Writing Terms

Thesis Statement: The last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
A thesis statement has three parts:

  • Subject- A specific, limited subject that relates to the topic
  • Verb- A good action verb (no "there are/is...")
  • Controlling Idea (CI)- The attitude that you take toward the subject- provides the focus for the rest of the essay.

Topic Sentence: The first sentence in a paragraph. The topic sentence should support the thesis statement and follow the topic sentence/thesis statement formula.

Clincher Statement: Draws everything to a close; relates back to the beginning. Should be the last sentence in an essay.

Major Supports: The main ideas that support the topic sentence; the meat and potatoes, so to speak.

Minor Supports: Specific details that support the major supports.

Transitions (hooks): Words/phrases that connect ideas and "transition" between sentences and paragraphs.

  • First, Second, Third, etc.
  • On the other hand, in contrast to, however, etc.
  • Similarly, in the same fashion, in addition, etc.
  • Next, Then, Later, etc.

Coherence/Unity: Coherence is when words and sentences flow together without sounding choppy or out of place. By using transition words or synonyms, or repeating part of the previous sentence, coherence and unity are created and the two sentences will flow together in your head as you read them and just sound better overall.


8 parts of speech:

1.) Noun- Person, place or thing

  • The dog ran.

2.) Verb- A word that expresses action, or a state of being

  • The dog ran.

3.) Adjective- A word that modifies a noun or pronoun

  • The energetic dog ran.

4.) Adverb- A word that modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb

  • The energetic dog ran quickly.

5.) Pronouns- Take the place of common nouns

  • It ran quickly.

6.) Prepositions- Explain a relationship between one noun and another

  • The enegetic dog ran quickly across the park

7.) Conjunctions- Connecting Words

  • The energetic dog ran quickly across the park and barked at the squirrel.

8.) Interjections- A word that expresses strong emotions

  • Wow! Woof! BAM! ACK!

Phrases: A group of words that has either a subject or a verb but not both.

Clauses: A group of words that has a subject and a verb.

Passive Voice: Form of "to be" + past participle= passive voice. According to Mr. Hershey, passive voice should not be used because it does not relay ideas clearly. However, many people think otherwise...

Parallel Structure: A balance of two or more similar words, phrases, or clauses. If you use words and conjunctions like "not only...but also" or "and", you have to make sure that the parts of the sentence you are connecting are in balance.

Literary Terms

Personification: Giving human qualities or traits to inanimate objects.

Imagery: The use of words and phrases that appeal to the five senses. Writers use sensory details to help readers imagine how things look, feel, smell, sound, and taste.

Foreshadowing: A technique used by authors to provide clues that allow the reader to be able to predict what might occur later in the story.

Simile:‚Äč A comparison using the words "like" or "as"

Metaphor: A comparison that does not use the words "like" or "as"

Allusion: A figure of speech that makes a reference to, or representation of, a place, event, literary work, myth, or work of art, either directly or by implication. You are often expected to have previous knowledge in order to understand the allusion.

Conflict: The conflict of a story creates the plot and revolves around one or more than one of the following: Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, and Man vs. Self.