The Young Writer's Glossary

Whether you're working on a school assignment or a fiction or nonfiction writing project, developing your language and writing skills will help you achieve your goals. Effective writing is a skill that comes with practice, so the more you write, the better writer you can become. Explore writing tips to learn about grammar, punctuation, verb tenses, and sentence construction. The stronger your grammar skills, the stronger your writing will be. It's also helpful to spend time doing word puzzles such as crosswords and anagrams every day. You'll develop a varied vocabulary, and your spelling skills will increase by leaps and bounds. Before you know it, you'll be ready to tackle any writing project that comes along!

Abstract: An abstract is a brief summary of an article, often an academic document.

Active Voice: Writing in the active voice consists of structuring sentences so they focus on the action of the sentence's subject.

Allegory: An allegory is a method of storytelling that uses characters or objects to deliver a message metaphorically.

Antagonist: The antagonist of a story is usually the villain or another character that tries to prevent the protagonist, or main character, from succeeding in achieving a goal.

Assonance: Assonance means choosing words that have similar vowel sounds. Writers often use assonance when writing poetry.

Attribution: When you attribute in writing, you give credit to a source.

Balance: The arrangement of words and phrases so they have equal emphasis or rhythm is known as balance.

Bibliography: A bibliography is a list of sources used when writing an article or a book.

Citation: A citation is a reference used for information.

Copyright: A copyright assigns ownership of a work.

Dialogue: Dialogue in a story is the words spoken by the characters.

Endnote: Endnotes are positioned at the end of a book, serving as explanations for specific points.

Flow: The flow of a story involves its organization and progression. Writers strive to achieve a smooth and logical flow.

Footnote: Footnotes are positioned at the ends of pages, explaining specific points.

Hook: The line designed to pull readers into a book is known as the hook.

Idiom: An idiom is a phrase that has a different meaning from the actual words. Idioms are often understood by specific groups of people.

Imagery: Imagery involves descriptions that appeal to the senses.

Juxtaposition: Juxtaposition is placing two words or phrases side by side to create an ironic or original meaning.

Metaphor: A metaphor is a figure of speech that uses a word or phrase that isn't literally true but makes a comparison or provides a description.

Narrative: The events that make up a story are the narrative.

Narrator: The person recounting a story is its narrator.

Outline: An outline is a summary of a story presented in point form. A writer may use an outline to organize a story before writing or when creating a table of contents.

Passive Voice: Writing in passive voice puts the emphasis on the object of the sentence instead of the subject.

Personification: A writer uses personification when assigning human traits to an inanimate object or an animal.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of someone else's writing.

Point of View: The point of view of a story is the perspective from which it's told.

Protagonist: The protagonist is the main character of a story. Readers generally root for and identify with the protagonist.

Rhetoric: Rhetoric is communicating to persuade or impress an audience.

Run-on Sentence: A run-on sentence is a sentence that consists of more than one sentence. It's a grammatical error and should be shortened or divided into multiple sentences.

Syntax: Syntax is the organization of words or phrases to create dialogue, verses, or prose.

Tone: The tone of a book is the author's attitude toward the subject.

Voice: A writer's voice is the persona adopted to convey the subject matter.

Further Reading