Reading Glossary

This glossary lists words and terms that we use on these pages to talk about reading.

autobiography (noun)
story of a person's life written by that same person
brochure (noun)
booklet or small magazine with information and images about a product, place or service
comprehension (noun)
action of understanding what you are reading; ability to understand what you are reading
dialogue (noun)
conversation between two or more people that is written in a text
ebook (noun)
electronic book; book that you can download and read on a computer or mobile device
fiction (noun)
writing that is about imaginary events and people
genre (noun)
category based on content, style or form
gist (noun)
central idea of a text; the essence of a text
grade (noun)
mark or percentage that indicates the quality of your work (test, assignment etc)
graded readers (noun)
books written at different levels specially for English learners
heading (noun)
title of a section or division in a text, such as a chapter heading
headword (noun)
(in a dictionary) first and main word of each entry; the word that is being defined (for example, dog is a headword but the plural dogs is not a headword; and run is a headword but the past tense ran is not a headword)
inference (noun)
conclusion that one comes to based on logic and information provided
infographic (noun)
visual representation of text or information, with minimal text used
keyword (noun)
important word in a text; word that holds the "key" to meaning
literature (noun)
written materials, especially when considered to be of great artistic merit
memoir (noun)
personal account of an aspect of one's life, written from one's own memory
non-fiction (noun)
writing that is about facts, real events and real people
paragraph (noun)
distinct section of a text, containing one main idea or scene, and usually indicated by a new line
paraphrase (verb)
to rewrite (or describe) a text in one's own words
proverb (noun)
short saying about a general truth or belief
read aloud | read out loud (verb)
to read audibly, not silently, so that other people, if present, could hear
reading level (noun)
grade that defines one's reading ability (levels may be shown, for example, as: beginner to advanced; low to high; numerically 1 to 5)
scan (verb)
to read a text quickly looking for specific details
skill (noun)
ability to do something well (the four main skills that we need in language are listening, speaking, reading and writing)
skim (verb)
to read a text quickly to get a general idea or overview
skip (verb)
to pass a word or section (and possibly go back later)
subtitle (noun)
additional, more detailed heading that comes under a main heading
summary (noun)
brief account of the main points of a text
text (noun)
written work; the written words that you read
transcript (noun)
written version of spoken words (for example, transcript of a film or podcast)