A collection of scenes that forms a major segment of a play

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Glossary STAAR Terms


a collection of scenes that forms a major segment of a play


a set of letters attached to the beginning or the end of a root word that changes the word’s meaning


the repetition of the beginning sound of a word


a reference to a famous person, event or work of literature


a word relationship that compares two dissimilar things


words that have opposite or nearly opposite meanings


a succinct statement of a philosophy or principle; often quoted


an attempt to persuade someone on a topic open to debate

Author’s purpose

the reason the author wrote the passage

Author’s viewpoint

in persuasive text, the author’s attitude toward or opinion about the subject


a fallacy that involves an exaggerated, overly simplified version of an opposing point of view


the reason something happens, such as an event or action


a person, animal, or other creature in a work of fiction


a statement of the author’s point of view


the turning point in the story, usually the most exciting part

Commonplace assertion

a statement that many people assume to be true, though it may or may not actually be true


to study the similarities between two things


a struggle or problem that a character in a story must resolve

Context clue

a word, phrase, or sentence in the text around an unfamiliar word that helps you identify the word’s meaning


to evaluate the differences between two things


an illustration with labels that describes something or shows how it works


what a character is saying


a book or online reference that contains an alphabetical listing of words, including their parts of speech, syllabifications, pronunciations, meanings, and origins


a set of instructions with multiple steps


a play written to be performed. The story is divided into acts and scenes, and told with stage directions and dialogue.

Draw conclusions

to use details, facts, and evidence from a text come to a new understanding about a topic or idea


what happens as a result of an event or action

Epic poetry

lengthy narrative poetry that may tell a story of a great hero or mythical adventure.


a quote set apart from the a body of text at the beginning of a chapter or speech


the beginning of the story; introduces the setting, characters, and problem

Extended metaphor

a detailed, complex metaphor that continues through a long section of text

Extraneous information

extra information that is not necessary

Factual claim

a statement that can be verified, independently and objectively with facts, personal observations, reliable sources, or an expert’s findings.


a persuasive technique that does not rely on sound reasoning

Falling action

point in a story where the conflict begins to be resolved

False assumption

the fallacy of an idea or a principle that is untrue


a graphic that shows the sequence of steps in a process, typically with boxes, circles, and arrows

Figurative language

words that express more than their literal meaning

First person

a point of view in which the narrator is a character in the story who reveals personal thoughts and feelings, and cannot reveal the thoughts and feelings of other characters


a diagram that shows relationships between sets of data; examples: bar graph, line graph


a visual representation of information or ideas


an alphabetical list of important words or technical terms and their definitions, often found at the back of a nonfiction publication


a photograph or drawing related to a text

Incorrect premise

the fallacy of an erroneous basis for a logical statement


to use details in the passage and what you already know about the topic to make an educated guess about an unstated idea

Leading question

a fallacy in the form of a question that suggests the desired answer or tries to make the audience think in a particular way


explanatory list of symbols or colors on a graphic

Literary devices

the effective narrative techniques used in literature to produce a specific effect

Loaded term

in persuasive text, a word or phrase that reveals the author’s feelings and rouses the reader’s emotions

Lyric poem

a poem, often short, in which the poet conveys an emotion or paints a word picture of his or her experience in a particular situation

Main idea

the main point a writer wants to communicate with a text

Make inferences

to think about the clues in the text along with your own prior knowledge in order to make an educated guess about an unstated idea


a representation of regions on Earth and their geographical or political features


any platform used to reach a vast audience, such as radio, television, Internet, and newspapers


a type of figurative language that compares two unlike things or ideas by stating that one thing is something else


a reason why a character acts the way he or she does

Multiple-meaning word

a word that has more than one meaning


a story about unreal or immortal characters, often explaining some aspect of the natural world


someone who tells the story in a work of fiction


a personal belief; a statement that cannot be proven true

Organizational pattern

the logical structure in which text is arranged, such as a sequence, comparison and contrast, problem and solution, or cause and effect


the repetition of phrases that contain similar words or have the same grammatical structure


to summarize part of or all of a text you read in your own words

Persuasive text

a text in which the author is trying to convince the reader of something


the sequence of events in fiction or drama


structured, imaginative writing. Poetry may have variations in the arrangement of words on the page, the length of the lines of text, or patterns of rhyme and meter

Point of view

in a work of fiction, the narrator’s outlook in relation to the story


an affix added to the beginning of a root word

Primary source

something written by a witness at the time an event occurred

Prior knowledge

the information, experiences, ideas, and beliefs that you already have


a conflict or difficulty

Procedural text

step-by-step instructions for completing a task or project


ordinary language in the style of everyday speech, with sentences grouped into paragraphs and a continuous flow of text


the ending of a story, when the conflict is resolved

Rising action

the bulk of the story, during which the character works to resolve the problem


the main part of a word


a portion of a play that takes place in one location

Secondary source

something written after an even occurred by someone who didn’t witness the event

Sensory language

language that appeals to one or more of the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch


a presentation of information or events in the order in which they happen


the time and location in which a story takes place


a type of figurative language that compares two unlike things or ideas by using the word like or as


a resolution to a conflict or a way of overcoming a difficulty

Stage directions

italicized words in a drama that describe the unspoken parts of a play; where the characters are, how they are acting, and what is happening around them


a smaller plot within the main plot or a story


an affix added to the end of a root word


a short restatement of a longer text in the reader’s own words

Supporting detail

an example, reason, fact, or description that backs up the main idea of a text


words that have similar meanings


an arrangement of information in columns and rows


the central message or lesson of a literary work


a book or online reference that contains an alphabetical listing of words, including their synonyms and antonyms

Third-person limited

a point of view in which the narrator is not a character in the story but can see into the mind of one of the characters, often the main character

Third-person objective

a point of view in which the narrator cannot see into the minds of any of the characters and tells only what can be directly observed, without passing judgment on what is happening

Third-person omniscient

a point of view in which the narrator is an all-knowing outsider who can see into the minds of all the characters in the story


a representation of events in chronological order


aspects of writing that reveal the emotions that an author brings to a subject. Tone can be positive, negative, or neutral.

Topic sentence

a sentence that states a paragraph’s main idea


a quality that defines a character
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