Glossary of Mentor Text Terms


A poetic device used when all of the beginning sounds of the words are alike.

Example: Susan slipped into slumber.



The way an author ends his/her story. If a young writer is studying endings, they might take note of types of endings (circular, surprise/twist, etc).



Using similes (using like or as) or metaphors (saying something is another thing) to give the reader a better picture of what the author is trying to describe.

Example of a simile: The river twisted like a snake through the forest.

Example of a metaphor: He was tiger roaring through the night.



The use of word choice to create an image in the reader’s mind.



The way an author begins his/her story. If a young writers is studying leads, they might take note of types of leads (dialogue, description, action, etc).



A stellar text, fiction or nonfiction, that writers use as a model for their own writing.



A poetic device that uses sound words. The words sound the like the sound itself.

Examples: Pfft! Shhh! Plop!



This is the way an author chooses to filter the story.

1st person—Uses “I” The narrator tells the story from his/her point of view. The reader can only learn about the story from the person telling it.

3rd person—Usually told from a narrator that see all, though it might be 3rd person limited where we only get inside the head of one character.

When using point of view as a mentor text, writers can also focus on unique points of view. For example, in the book I STINK! the story is told from the POV of the trash truck.


Words or phrases that appeal to the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, smell). Sensory language really helps the reader to experience the situation.

Example: “Instead they were crammed in a tiny apartment that smelled of burning rubber and foot odor.” p. 9 HOLES by Louis Sachar


This is specific word choice. For example, instead of saying, “She drove her car to school” a sentence that utilizes specificity might say, “She speed into the school parking lot in her new cherry red Mustang.”

In nonfiction, specificity might also refer to words that are considered Tier 2 and Tier 3 words in the Common Core State Standards.



This is related to the mood of the piece. Examples can include: serious, sarcastic, academic, funny.



These are verbs that really show action.

Examples: throbbing, crawled, sauntered



This is the way the character sounds or the voice of the narrator. It makes it sound like a real person with a unique personality.



This is the selection of the words of the author to create tone, mood, point of view, and more. It can include poetic devices like onomatopoeia, alliteration. It can also include specificity of language such as specific nouns or verbs that are the right choice for the context.



Using words for fun. Examples: play on words, puns, made up words.