Reading Journal Help

As you take notes, notice when various literary elements are used.  Try marking the margin of your journal with the following abbreviations or words,.  Also mark the page number where the key information relating to these five elements of fiction is found in the text, or where a significant literary device is used.


S = Setting

C = Characterization (then ID Character’s Name—ie.  C-Disko or C-Harvey etc, Quote or list character traits shown)

P = Plot  (Make note of significant things happening in each chapter that move the story along. Short summary statements fine.)

= Conflict (What is causing the tension to build?  Is this an external or internal conflict?  This will often be tied to the Plot.)

TH = Theme (The Novel’s main message, underlying idea being communicated, or the leading subject)

WV = Author’s Worldview (Likely tied closely with theme, Is the Author’s worldview assumption consistent with scripture? How so?  Contrary to Scripture?  How so?  Directly defying God and His Word?  True?  False?  Well supported?  “Every writer is understood to be transmitting some truth or falsehood, some fact or meaning, during the writing process.” Mike McHugh)

Literary Devices to Note:

 Foreshadowing-Hints within the text of events that will take place, early clues about what will happen later on.

 Irony—A mode of speech or writing expressing a literal sense contrary to the meaning intended by the speaker.

 Symbolism—what is being symbolized? How?

 Motif—Repeated phrase, recurring structure, contrast or a pattern of identical or similar images recurring throughout a passage or the entire work

Personification– A comparison in which human qualities are assigned to something inanimate.

 Imagery (Metaphor or Simile) – You may note ones that are particularly poignant or really stand out

 Poetic Devices (alliteration, assonance, etc.)

 Allusion—an indirect reference to some character or event in literature, history, or mythology that enriches the meaning of the passage or aids in understanding.

 Hyperbole—Purposeful extreme exaggeration


This entry was posted in Goals, Basics, Upcoming Literature Discoveries, Literature Analysis Basics Worksheet. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s