We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
GO TO SAT PREP GO TO ACT PREP

Literature Glossary

Don’t be an oxymoron. Know your literary terms.

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Genre

Definition:

Genre. Say it out loud. Sounds fancy, right? Well, it's not. It really just means "kind" in French. And that's exactly what genre is: a kind. In our case, a kind of literature.

What's in a genre, you ask? Just a pile of conventions. Different combinations of conventions—ranging from style, tone, character development, setting, and beyond—make for some crazy genres. Some of them even have funny names:

  • Ergodic literature
  • Space opera
  • Luciferian literature
  • Splatterpunk
  • Techno-thriller

And then there are the ones that are more likely to show up on your summer reading list:

Today, we might even be able to call teen paranormal romance a genre. We're not making this stuff up.

Tags: General, Genre