The Literary Terms



 Learning Objectives

           Learner Analysis

           Course Syllabus





Participants will,

  • Define the term Literary Terms.
  • List and define the Literary Terms listed.
  • Explain the importance of Literary Terms.
  • Identify Literary Terms in context of use.
  • Describe the characteristics and importance of the Literary Terms.
  • Identify and explain the aesthetics elements of the Literary Terms.



You are welcome to Evepac Online English Studies. The study here is a guide to English usage in different spheres of life.

The focus presently is on the study of the Literary Terms as an important aspect of written and spoken English. The study will explore the ability of the students to identify, define and describe the characteristics of the Literary Terms and explain their importance.

The study will further analyze the Literary Terms in their context of use to expose their aesthetics and assess how the Literary Terms are used to achieve maximum aesthetic effects in literary works.



A good percentage of students do not bother much about the use of Literary Terms to influence aesthetics in writing or spoken English. This is probably because most of the students do not study English as their major. They seem to neglect the idea that aesthetics in language use cuts across different fields of studies. Whether it is written or spoken English, the literary terms could be adapted into diverse uses. Also, some of the students in Arts and Humanities believe that they may not need the Literary Terms in the future because they do not intend to be writers. The remaining few see the study of the Literary Terms as an important aspect of English Studies which they might need in the future whether they are writers or not. Discussing ‘14 Literary Terms and Techniques to Deepen your understanding of English,’ the Oxford Royale Academy says:

            Having some understanding of some of the different literary devices an author, poet or

      playwright has used will help you gain a deeper appreciation of a work of literature,

                empowering you with the knowledge you need to be able to interpret the writer’s thought

                 and ideas. What’s more, by getting to know some of the more sophisticated ways in which

                    the English language can be used, you’ll further develop your own language skills and learn

                            to think more deeply about how subtly words can be used. And as if that wasn’t reason enough,

                         having some literary terms at your disposal is a sure-fire way to impress your English teacher.

Considering the assertion of Oxford Royale Academy, one can say that everyone can benefit from the study of literary terms because it will enhance our use of English in all spheres of life. Particularly, it will help one to improve both spoken and written English as it throws open a wider door of different ways the English language can be used. Hence Evepac Online English Studies sees the study of Literary terms as vital to the use of English.



Pre – Assessment

Definition of the Literary Terms

  • Characteristics

List of the Literary Terms

  • Meaning

Importance of the Literary Terms

  • Importance

Mid – Assessment

Aesthetics of the Literary Terms

  • Aesthetic Elements of the Literary Terms

Final – Assessment



Pre – Assessment

We would like to find out what you already know. So do the following exercise to enable us to assess your knowledge.


Pick out the literary terms in the following list:

Verb, climax, adjectives, rhyme, prefix, setting, affix, conflict, noun, theme, rhythm, adverb


Check out the answer for the Pre – Assessment Exercise

Conflict, theme, rhythm, climax, setting,


Definition of Literary Terms

Literary Terms are the techniques utilized by writers and speakers to embellish and strengthen their works.







Influence Emotion


List of the Literary Terms

Considering the number of literary terms, we cannot exhaust all in this lesson. The following are some of the literary terms discussed in our present study: Point of view, symbolism, plot, climax, rhythm, setting, conflict, imagery, theme, and style.


Point of View

Point of View is the perspective from which a story is seen. The prose is usually told from a particular point of view. The different points of view are discussed below:


First Person

The First person point of view involves a central observer. The story is told solely through this character who is also involved in the story. The view only reveals what this narrator sees or is told by others. The narrator uses words like I, me, my, mine.


Second Person

The Second Person point of view tells his story in the voice of an onlooker. Hence the second person narrative uses the word ‘you’. This Point of view is rarely used in fiction because many people find it difficult to sustain.


Third Person

The story is told by an observer who is not directly involved in the story. The third person narrative involves someone outside the action of the story. The narrator knows no more than the audience, readers, viewers, or listeners. The narrator uses words like he, she, it, and they.



The narrator has an all-knowing ability. He can see into the minds of characters, record their thoughts, and reveal the thoughts of several characters.



Symbolism is the representation of one concept with another. It can be an object, person, situation, event, or action that has a deeper meaning, in the overall context, beyond the surface meaning. For example, the crown represents the king.



The Plot is the sequence of events that make up a story. Various incidents or separate actions are put together to form a complete idea. The incidents maintain a causal relationship with one another. One event causes another which probably leads to another event.



The Climax is the highest point of interest. It is also seen as the turning point of the action in the Plot. It is the point of the greatest tension in a literary work and the highest point of conflict in a text.



