Elements of Literature: Other

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Tone is a description of how the author treats the story. It may be told humorously/lightly, pensively/seriously, romantically, sympathetically, ironically, or morbidly. It can be determined by the action within the story, the details given, and the author's style. Mood is the reaction of the reader to the story. It is usually dependent upon the tone in which it was written. The term pathos shows the author's efforts to evoke pity while bathos evokes sentimentality.

Style describes the author's use of language. It includes diction or choice of words, types of sentences, use of figurative language such as figures of speech and sound devices, and use of themes and symbols.


Diction is an author's choice of vocabulary. It includes the use of connotative words which convey meaning beyond the actual word and denotative words which are used merely to convey information. In addition, the use of abstract/concrete, colloquial/formal, technical/common, and literal/figurative words play a part.

Sentence types fall into two categories. They may be periodic which are formal and follow the straightforward subject verb object pattern. They may be described as loose or non-periodic. These are relaxed and conversational and frequently do not follow standard rules of punctuation. Balanced sentences may combine the two techniques.

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