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5.6: Vocabulary

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    Subjective Reading
    Paying attention to the feelings a story gives you when you read it. When you read subjectively, you follow your intuition about characters and plot points.
    Objective Reading
    Paying attention to the character, plot, setting, theme, diction, and syntax when you read a story and using these elements to analyze that story.
    The attitude writing can take towards its subject or audience. Tone generally applies to specific sentences or paragraphs, not to the text as a whole.
    The word choice used throughout a text.
    The order in which a sentence is put together grammatically.


    A person participating in, or alluded to, in the action of a story. Characters can also be animals or inanimate objects.
    The main problem in a story. It is tension in a story between two or more characters, groups, things, or events.
    Internal Conflict
    Conflict that takes place within an individual, such as a conflict of morals or of emotions.
    External Conflict
    Conflict that takes place outside an individual, such as a war or feud.
    The main character(s) of a story. The events of a story focus on the protagonist(s).
    The character(s), thing(s), event(s), or group(s) that stands in opposition to the protagonist(s).
    A protagonist who does not embody traditional heroic values.
    Secondary/Minor Character
    Characters in the story who are not the protagonist(s) or antagonist(s).
    A character type that has been repeated in literature throughout history.


    The set of events that make up a story.
    Inciting Incident
    The event that sets off the main conflict in a plot.
    Parts of the story that tell us about setting and main characters and hit at theme and possible conflicts.
    Rising Action
    The series of events in a plot that build up to the climax.
    The turning point of the story; it is the incident that allows the story to resolve.
    Falling Action
    The events in a story that take place between the climax and the dénouement.
    The point in the story at which the central conflict is resolved.


    The frame of reference in which the story takes place. This includes place, time, and social/cultural context.
    The general feeling the reader gets from the story.
    Internalized Setting
    When an aspect of the story external to a character represents the character’s internal development.


    The unifying idea or ideas behind a story. Theme usually provides a broad statement about humanity, life, or our universe and should be expressed in a complete sentence.
    Recurring elements in a story which points to a theme. Motifs can be objects, sounds, statements, etc.

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