This is a list of the literary devices for which we should look out. Although it’s certainly not a comprehensive list, it should help you get your papers started.
Alliteration: the use of the same letter in a consecutive list (ex: brilliant blue ball)
Background: the historical and social context of a book. When was it written? What was happening at that time, and how did it influence the author?
Characterization/Character Development: how the characters change through the events of the story.
Citation: an acknowledgement of an outside source that contributed to your idea, paper, or presentation. There are always two citations in a paper: one in the text of your writing, and one on the Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
Conflict: any dispute between characters, tense situation, etc., that spurs the plot of a story.
Dynamic characters: characters who change.
Foil: a secondary character whose only purpose is to develop the main characters. These characters are usually “static” or “flat”; they do not develop themselves.
Free verse: any poetry that does not adhere to the strict rules of rhyming and meter (this includes visual poetry).
Metaphor: the comparison of an image with another person, place, or thing that gives additional insight (ex: “She is the apple of my eye.”)
Meter: the rhythm of a poem, counting accents and off-beats (usually used to emphasize important words!)
Personification: when the author gives inanimate objects human characteristics (ex: “The leaves of the tree nodded their heads.”)
Plot: the series of events in a story.
Setting: where a story takes place. This can set the tone for the whole story!
Static characters: characters who do no change.
Sub-plot: a less important (sometimes hidden!) plot within the main story.
Resolution: the end of a conflict.
Thesis (or Hypothesis): the main statement of a paper or oral presentation. Essentially, it gives the basic idea of what you will say.
Hopefully this can be of some help!