Literary Terms List: Perfect Devices to Write A+ Essay Easily and Fast

Writing Guide

Literary Terms List: Perfect Devices to Write A+ Essay Easily and Fast

“Tommy made fun of me, so I nicked his eye with a stick.” –  It’s a typical example of diction – one of the literary terms, which refers to a writer’s choice of word. Writing an essay is always about choosing the correct words. Perhaps, immersion is the most effective way to learn a second language or complete filling the vocabulary of native English (many people know just 70% of their native language). The article contains an impressive literary terms list, which makes it possible to turn a regular, boring writing process in a lot of fun for both writers and readers.

The more you read, the more you learn about the world around and successful writing in particular. Do you want to enrich your baggage of skills and knowledge with the powerful writing techniques? We would advise a professional team of writers ready to complete any sort of homework assignment within the specified time! Read our guide to create a literary work using our menu of various terms.

Literary Terms List: the Best Devices to Enrich Your Writing!

The language of literary analysis is a difficult task to the master; it is hard to understand the way they work without having several good examples. Our article contains a brief literary terms dictionary to help young writers and students make their stories more interesting and breathtaking!

Off we go, it makes sense to define what literary terms mean. Each time a writer decides to come up with the new story, he/she does not plan just to describe what happened in details. A good literature device helps to enrich the text. They help to add the texture, tone, dynamics, excitement. These factors assist in grabbing the reader’s attention like powerful hook sentences do at the beginning of each essay. These narrative techniques can help to convey information.

We will name the literary terms list in the alphabetical order to make it easier to follow. Every item plays an important role for writing; feel free to use these elements if appropriate.


If the author wants to reflect some abstract ideas, an allegory is the best method. The main purpose of adding it to the story is to teach a certain lesson.

  • To make a good example, it is important to recall George Orwell’s writing in the shape of a famous novel Animal Farm, which is full of political literary devices, allegories. The main plot describes a typical barnyard as the location. These settings reflect the Communist party in Russia (1917-1943); to understand Orwell, it is critical to know the Russian political history.


It is a figure of speech where the author uses a repeated sound of the first/second letter in a phrase, or the repetition of the same letter sounds in stressed syllables of a sentence.

  • Do you want to find a good example? View Shakespeare's novels: "With bloody blameful blade he bravely broached his bloody boiling breast."


Those writers who prefer creating poems should be aware of the allusion – poetry makes allusion more powerful, and vice versa. It is a word/phrase created to recall something in the reader’s mind. The author cannot name the object; he gives a hint. Such method of calling particular things to mind can be noticed in many pieces of poetry, plus in the Holy Bible. The technique is effective if you want to add context/depth to the theme.

  • An example is from the New Testament where the writer refers to Lazarus who used to resurrect thanks to his faith: “Night after night our hero lay in bed with the flu, hacking mucus and blood and seeing behind his eyelids the angels or devils come to collect him; but one morning, like Lazarus, he was whole again…”


This is a comparison of two or more objects. It helps to create a relationship based on connections between the ideas to give readers a better sense of an object to understand the motif better. Sometimes the analogy may be used for a flashback to emphasize a thesis.


An apostrophe literary term is not what people consider the punctuation mark. Another meaning is the literacy tool used if the author refers to the individual who is gone or not in place or the object that does not exist. Fiction, poetry, and music are the three most popular areas of approach.

  • To explain this element from the literary terms list, Shakespeare steps in with his famous story about tragic love, Romeo & Juliet. in Act II Scene II, Juliet says, ''O, Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?'',  and the reader knows Romeo is hiding in Juliet’s yard; he is listening to her words silently but the girl has no idea, thinking she is alone at night.


This is a form of a resemblance of sound between syllables in the words, getting from the vowel rhyming. In fact, rhyme is a special case of assonance.


This term means the final part of a play on stage or a film where the strands of the plot are drawn together and a conflict goes to the resolution.


It is a conversation between two or more characters to show the action between the protagonist/antagonist. It can be a direct contact between a good person/bad person, etc.


Our literary terms list includes an epigraph, which stands for the specific quotation from the work of another author under the essay’s title (quotations appear in italics).

  • Most of the examples are the works of poetry and some famous essays. People who have read Eliot's famous poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock may have noticed a reference to the world-known Dante's Inferno in the following lines:

If I but thought that my response was made

to one perhaps returning to the world,

this tongue of flame would cease to flicker.

Don't forget to avoid copyright infringement during creating your own story! You can cite the poems correctly using any writing style/format listed below:

  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago
  • Turabian
  • Harvard
  • Oxford
  • Vancouver
  • IEEE
  • AMA
  • ASA


This device serves as a figurative language that helps to describe things visually in a literary content to draw a mental picture in the readers' minds.


The ironic humor is related to disagreement with norms. In such situation, the subject is represented by the meaning opposite to the traditional.


The reader may lose interest in reading if he doesn't get some good hints from the author. The writer should be careful with the given tools; he/she is not supposed to open the secret of the story’s ending by providing minor hints.

  • Train to use foreshadowing by reading the numerous essays of Ernest Hemingway. Before his main character dies during the rain in A Farewell to Arms, the popular writer describes a scene with the hero mentioning he is scared off by the rain for the reason of seeing her death.


It is an exaggeration of things not meant to be taken literally. The point of using a hyperbole is to make things more dramatic; it can be used for setting a climax to create an effect of drama to the readers.

  • Search for a hyperbole in the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". "A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County."


A list of literary terms cannot be complete without a metaphor – a popular technique used to compare & contrast two or more objects directly.

  • Let’s return to the works of William Shakespeare: Romeo tells, “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” Juliet appears as the main source of light on Earth instead of being recalled as a regular woman.

In case you wish to sound like William Shakespeare or another famous world’s author, purchase a professional essay or story from the academic writing service online on the professional site.


It is a word which helps to imitate a similar sound of a certain thing or an object. It creates an effect that mimics the described object; this device makes the description more interesting.


An oxymoron is commonly one or two words that have a conflicting definition. A comical oxymoron can be used for a comedy genre.


A parodic humor is a symbol of a funny imitation if the author shows someone to the readers to make other people laugh at them.


The author may attribute a personal nature or human characteristics to something non-human. He or she may represent an abstract quality in form of a human.


The satirical humor uses jokes referred to problems of a human; the author shows the audience people weakness and troubles of the society.


A literary terms dictionary should have a simile on the list. It exists to compare & contrast different objects, characters, traits/features, or events with the help of certain words (e.g., “like” or “as”). It is not a direct comparison; do not confuse it with the metaphor.

  • If you need a humorous example of a simile, look at A Christmas Carol – a story about the greedy man, written by Charles Dickens. He mentioned,“Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”


This is a grouped set of lines in a poetry that keeps the set off from other text. Most of the stanzas have a regular rhyme.

Read about other famous American writers who applied different literacy tools!

Both students and professional authors would benefit from using the literary devices' dictionary; we hope that our literary terms list made it possible to learn more helpful writing techniques to improve your essays and short stories. If you want an expert to enrich your writing with various literacy tools, do not hesitate to buy a custom academic help from the market leaders!

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