the years, my students have come to sessions seeking help with literary
devices. They have expressed
confusion over the terms: literary devices, literary terms, literary elements
and figurative language, and they also struggle with the many definitions.
- Literary Devices are creative writing
strategies used by an author to convey his or her message(s). When used
well, literary devices help readers to visualize, interpret and analyze
literary texts. There are two
kinds: literary techniques (which includes figurative language) and literary
- Literary Techniques are words or phrases in texts of literature that writers use to achieve artistic or creative
expression. Literary techniques
also help readers to visualize, understand and appreciate literature.
- Literary Elements are components or pieces that make up a story or
- Figurative Language is the creative use of words and phrases that offers a hidden meaning beyond any literal
“see” the big picture as well as understand the individual components. Although I have not included all possible literary devices, I have included what I believe to be the most common ones. I hope you agree.
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