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Critical Terms / Frameworks by Mind Map: Critical Terms /
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Critical Terms / Frameworks



dynamic character, A character that changes

flat/static character, a character that doesn't develop eg Lane or Merriman

Stream of Conciousness, Imitating the characters stream of thoughts

Persona, This is a voice in a work of literature, it could be the narrator of author who uses the narrator to express ideas

figures of speech

Oxymoron, This combines two normally contradictory terms eg pretty ugly

hyperbole, a figure of speech that uses exaggeration

Imagery, simile, extended simile, a simile that is elaborated on and developed in several phrases or sentences, metaphor, extended metaphor, a metaphor that is elaborated on and developed in several sentences, personification, a figure of speech that attributes human qualities to an inanimate object.

Epigram, A short witty statement, that is often memorable

Onomatopoeia, This is a figure of speech that uses the words to imitate the sound eg crash! bang! meow!

Pun, It is a play on words, e.g. He wanted to become a chef, but he didn't have the thyme.

Synonym, Words which shares the same or similar meaning


Theme, the key idea or message of the text, Dystopia, 'Bad Place', An example of this would be when Amir returns to Kabul to find it in near ruin by the destruction by the Taliban, Utopia, 'Good Place'

Dramatic Structure/Technique

Prologue, An opening statement to introduce the play

Epilogue, A concluding statement

Climax, The main dramatic focus of the plot, Falling Action, Action after the climax

Dramatic Irony, When the reader/audience knows something that the character(s) does/do not

Epiphany, A sudden insight or change of heart that happens in an instant

Monologue, A speech given by one person, Dramatic Monologue, When a character speaks to a silent listener, Interior Monologue, When the reader feels like they are inside the characters mind through the revelation of the characters thoughts

Classicism, Structure and style that imitates that of ancient Greece and Rome

Soliloquy, A long speech made by a character who is alone, who reveals private thoughts and feelings to the reader or audience


Whether the piece is spoken, written or both, Format, Audience, Who the writer has in mind when they are writing the text, depending on the formal this would change., Aim/purpose, Why the text has been written., for example whether it is a novel or article etc

Atmosphere/ aura

How the setting of the text affects the tone or mood



Alliteration, This is the same consonant at the beginning of each stressed syllable

Assonance, The repetition of vowel sounds in at least two words but that do not rhyme

Consonance, The repetition of a consonant at the end of at least words

Caesura, Having punctuation in the middle of a sentence to form a break or pause


Accent, a manner of pronounciation of language

Dialect, applied most often to regional speech patterns,, A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, sociolect - speech patterns created by social and economic status

Idiolect, A person's individual speech characteristics

Received Pronunciation, the accent of Standard English in England, "BBC English", sociolinguistic factors give received pronunciation particular prestige in England and Wales.

Stress, the relative emphasis given to certain syllables in a word or to certain words in a phrase or sentence., The term is also used for similar patterns of phonetic prominence inside syllables., The word accent is sometimes also used with this sense.


Connotation, Associations with a word that is not the definition

Denotation, The literal meaning of a word

Dysphemism, To use the coarse or rude method of saying something or using a more offensive substitute for a word for example calling your Father old man.

Euphemism, To use the indirect method of sayimg a potentially offensive statement, eg) the decorators are in

Colloquialism, Local expression not found in formal writing but that reflects the area/society in which the text is set. The use of informal speech for example the British use of 'snogging.', New node, Dialect, Regional speech that identifies a character's social status


Structure, Juxtapositioning, placing a word, phrase or sentence next to another to achieve a specific stylistic effect, Layout, How a text has been ordered or structured on a page., Form, External, What genre has been chosen, Prose - Novel/Essay/Letter/Article/Document/Drama, Verse - Lyric/Sonnet/ Dramatic Monologue/Occasional Verse, Internal, What is the inner design?, Prose - Organisation/Balance/Climax/Sentence Structure/Use of Rhythm etc., Verse - Consider the rhythm, such as iambic rhythm,trochaic rhythm,anapaestic rhythm.

Narrative stance, First Person Address, Third Person Address, Omniscient, This will involve the use of the third person pronoun (he/she/they)., Restricted, Reliable, Unreliable

Features of speech

Adjacency pairs, Linked statements made by different speakers, such as Q&A

Chaining, The linking together of adjacency pairs to form a bigger unit of Discourse

Deixis, This allows a speaker to point at places, times and individuals in a conversation, How someone else responds to utterance


Fillers, This is when soneone uses none fluent terms instead of pausing

Hedges, A device that a speaker uses to reduce the impact of utterance

Initiation, The way an individual starts a conversation, When somone starts a conversation, it is the way they start it

Non-fluency terms, unpreparedspeech causes things such as hesitations or unintneded repititions, false starts or fillers

Paralinguistic features, Non-linguistic variables in speech, such as tone of voice, emphasis and intonation

Phatic speech, Language we use to enable social contact rather than convey a literal meaning, such as 'It's a nice day today' or 'How are you keeping?'

Tag questions, A short question attached to the end of an utterance, seeking some sort of agreement or confirmation. Used to encourage a conversation with the other person., for example, 'It's a lovely day, isn't it?'

Turn taking, The way in which speakers regulate their contributions to a conversation, some people giving precendence to others, some taaking precendence over others


Rhetoric is the art of using language to communicate effectively

the study of writing or speaking as a means of communication or persuasion

examples of rhetorical techniques, Alliteration:repetition of the same sound beginning several words in sequence, Let us go forth to lead the land we love. - J. F. Kennedy


Determiner, A determiner determines or identifys what we are referring to. They are used before nouns, E.g - 'those' shoes, 'my' book, 'that' man

Noun, Concrete nouns, These are used to refer to; people, objects, places, substances, Abstract nouns, These are; events, states, concepts, activities, a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea.

Verb, asserts something about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being, Dracula bites his victims on the neck., The verb "bites" describes the action Dracula takes.

Adverb, can modify a verb, adjective, another adverb or clause, indicates manner, time, place, cause, or degree and answers questions such as "how," "when," "where," "how much"., can be identified by their characteristic "ly" suffix, The seamstress quickly made the mourning clothes., "quickly" modifies the verb "made" and indicates in how fast the clothing was constructed., Conjunctive Adverb- join two clauses together, The government has cut university budgets; consequently, class sizes have been increased., the conjunctive adverb "consequently" is not strong enough to join two independent clauses and so requires a semi-colon

Pronoun, A pro form that substitutes a noun, examples "he" "you"- makes a sentence less repetative



Syntax, Sentence structure and organisation, Simple sentence, A sentence which contains a single clause which includes a finite verb, Compound sentence, A sentence which contains two or more clauses linked by the coordinating conjunctions, and, but, (n)either, (n)or., Complex sentence, A sentence which contains two or more clauses linked by subordinating conjunctions, such as 'although', 'as', 'because', 'that', 'which' or 'who'., however does not contain any coordinating conjunctions, Compound-complex sentence, A sentence which contains three or more clauses, which contain at least one coordinating and at least one subordinating conjunction, Minor sentence, A group of words which begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop but which does not contain a finite verb