government action requires public consent.<br />Baron de Montesquieu: political thinker; developed several political theories alongside John Locke.<br />Adam Smith: invisible hand; pursuing your own interests/wealth is in the interest of society—furthers social progress.<br />John Stuart Mill: known for his movement of utilitarianism. <br />Laissez-Faire Capitalism: non-interference or non-intervention. Laissez-faire economics theory supports free markets and an individual’s right to own private property.<br />Industrialization: the stage of economic development during which the application of technology results in mass production and mass consumption within a country. This is accompanied by urbanization and changes in national living standards.<br />The Class System: the division of a society into different classes of people, usually based on income or wealth.<br />Limited Government: the principle of little government involvement in the affairs of an economy, in the belief that this results in more efficient self-regulating markets.<br />Classic Conservatism: an ideology that says government should represent the legacy of the past as well as the well-being of the present, and that society should be structured in a hierarchical fashion, that government should be humanitarian, and that the stability of society is all important.<br />Marxism: a radical form of socialism, often called scientific socialism or communism to distinguish it from other socialist ideologies.<br />Socialism: any ideology that contains the belief that resources should be controlled by the public for the benefit of everyone in society, and not by private interests for the benefit of private owners and investors.<br />Welfare Capitalism: initiatives by industrialists to provide workers with non-monetary rewards to head off the growing demand for labor unions; also refers to government programs that would provide social safety nets for workers.<br />Labor Standards: government-enforced rules and standards aimed at safe, clean working environments, and the protection of workers’ rights to free association, collective bargaining, and freedom from discrimination.<br />Unions: the act of uniting two or more things.<br />Universal Suffrage: the right of all members of society, once they reach the age of accountability, to fully participate politically. This participation begins with the right to vote.<br />Welfare State: a state in which the economy is capitalist, but the government uses policies that directly or indirectly modify the market forces in order to ensure economic stability and basic standard of living for its citizens, usually through social programs. <br />Human Rights: also known as “natural rights”, the rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. These rights are enshrined in Bills and Declarations of Rights in many countries including Canada and the United States, and in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.<br />Feminism: the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. The term also stands for the movement that advocates for these equalities.<br />Communism: a system of society with property vested in the community and each member working for the common benefit according to his or her capacity and receiving according to his or her needs.<br />Fascism: an extreme, right-wing, anti-democratic nationalist movement which led to totalitarian forms of governments in Germany and Italy from the 1920’s to the 1940’s.<br />Expansionism: a country’s foreign policy of acquiring additional territory through the violation of another country’s sovereignty for reasons of defence, resources, markets, national pride, or perceived racial superiority.<br />Containment: the act or condition of containing.<br />Truman Doctrine: provide military and economic aid to any country threatened by Communism.<br />Domino Theory: if one country is taken over by an expansionist, the nearby nations will be taken over one after another.<br />Deterrence: the Cold War foreign policy of both major powers aiming to deter the strategic advances of the other through arms development and arms buildup. Deterrence depends on each combatant crating the perception that each is willing to resort to military confrontation. <br />Brinksmanship: international behavior or foreign policy that takes a country to the brink of war; pushing one’s demands to the point of threatening military action; usually refers to the showdown between the United States and the Soviet Union over Cuba in October 1962.<br />Détente: a period of the Cold War during which the major powers tried to lessen the tensions between them through diplomacy, arms talks and reductions, and cultural exchanges.<br />Non-alignment: the position taken during the Cold War by those countries in the United Nations that did not form an alliance with either the United States or the Soviet Union. This group of countries became a third voting bloc within the UN and pushed for more aid for the developing world.<br />Liberation Movements: military and political struggles of people for independence from countries that have colonized or otherwise oppressed them.<br />Neo-conservatism: an ideology that emerged in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s as a reaction against modern liberal principles. Some aspects of neo-conservatism challenge modern liberal principles and favor a return to particular values of classical liberalism. Other neo-conservative ideas challenge both classical and modern liberal principles and favor values identified as “family values” and traditional values, often resting on a religious foundation.<br />Environmentalism: a political and ethical ideology that focuses on protecting the natural environment and lessening the harmful effects that human activities have on the ecosystem.<br />Post-modernism: a movement of thought, art, and criticism that rises questions about the faith that moderns have in reason and in progress, and tries to get people to rethink their assumptions about the meaning of modern life.<br />Extremism: a term used by others to describe the beliefs and actions of those perceived to be outside of the accepted norms of political or social behavior. Extremism may be a response adopted by those for whom ordinary political means of redressing perceived wrongs are deemed ineffective.