Plot Diagram Notes

*Plot-is the organized pattern or sequence of events that make up a story.  Every plot is made up of a series of incidents that are related to one another.


  1. Exposition-This usually occurs at the beginning of a short story.  Here the characters are introduced.  We also learn about the setting of the story.  Most importantly, we are introduced to the main conflict (main problem).


  1. Rising Action-This part of the story begins to develop the conflict(s).  A building of interest or suspense occurs.


  1. Climax- This is the turning point of the story. Usually the main character comes face to face with a conflict.  The main character will change in some way.


  1. Falling Action- All loose ends of the plot are tied up.  The conflict(s) and climax are taken care of.


  1. Resolution- The story comes to a reasonable ending.



Inference and Prediction Notes

What is prediction?

  • A prediction is what you think will happen based upon the text, the author, and background knowledge.
  • Prediction is an educated guess as to what will happen.

What is inference?

  • Inference is reading all of the clues and making your best guess.
  • Inference is similar to prediction but they are not the same.
  • When inferring, you are using all clues to draw conclusions about what is being read.

What is the difference between prediction and inference?

  • When you make predictions, your prediction will be proven by the end of the story.  When inferring, you may or may not know the answer to your question by the end of the story.
  • When predicting, you are focusing on what will happen in the story.  When inferring, you are making a guess about what a character will do, how a character feels, and other judgments.
  •  Prediction = answered by the end of the story
  • Inference = may or may not be answered by the end of the story.

Why do you make predictions?

  • As a reader, you can make predictions a text BEFORE reading.
  • As a reader, you can make predictions a text DURING reading.
  • In other words, make predictions before and during reading.

Why do you make inferences?

  • As a reader, you can make inferences DURING reading.
  • As a reader, you need to ask yourself questions as you read and make inferences based on what you have read.  These inferences may not be about what will happen next.

Questions to predicting in text?

  • What is happening in the story?
  • What will happen next?
  • What clues have led you to think that?
  • What else could happen next?


Compare and Contrast Notes

Compare- show how things are alike.

Contrast- show how things are different.

When you compare and contrast an answer, you must

  • Show how the things are similar and how they are different
  • Select at least two similarities and two differences to write about
  • Find details in the reading that show those similarities and differences


*Transitions are words that act like the bridges to connect ideas and sentences.

*Use transition words to show you are comparing and contrasting.




Cause and Effect        

Cause and effect relationships are a description of events in a story and their causes or consequences.  What causes and event to happen or what happens because of an event?  What happened and why?  Often a single cause will have more than one effect, and a single effect may have more than one cause.

The plot of a story is more than just a series of events, one after another.  In any plot, one event leads to another, following a pattern of cause and effect.  Compare these two examples:

  • The king died and then the queen died.
  • The king died, and then the queen died of grief.

Only the second example is a plot

Cause and Effect Structure-
Usually, effects come before their causes.  You should look for causes when you begin to see effects in a text.

Clue words or hints that you are reading a cause and effect relationship:

  • reasons for this
  • because
  • was caused by



  • as a result of
  • on account of
  • due to
  • therefore
  • makes
  • causes
  • if
  • then
  • so creates
  • results in
  • according
  • in order to
  • resulting
  • since
  • consequently
  • for this reason
  • this caused
  • if…then






  • To teach
  • To give information to the reader
    • Just the facts, please! The writer leaves out his or her personal opinions.
    • The writer knows what he or she is talking about.
    • The writing is objective and presents both sides of an issue
      • News articles, Textbooks, Biographies, Documentaries, Book Reports, Instruction Manuals, Charts, Graphs, Tables, and Maps







  • To convince the reader of a certain point of view
    • Tries to convince the reader to agree with an opinion, but the author will probably use facts to build a strong argument.
    • Part of being a good reader is noticing what the writer doesn't say.
    • If the author presents lots of facts, but they only inform you about one side of an issue, the purpose is probably to persuade.
      • Advertisements, Editorials, Essays, and Campaign Speeches





  • To hold the attention of the reader through enjoyment
    • Includes fiction, like mystery novels, as well as plays, poems, short stories, and comic books.
    • Will often include factual information, and they will often include the author's opinion or characters' opinions. But overall, the purpose is the reader's enjoyment
      • Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, and Drama


Authors Purpose Notes

  • Every writer has a purpose in mind when he/she writes.


  • The purpose that the writer chooses will determine what kind of style, word choice, and structure he or she will use.


You can determine the author's purpose by watching the clues in word choice, style, tone, point of view, and structure