1. Spec Script: Usually called a "spec," this what the script that you write for a show is called. If you want to become a writer for a show, you have to prove that you're a good writer, so you have to write a sample script of a show that already exists and that people are familiar with a spec script. When you write a spec, it's supposed to look exactly like a normal TV script looks, complete with language, conventions, and stage directions. It should look as close to professional as possible, as if it were an actual script for that show ready to go to production.

2. Set up: This is the unfunny part of a joke meant to set up the upcoming funny part. Often, one character delivers the set up and another character gets the punch.

3. Punch: This is the funny part of the joke.

4. Act: Just like a play, a sitcom is usually broken into three acts. The breaks between the acts occur at the commercials.

5. Scene: Again, just like a play, there are scenes within the acts. There could be one long scene or several short scenes.

6. Cold open: This is that part of the show at the very very beginning, before the credits begin. Sometimes it sets up part of the overall story, and sometimes it's an unrelated funny scene. A cold open is also called a "teaser."

7. A & B stories: Each show has more than one story going on, there's always the main plot, but sometimes there are subplots. The main plot is called the A story, and the subplot is called the B story. If there are more subplots, there can be C or D stories too. The A story is the biggest and most important one, and usually involves the main character, while a B story might be a spinoff of the main plot and involve secondary characters.

8. Climax: This is the problem that is established. In other words, at the climax, the audience should be asking, "How are they going to get out of this one?" In a sitcom, there are two climaxes. The first is at the end of Act 1, right before the first commercial (ya gotta keep 'em watching!). Act 2 shows the character trying to get out of that predicament and making things worse. At the end of Act 2, is the second climax, which is like, "I would so never want to be in that situation."

9. Resolution: This is Act 3. In one final scene (or couple of scenes), everything gets worked out for our stars.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW be a teacher?