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What Is Literature?

Our learning specialists and academic tutors provide 1:1 individualized tutoring in literature for high school and college students. 

 

When we talk about literature, what often comes to mind are literary works such as poetry, short stories, and classic novels. But in its simplest and broadest sense, literature refers to any type of written work. It comes from the Latin word litaritura or litteratura, which simply translates to “writing formed with letters.” The definition of literature may also sometimes extend to textual work that are spoken, sung, or performed, such as hymns, songs, and spoken word poetry.

5 BOOKS EVERY STUDENT SHOULD READ THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE

What Are Literary Works?

 

Poetry, short stories, fiction and nonfiction novels, and other creative compositions are all considered literary work. But going by its very definition, literature can also refer to academic papers (theses, dissertations), marketing and advertising materials (brochures, catalogs), reference books, and even computer programs and databases. Literary works may also sometimes extend to written compositions that are sung, performed, or spoken and can also include unpublished work.

 

 

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Examples of Literary Works

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Manuscripts
  • Poetry
  • Contributions to collective works
  • Compilations of data or other literary subject matter
  • Dissertations
  • Theses
  • Reports
  • Speeches
  • Bound or loose-leaf volumes
  • Secure tests
  • Pamphlets
  • Brochures
  • Textbooks
  • Online works
  • Reference works
  • Directories
  • Catalogs
  • Advertising copy
  • Single pages of text
  • Tracts
  • Games
  • Automated databases
  • Computer programs

 

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What Are the Seven Elements of Literature?

 

Plot

The plot of a movie, story, or other literary work is the chain of events that move the narrative and the characters. These events are connected and have a cause and effect relationship. A plot must have a structure, which consists of:

  • Exposition – Characters and the beginning of conflict are introduced.
  • Rising action – The story escalates and is set in motion by a series of events.
  • Climax – The peak of the story or where the series of events have been building up to.
  • Falling action – Subplots and smaller conflicts are resolved.
  • Denouement – The final part where plot elements are drawn together and conflicts are explained or resolved.

 

 

Setting

The setting serves as the backdrop or the time and geographical story where the story takes place. It can be a fictional world, all-encompassing (a school, a farm, a Florida beach), or more intimate (inside a car, a dive bar, or a jail cell). When establishing the backdrop of a story, it’s important to make the reader have an accurate visualization of the place, particularly when the setting plays a key role in the narrative. Hence, the setting also includes the landscape, weather or climate, the time of day, and the social and cultural characteristics of a place.

 

Point-of-view

Point of view refers to the narrative voice used to tell the story. It is the character’s perspective on how the story unfolds or is told by the writer. A story’s point of view may be written in the first person, third person, and very rarely, second person.

 

Style

Successful writers have a distinct style that they develop over time.. It includes theirword choice, the way they structure and arrange their sentences, the type of language they use, and the way they describe scenes or establish mood. Some writers have styles that are so unique that readers immediately know who wrote the story or novel without even checking to see the author’s name.

 

Theme

When writing a story, it is the plot that sets the narrative in motion. But every narrative has an underlying theme that is explored as the story progresses through its plots and subplots, characters, setting, or dialogue. Through this exploration of the theme, a writer may choose to inject his or her own opinion through the characters or the way the story is concluded. Or, the author can leave it to the readers to decide and form their own thoughts on the theme. For the most part, an effective theme must invite discussion and analysis from its readers.

 

Literary Devices

Literary devices are the tools used by a writer to make to create an engaging story, carve his or her own style, and guide the readers through the narrative. Some examples of literary devices that we often see in literary works are

  • personification
  • alliteration
  • simile
  • metaphor
  • symbolism
  • irony
  • foreshadowing
  • allusions, to name a few.

 

 

Why Is Literature Important?

 

 

Whether it’s a poem, short story, novel, or any literary piece, literature is a reflection of human life. It captures the social, political, cultural, and personal struggles and triumphs of a certain time. In a way, literature is a historical account, wherein future generations can glean and learn about life from a time long past.

 

Literature exposes us and allows us to understand different perspectives and mindsets.

