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Nonfiction Key Concepts. Learning focus Question: “What is nonfiction literature, its characteristics, and its connection to our lives?”. Defining NONFICTION. “non” = not “fiction” = fake Therefore, nonfiction means writing based on fact. You THINK….

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nonfiction key concepts
Nonfiction Key Concepts

Learning focus Question:

“What is nonfiction literature, its characteristics, and its connection to our lives?”

defining nonfiction

“non” = not

“fiction” = fake

Therefore, nonfiction means

writing based on fact

you think

Why is it important to study nonfiction literature?

What does it have to do with YOU now and your life after high school?

3 main types of nonfiction
3 Main Types of Nonfiction…
    • Narrative
    • Example
    • Classification
    • Cause/Effect
    • Compare/Contrast
    • Persuasive
key terminology
Key Terminology
    • topic author discusses
    • point from which the text is told
      • 1st (“I”)
      • 2nd (“you”)
      • 3rd (“he, she, it, they”)
        • Limited
        • Omniscient
key terminology contd
Key Terminology contd.
    • reason author writes
      • Inform/Explain
      • Entertain
      • Persuade
    • viewpoint of the author (don’t confuse w/ point of view)
      • biased=opinion
      • unbiased=fact
key terminology contd1
Key Terminology contd.
  • TONE
    • author’s attitude toward his/her subject
      • ie. sarcastic, serious
    • way the author writes
      • Informal or formal writing
      • Sentence length
      • Diction = word choice
      • Voice
      • Figurative language (ie. metaphor, simile, hyperbole)
  • (General) Definition:
    • writing that examines and discusses a focused topic
essay narrative
ESSAY: Narrative
  • Definition
    • writing that tells a story
  • Literature
    • “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou
  • Often told in chronological order as it is most logical to tell the order in which events happen
essay example
ESSAY: Example
  • Definition
    • writing that uses an instance (or example) to discuss a whole type
  • Literature
    • “Homeless” by Anna Quindlen
  • Serves to illustrate a generalization
essay classification
ESSAY: Classification
  • Definition
    • writing that organizes a topic into categories/units/groups
  • Literature
    • “The Ways We Lie” by Stephanie Ericsson
  • Format helps make sense of a complex topic
essay cause effect
ESSAY: Cause & Effect
  • Definition
    • writing that addresses reasons and results


  • “Why did this happen?”
  • “What were the consequences?”
  • “What might be the consequences?”
  • Literature
    • “Arm Wrestling with My Father” by Brad Manning
essay compare contrast
ESSAY: Compare/Contrast
  • Definition
    • writing that discusses similarities (compare) and differences (contrast) among topics
  • Literature
    • “Disability” by Nancy Mairs

As a reader you must assess the comparisons and contrasts to come to a conclusion about the topic.

Sometimes the writer draws a conclusion based on the discussion, but other times you as a reader must come to your own conclusion about the topic discussed.

essay persuasive
ESSAY: Persuasive
  • Definition
    • writing that aims to influence a reader’s ideas and/or actions
  • Literature
    • “ ” by
  • Good persuasive writers use REASON & EMOTION
  • Definition
    • Brief, specific writing that provides information about a topic, person, or event
  • Literature
    • “Why We Must Speak Out on Darfur” by Marc Gellman (opinion)
    • TBA:
    • TBA:
  • Definition
    • writing meant to be read aloud and/or presented to an audience; topic may persuade, inform, or entertain
  • Literature
    • “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • “We Must Pick Ourselves Up” Inaugural Address

by President Barack Obama

  • Good speeches often use repetition and parallelism for influence on audience.