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Literature Glossary

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

Over 200 literary terms, Shmooped to perfection.

Text

Definition:

Text can refer to any kind of writing: a book, poem, play, magazine ad, or the note your mom left you in your lunchbox. Some literary critics—especially the Structuralists—like to use the word "text" instead of "work" when analyzing because the word "text" places less emphasis on the author and the author's biography and intentions. But Shmoop thinks you can use whatever word you please.