Teaching & Learning: Curriculum - English Language Arts Writing
Glossary - Grade 4
Argumentation: A speech or writing intended to convince by establishing truth. Most Argumentation begins with a statement of an idea or opinion, which is then supported with logical evidence. Another technique of argumentation is the anticipation and rebuttal of opposing views.
Character: A person who takes part in the action of a story, novel, or a play. Sometimes characters can be animals or imaginary creatures, such as beings from another planet.
Characterization/Character Development: The method a writer uses to develop characters. There are four basic methods: (a) a writer may describe a character's physical appearance; (b) a character's nature may be revealed through his/her own speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions; (c) the speech, thoughts, feelings, or actions of other characters can be used to develop a character; and (d) the narrator can make direct comments about a character.
Climax: The high point, or turning point, in a story-usually the most intense point near the end of a story.
Conflict: In narration, the struggle between the opposing forces that moves the plot forward. Conflict can be internal, occurring within a character, or external, between characters or between a character and an abstraction such as nature or fate.
Description: The process by which a writer uses words to create a picture of a scene, an event, or a character. A description contains carefully chosen details that appeal to the reader's senses of sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste.
Dialogue: Conversation between two or more people that advances the action, is consistent with the character of the speakers, and serves to give relief from passages essentially descriptive or expository.
Essay: A brief work of nonfiction that offers an opinion on a subject. The purpose of an essay may be to express ideas and feelings, to analyze, to inform, to entertain, or to persuade. An essay can be formal, with thorough, serious, and highly organized content, or informal, with a humorous or personal tone and less rigid structure.
Exposition/Expository Text: Writing that is intended to make clear or to explain something using one or more of the following methods: identification, definition, classification, illustration, comparison, and analysis.
Informational/Expository Text: Nonfiction writing in narrative or non-narrative form that is intended to inform.
Main Idea: In informational or expository writing, the most important thought or overall position. The main idea or thesis of a piece, written in sentence form, is supported by details and explanation.
Narration: Writing that relates an event or a series of events; a story. Narration can be imaginary, as in a short story or novel, or factual, as in a newspaper account or a work of history.
Perspective: A position from which something is considered or evaluated; standpoint.
Persuasion/Persuasive Writing: Writing intended to convince the reader that a position is valid or that the reader should take a specific action. Differs from exposition in that it does more than explain; it takes a stand and endeavors to persuade the reader to take the same position.
Sensory Details (Imagery): Words and phrases that create vivid sensory experiences for the reader. Most images are visual, but imagery may also appeal to the senses of smell, hearing, taste, or touch.
Setting: The time and place of the action in a story, play, or poem.
Short Story: A brief fictional work that usually contains one major conflict and at least one main character.
Theme: A central idea or abstract concept that is made concrete through representation in person, action, and image. No proper theme is simply a subject or an activity. Like a thesis, theme implies a subject and predicate of some kind-not just vice for instance, but some such proposition as, "Vice seems more interesting than virtue but turns out to be destructive." Sometimes the theme is directly stated in the work, and sometimes it is given indirectly. There may be more than one theme in a given work.
Thesis: An attitude or position taken by a writer or speaker with the purpose of proving or supporting it. Also used for the paper written in support of the thesis.