 

While we mostly view literature as a form of entertainment, it also allows us to immerse ourselves in scenarios and perspectives that may be foreign to us. By understanding the unfamiliar, we get to know ourselves and the world around us more.

 

Literature opens our mind and encourages empathy.

 

By following the journey of a story’s characters, we learn to open our mind to another person’s struggle and develop empathy. Regardless of a character’s background, being immersed in their story gives us a connection that translates into the real world, where we begin to understand people regardless of their country, race, culture, religion, or political convictions.

 

Literature allows us to escape and imagine possibilities.

 

Because reading is so immersive, a  good piece of literature can transport us to worlds beyond our imaginings. It is not only a form of entertainment but a way for us to explore and dream of possibilities that may not always be attainable in the real world.

 

 

Learn More About Literature with Themba Tutors

 

 

Contact Themba tutors today! Our Literature Tutoring Services will help your student find and nurture their interests, whether it’s about books, art, or poetry! Themba is ready to help!

My son was tutored for the ACT by Jake. Jake was able to find the most efficient way of getting the work done. What impressed me most was the interest he took in lowering the test anxiety, making the test if possible more enjoyable. He was able to take on the issue of test anxiety and it worked!

 

-L. Edelstein 

My son who has dyslexia enjoyed working with Jeffrey on his math skills so much that he didn’t want to stop at the end of sessions. Jeffrey connected to my son. He was gentle with his teaching approach and helped to build his self-esteem and confidence.

 

-Anonymous   

Matt tutored my son for the SAT & ACT this fall We liked his positive approach to help learn the necessary testing skills. He is friendly, thoughtful and points out strengths while emphasizing areas that need extra work. Thank you for sending him to us!

 

-Colleen Donohue  

I’ve had many tutors come thru my door over the years and feel there is something very special and extra professional about the tutors from Themba. They all understood my son s needs and had an amazing way of working with him. Kadyn tutored my son last year and I feel she contributed to his growth in all areas of learning. Her level of education was high and she had a very kind and calming personality that made it easy for my son to connect with her. I asked him what he thought of Kadyn. He said she helped me read articles, pull out information, organize my thoughts and put my ideas on paper. It made me feel more successful as a student.

 

-S.F. 

My son, a junior in a private high school worked, with a wonderful tutor from Themba to get ready for his SATs. I spoke with Blythe and she asked detailed questions about my sons strengths and weaknesses. She put me in touch with Don, who worked beautifully with my son. Don immediately understood where my son needed help and focused their time together on specific areas of need. He also recognized my sons strengths ( math )and was able to accelerate his understanding in those areas. My sons score jumped 190 points! The individualized instruction he got from Themba and Don was amazing! I highly recommend these wonderful people.

 

-Marie W.  

Having been through the SAT/ACT tutoring process before with my older daughter, I knew we d need something less conventional, more tailor-made, for my son–someone who could adjust and meet the needs of my son s specific learning needs. My son has ADHD and easily becomes overwhelmed and anxious with regards to test-taking. After his first tutoring session with Dr. Brooke, we knew it was a “good fit . She was able to quickly develop a great working rapport with my son. She understood that he needed to be gently challenged, praised and continually encouraged to keep him from becoming overly frustrated. His original PSAT score was a 26. Dr. Brooke helped him to bring his ACT score up to a 31. We can’t thank her enough!

 

-Hilary V.    

 

At Themba Tutors, we will let you know what kind of help you need once we set up a free intake. Knowing the student’s strengths and weaknesses is vital for helping the student with the challenges they’re facing. We offer services that include academic coaching and tutoring based on the student’s needs. We also offer a hybrid model for those students who need help with content and improving their underlying study skills. 

HELPFUL LINKS

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MEET OUR FOUNDER AND STAFF

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THEMBA AND THE COMPETITION

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FINDING A QUALIFIED TUTOR

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Read More

SCHOOLS WE WORK WITH

Read More

TESTIMONIALS

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Contact Themba Tutors Today!

Our literature tutoring services are customized to fit every student’s needs!

Call: (917) 382-8641, Text: (201) 831-9848 

Email: info@thembatutors.com

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