English Language Techniques Glossary

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This glossary is a work in progress. Please add more English language techniques and new definitions.
For instructions on adding new terms, please refer to English Language Techniques Glossary

Information icon.svg LitGloss
A glossary of language techniques
See: History


This glossary is designed to be a learning tool for senior high school students. It can be used in two ways:

  1. Learners can write new entries or refine existing ones.
  2. Learners can use it as a reference tool.

Icon objectives.jpg
The goal of this Glossary is to:
  • develop a cooperatively built resource containing concise explanations of English language techniques
  • include helpful examples to illustrate written, oral and visual techniques and outline their typical effects.
  • target senior high school students (15-18 years)

Structuring Entries

Entries are structured in the following way:

Field Contents of Field
1. Definition Pedagogical Template : {{Definition| Definition of the technique and its type (written and/or oral and/or visual) }}
2. Examples Text, Images, Collaborative Video (Kaltura), Flash Animations, Animated Gifs, Audio, etc.
3. Typical Effects A brief description of the kinds of effects the technique commonly creates. This is especially important as identifying the technique is often not as important as commenting convincingly on how it works. This is just a starting point; all of these techniques have a wide range of effects and learners should always consider a technique within its context.
4. External Links Pedagogical template : {{web_resources| List of Web Resources }}

Entry guidelines

  • Aim to make entries concise. For more detailed information add further reading links to places such as Wikipedia.
  • Accept the fact that some generalisation / oversimplification will take place. This is the nature of glossaries and due to the wide and varied use of language techniques, it is particularly relevant here.
  • Consider whether the term is a technique. Some glossaries are comprised of literary terms rather than just language techniques. If you are having trouble identifying typical effects, it may by that the term you are considering isn't so much a technique as a category or type. In some cases an entry may be a structural technique, rather than a specific language technique and still have typical effects.
  • Utilise the power of wikieducator to make examples helpful and engaging. For instance, examples of camera shots could be filmed to help illustrate a film technique or oral techniques could identified in a famous speech and embedded from Wikimedia Commons.
  • When editing other people's entries, start a discussion via the discussion tab at the top before making major changes. For minor edits (such as grammar and spelling) feel free to make changes without consultation.

Making an Entry

There are two main ways to make an entry. Some language techniques are already present on the alphabetical listing pages, whereas others have not yet been added. How you go about adding an entry depends on whether you are editing or adding content for one that already exists in the list or adding a completely new entry.

Adding or Refining a Pre-Existing Entry

If you click on a letter at the top of this page you will be taken to the list of language techniques for that letter. If the technique you wish to add is already in the list then just click on the relevant entry. If the link is red, you will be automatically taken to a page where you can add a definition, examples and effects. Simply copy and paste the following wiki-markup and fill out the bold parts OR use the rich text editor being careful to retain the original formatting.


{{Definition|'''Language technique's name goes here'''
Write the definition here and include type (written and/or oral and/or visual)<br/>}}
Include examples here
==Typical effects==
Include typical effects for the technique here
* Add further reading links here<br/>

If the link to the technique is blue, then someone else has already written an entry for that technique. Please refer to the guidelines above if you would like to edit a pre-exiting entry.

Adding a Completely New Entry

If the technique you would like to add is not in the alphabetical listing, you should add a link to the list before editing the separate page for the entry itself. From the alphabetical listing page, click on edit at the top and copy and paste an existing technique from the list. Then, change the name to the technique you would like to add and check you have put it in alphabetical order. Click on 'Save page' and your link should be added to the list. Now you should be able to click on your new link from the list and add your entry. Use the wiki-markup from above for the body of the entry.