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Collection 4 Vocabulary

Page history last edited by VRBurton 9 years, 7 months ago

Academic Vocabulary for Collection 4

These are the terms you should know as you read and analyze the selections in this collection.


The topic of a work of literature. The subject can usually be stated in

a single word or phrase, such as love, war, childhood, growing up, aging.


The general idea or insight about human life that a work of literature

reveals. The theme can be stated in one or more sentences. A theme on

the subject of love might be: True love survives all obstacles. A theme on

the subject of war might be: War destroys the good along with the bad.


A broad statement that applies to many individuals, experiences,

situations, or observations. A generalization is a kind of conclusion

that is drawn after considering as many facts as possible. Themes

are expressed as generalizations.


The different forms of literature. Genres include short stories, novels,

plays, and poems.

Universal themes

Themes that can be found in literature from different times,

countries, and cultures. Universal themes cross genres as well as national

boundaries, languages, customs, and historic periods. An example of a

universal theme is: A hero often must sacrifice something precious in

order to reach a goal.


A struggle between opposing characters or opposing forces. In an

external conflict, a character struggles against an opposing force such

as another character, society as a whole, or a force of nature. An

internal conflict takes place within a character’s own mind. It is a

struggle between opposing needs, desires, or emotions.


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