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NonFiction Notes

Page history last edited by VRBurton 9 years, 6 months ago

Nonfiction Notes

(from Elements of Literature and The Language of Literature Nonfiction sections)

 

I.  Nonfiction= prose writing about real people, places, and events

A.  mainly written to convey factual information

B.  information may be shaped by the author’s own purpose and attitudes

II.  Examples of nonfiction include:  newspaper article, cookbook, letter, review, speech, true-life adventure story, advertisement, autobiography, biography, memoir, essay, journal, editorial, instruction manual, report

A.  Autobiography= writer’s account of his/her own life; almost always told from the first person point of view

B.  Biography= an account of a person’s life written by another person

C.  Memoir= autobiographical writing; writer focuses on his/her involvement with noted people and/or significant events

D.  Essay= a brief work of nonfiction that deals with a single subject

1.  Formal essay= writers develop and order ideas in an impersonal manner

2.  Informal essay= writers expression of ideas is less strict and often employs humor and anecdotes

 

III. Kinds of Essays

A.  Persuasive essay= writer tries to convince a reader to share a

belief, agree with an opinion, or to take some action

1.  facts are selected and arranged in a way to get readers

        to share a writer’s opinion

2.  examples:  newspaper editorial, political speech

B.  Expository essay= writer’s primary purpose is to convey or

explain information

1.  facts are used as neutrally as possible

2.  examples:  report on a scientific discovery, instructions

C.  Personal essay= expresses a writer’s thoughts, feelings, or

opinions on a subject; usually written in an informal,

conversational style

D.  Descriptive essay= writer tries to recreate a person, place, or

event mostly through language that appeals to the senses

*  examples:  traveler’s journal, autobiographical essay of a

hometown

E.  Narrative essay= writer’s purpose is to relate a series of

events, usually in chronological order

1.  has the form of a story (often with characters and

dialogue)

2.  examples:  historical essay, account of a soccer game

 

IV.  Thesis= theme of an essay

A.  in narrative nonfiction (like biographies), theme is a

perception about life

B.  in nonnarrative fiction (like essays), theme is the main idea or

opinion the writer wants the reader to understand

 

 V.  Objective versus Subjective Writing

A.  Objective= facts which can be proved to be true by the

senses, the calendar, or the clock

*  examples:  the geographic location of a city, the time

        of day

B.  Subjective= details that may be true, but are verifiable only

by reference to your own state of mind

1.  examples:  feelings about an event, description of a

person

2.  word connotation (associations that affect meaning) 

 

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