Copyright Kelli McBride 2003-2009

Graphics designed by Kelli McBride and are for her exclusive use.

Handouts for college classes maybe used as per fair use practice.  All other documents on this site written by Ms. McBride are copyright protected.  Please email her for rights to use.



  1. Explain the title. In what way is it suitable to the story?
  2. What is the predominant element in the story - plot, theme, character, setting?
  3. Who is the single main character about whom the story centers?
  4. What sort of conflict confronts the leading character or characters?
  5. How is the conflict resolved?
  6. How does the author handle characterization? By description? Conversation of the characters? Actions of the characters? Combination of these methods?
  7. Who tells the story? What point of view is used? 1st person? Omniscient? Limited? Third Person?
  8. Where does the primary action take place?
  9. What is the time setting for the action? Period of history? Season? Time of day?
  10. How much time does the story cover? A few minutes? A lifetime? How long?
  11. How does the story get started? What is the initial incident?
  12. Briefly describe the rising action of the story.
  13. What is the high point, or climax, of the story?
  14. Discuss the falling action or close of the story.
  15. Does this story create any special mood?
  16. Is this story realistic or true to life? Explain your answers by giving examples.
  17. Are the events or incidents of the plot presented in flashback or in chronological order?
  18. What is the general theme of the story? What is the underlying theme? Can you name any other stories with a similar theme?
  19. Did you identify with any of the characters?
  20. Does this story contain any of the following elements: symbolism; incongruity; suspense; surprise ending; irony; satire?
  21. Was there a villain in the story? a hero? a dynamic character? Etc.
  22. Can you find any examples of figurative language? Simile? Metaphor? Personification?
  23. Does the story contain a single effect or impression for the reader? If so, what?
  24. Name one major personality trait of each leading character, and tell how the author makes the reader conscious of this trait.
  25. Does the story have a moral? If not, what do you think the purpose of the author was?

This resource sheet was found free at
1999, English Resources, all rights reserved