<br />Contemporary Liberalism<br />Consensus: a resolution to a problem that all members of the group can accept.<br />Direct Democracy: a form of government in which the people participate in deciding issues directly. A direct democracy operates on the belief that every citizen’s voice is important and necessary for the orderly and efficient operation of society.<br />Representative Democracy: a form of government in which a small group of politicians are elected by a larger group of citizens. The people participate in deciding issues through elected officials who represent them and make laws in their interests.<br />Authoritarianism: a form of government with authority vested in an elite group that may or may not rule in the interests of the people. Authoritarian political systems take many forms, including oligarchies, military dictatorships, ideological one-party states, and monarchies.<br />Command Economies: an economic system based on public (state) ownership of property in which government planners decide which goods to produce, how to produce them, and how they should be distributed (for example, at what price they should be sold); also known as a centrally planned economy; usually found in communist states.<br />Free Market Economies: a market that operates with limited government intervention. In a free-market economy, questions regarding production and marketing of goods and services are decided through the free interaction of producers and consumers.<br />Traditional Economies: an economic system usually practiced by a pre-industrialized society, where needs are met through agriculture, hunting, and fishing, and where there tends to be a division of labor based on custom and tradition.<br />Mixed Economies: an economic system based on free-market principles but with some government intervention, usually to regulate industry, to moderate the boom-and-bust nature of the free-market business cycle, and to offer social welfare programs. In some mixed economic systems, the government owns some key industries (such as communications, utilities, or transportation).<br />American Bill of Rights: the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution. Ratified by the original 13 states by 1791, it is based primarily on John Locke’s concept of liberty, and the protection of property.<br />Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms: a document entrenched in the Constitutional Act, 1982 that lists and describes the fundamental rights and freedoms guaranteed to Canadians.<br />Quebec Charter of Human Rights & Freedoms: a statutory bill of rights and human rights code that was passed by the National Assembly of Quebec in 1975.<br />War Measures Act: a Canadian law that gave the federal cabinet emergency powers for circumstances where it determines that the threat of war, invasion, or insurrection, real or apprehended, exists. It was replaced by the Emergencies Act (1988).<br />Patriot Act: a U.S. law enacted in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which gave law-enforcement officials greater ability to tap telephones and track Internet users; also called [The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001]<br />Debt: something that is owed or that one is bound to pay to or perform for another<br />Poverty: the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor; indigence.<br />Racism: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.<br />Pandemics: outbreaks of disease on a global scale.<br />Terrorism: the policy of various ideological groups to disrupt the affairs of an enemy state or culture by the use of violent acts against non-combatants, in order to crate debilitating terror and confusion.<br />Censorship: the act of restricting freedom of expression or freedom of access to ideas or works, usually by governments, and usually to protect the perceived common good; may be related to speech, writings, works of art, religious practices, or military matters.<br />Illiberalism: ideologies opposed to the values, beliefs, and principles of liberalism; usually refers to undemocratic actions but may be found in democratic countries during times of crisis.<br />Citizenship<br />The Human Condition: includes all the experience of being human.<br />Dissent: the political act of disagreeing; the right to disagree. Sometimes dissent takes the form of popularly organized opposition to a tradition of an official policy or statute.<br />Civility: thoughtfulness about how our actions may affect others, based on the recognition that human beings live together.<br />Civil Disobedience: the refusal to obey a law because it is considered to be unjust; a form of non-violent political protest.<br />Political Participation: any number of ways a citizen can be involved in the political process, such as voting, running as a candidate, supporting a candidate, attending constituency meetings, speaking out, demonstrating, protesting, writing letters to elected representatives.<br />Citizen Advocacy: a movement to strengthen citizen action and motivation to participate in community and civic affairs; often focuses on bringing the marginalized back into the community.<br />Humanitarian Crises: an event which represents a critical threat to health, safety, security, or wellbeing.<br />Civil Rights Movements: popular movements, notably in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, that work to extend rights to marginalized members of society. Often these struggles aim not only for legal and civic rights, but also for respect, dignity, and economic and social equality for all.<br />Anti-war Movements: organized campaigns against war. The Vietnam anti-war movement gained public support during the late 1960s and contributed to the United States ending that war. These movements can be pacifist in general, and aimed at ending or restricting the military policy options, or they can be movements opposing specific military campaigns.<br />McCarthyism (Red Scare): an anti-communist movement in the United States during the 1950s, led by Republican senator Joseph McCarthy. It was intended to uncover and persecute those with perceived ties to communism within the US government, universities, and entertainment industries.<br />Pro-democracy Movements: movements or campaigns in favor of democracy.<br />Collective & Individual Action: the pursuit of a goal by an individual or group.<br />