Literature Terms Vocabulary Practice

Updated on Sep 8, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review: Literature Terms Vocabulary Help

Literature Terms Vocabulary Practice

Words in Context

The following exercise will help you figure out the meaning of some words from the vocabulary list by reading context clues. After you have read and understood the paragraph, explain the context clues that helped you with the meaning of the vocabulary word. Refer to the answer section for an explanation of the clues.

When asked why the prose of the new novelist, Jane Jackson, appealed to me, I immediately thought of what makes any good novel. Considering the standard archetype, I think the successful novel should include mastery of a range of literary elements. In Jackson's case, she indeed effectively employs the device of anthropomorphism, in particular, when she writes of the "angry storm" waiting to take her revenge. It is as if the storm itself is the novel's protagonist: its central and most dynamic character. An anecdote I would like to share regarding the popularity of Jackson's writing takes place on the New York City subway. I noticed a young woman reading Jackson's latest novel, a satire that exposes and pokes fun of dating in the big city. When I, instinctively as a literary critic, approached the reader to ask her opinion, I realized it was Jackson herself! The irony of the situation was that the novelist still wished to critique the text she had authored; she was her own worst critic!


Some people learn best by doing. Try writing a short story or poem using some of the concepts defined in this list. Seeing them in action will help you commit the words to memory.

Sentence Completion

Insert the correct word from the vocabulary list into the following sentences.

  1. My dad told us a(n) _____ about his childhood that was so funny, none of us could stop laughing.
  2. I love to learn the origin of words, so my teacher suggested I might like to read a book on the _____ of language.
  3. I _____ (d) his smile as accepting my offer.
  4. I decided to start my novel with a(n) _____ to get readers thinking about what was to come.
  5. The little girl's favorite cartoon is one that uses _____ to tell the story; the silverware, refrigerator, and everything else in the kitchen come to life.
  6. When something or someone typifies or embodies a given idea, it is a(n) _____ of that concept.
  7. An ideal example of a given type is known as a standard or a(n) _____.
  8. A(n) _____ is a play on words.
  9. _____is the art of effective language use.
  10. When a character or performer reveals her thoughts without addressing a listener, she is issuing a _____.
  11. A brief statement of truth or opinion is known as a(n) _____ or a saying.
  12. One is often able to _____, or to reach a conclusion by reasoning or inference.
  13. The complex device, _____, is when words are used to express something different from, and opposite to, their literal meaning.
  14. _____is often used in children's books to help kids learn the sounds that animals make, like "moo" for a cow and "meow" for a cat.
  15. To _____ is to understand from a hint or implication, rather than from something directly statee.
  16. Putting a situation in the proper _____ often requires a certain mental outlook or point of view.
  17. A novel's main character, or _____, is central to the action of the text.
  18. When a saying, idea, or word is so overused that it fails to evoke interest or convey meaning, we may call it _____.
  19. The finest novelists have a real signature to their writing or the _____ they produce.
  20. Irony and wit contribute to the makings of an effective _____ that attacks human folly.
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