Literary Technique or Element?
Used together, literary elements and techniques/devices help the reader understand (criticize) a text; they are used by authors to convey their message in a specific way.
A literary technique (also known as literary device) is a tool (a method) that authors use in works such as novels, short stories, plays, and poems to convey their message to audiences. The types and number of literary devices that authors choose to incorporate depend on the genre and context of the work as well as the purpose of their message. Literary devices are universal techniques that can be found in all different types of literature. Readers can conduct critical analysis and compare texts through recognition and study of these devices. (Source: Literary device. By: Woltag, Laura, MFA, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Literature, January, 2016, EBSCO Research Starters Database)
A few of these include:
Story within a story (Hypodiegesis)
A literary element is an essential part, or characteristic, of a story. (The five basic parts of a story are: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme.)
Literary elements serve as the foundation of a literary work and are intrinsic to telling a story effectively. (Source: Literary device. By: Woltag, Laura, MFA, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Literature, January, 2016, EBSCO Research Starters Database)
A literary technique, or literary device, is an identifiable rule or structure employed in writing which can be identified and used for literary analysis.