This is the beat and pace of a literary work. It is created by the pattern of the stressed and unstressed syllable, arrangement of lines, pattern making with rhyme, and the use of some soft and hard sounds.  Rhythm is utilized in poetry, prose, speeches, and songs.



This is the time and place in which the story took place. It is the world where the actions occurred. This includes the details about physical location, historical period, whether the customs and beliefs of the people.



Conflict is a struggle between two factions, parties, or towns.  It is a struggle between opposing forces. Sometimes it could be an internal struggle within a character or an external struggle which is the struggle outside the character. The external struggle involves an opposing force which could be the antagonist, nature, custom, or convention.



This is the descriptive language used in literary works to re-create experiences and create images in the mind of the reader. It involves the use of figurative language to improve the readers’ experience. The use of imagery appeals to the five senses of smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing.



This is the central idea that cuts across a literary work. It is the dominating thought which the writer wants the reader to see.



Style is the literary element that describes the way authors use words. It is the manner of language use. It includes the choice of words, sentence structure, figurative language, established mood, images, and meaning in a literary work.


The importance of Literary Terms


Persuasion is a powerful tool used by writers and speakers to influence their audience. The use of literary terms allows writers to use the tool of persuasion. It is also utilized by speakers to gain the mind of their audience. The literary terms can be utilized to drive the audience to action.



Literary terms are used for emphasis. Wordplay for instance is used for emphasis, beauty, intelligence, and wit. It makes writers, speakers, and their audience think. Comedians utilize wordplay to create fun.



Sound and rhythm provide soothing and meaningful words in form of repetition. This reflects in Prose and Poetry and could be turned into songs. Literary terms like rhythm, rhyme, and repetition are utilized for this purpose.



Writers and speakers use literary terms to create beauty in literary works. For instance, the Yoruba praise singer of the oral tradition utilizes rhythm, rhyme, repetition in praising their subjects.



Rhetorical devices are used to influence emotions in writings and speeches. They can be used to influence an audience compellingly by evoking emotions like guilt, anger, and bliss. They can also be used to strengthen one’s argument.


Creates Connections

The literary terms create connections of ideas in literary works. The creative ability dominant in the literary terms allows beautiful, strange, and complicated concepts to be linked. It allows writers to link logic with creativity. In essence, it can create connections between things.


Mid – Assessment


In the following list of words, we have the importance of the literary terms (among some other words), you are requested to pick them out.

Success   affix    persuasion   oxymoron   speech,


Prose      soothing    verbs      poetry         aesthetics,


Omniscient   songs  emotion  glide   drama


Aesthetics of the Literary Terms

Aesthetics are the aspects of texts that prompt emotional and critical reactions. As used here, it involves the emotional and critical responses prompted by using literary terms.

Aesthetics draws from the interplay of textual features. The texts can be soothing, fascinating, or artistic. Writers utilize esthetic elements because they help to embellish and strengthen their works.

The literary terms can be used to achieve aesthetics in different spheres of spoken and written English. In essence, they are used as aesthetic elements in different aspects of language use as we can see below.


Aesthetic Elements of the Literary Terms

Poetic Devices

  • Symbolism, Imagery, Irony, Metaphor, Personification, Simile, Alliteration

Written Devices

  • Imagery, Irony, Metaphor, Personification, and Symbolism

Spoken Devices

  • Imagery, Symbolism, Rhetoric

Film Devices

  • Imagery, Symbolism

Dramatic Devices

  • Dialogue, Symbolism, Style


Final – Assessment

You are requested to do the following exercise:

  1. List five Literary Terms discussed in this lesson.
  2. Write the five importance of Literary Terms mentioned in this study?
  3. List the aesthetic elements, used as written devices and spoken devices.



Check out the answers for the Final – Assessment

  1. Five Literary Terms discussed in this lesson are, Point of view, plot, symbolism, setting, and plot.
  2. The five importance of literary terms mentioned in this study are, persuasion, emphasis, soothing, aesthetics, and emotion.
  3. The aesthetic elements used as written devices and spoken devices are,

Written devices – imagery, irony, metaphor, personification, and symbolism,

Spoken devices – images, symbolism, and rhetoric.



We have come to the end of this study. Hope you benefitted from Evepac Online English Studies’ discussion of the literary terms. We hope that this study impacts your use of English.

The literary terms are many, hence one cannot exhaust them in a lesson. We intend to continue the study of literary terms in the future. We encourage you to be a part of our audience as we continue in this discussion.

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Oxford Royale Academy. 14 Literary Terms and Techniques to Deepen your Understanding of English.>articles.18/2/2021



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