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Nowadays the list of possible types and genres of literature can seem endless. But it is still possible to narrow down the vast amount of literature available into a few basic groups. The five genres of literature students should be familiar with are Poetry, Drama, Prose, Nonfiction, and Media—each of which is explained in more detail below.
Poetry This is often considered the oldest form of literature. Before writing was invented, oral stories were commonly put into some sort of poetic form to make them easier to remember and recite. Poetry today is usually written down, but is still sometimes performed.
A lot of people think of rhymes and counting syllables and lines when they think of poetry, and some poems certainly follow strict forms. But other types of poetry are so free-form that they lack any rhymes or common patterns. There are even kinds of poetry that cross genre lines, such as prose poetry.
In general, though, a text is a poem when it has some sort of meter or rhythmand when it focuses on the way the syllables, words, and phrases sound when put together. Poems are heavy in imagery and metaphor, and are often made up of fragments and phrases rather than complete, grammatically correct sentences.
And poetry is nearly always written in stanzas and lines, creating a unique look on the page. Poetry as experienced in the classroom is usually one of three types.
There are the Literature poetry and verse drama, more modern poems, spanning anything from a few lines to a few pages. Often these are collected in books of poems by a single author or by a variety of writers.
And finally there are the ancient, epic poems transcribed from oral stories. The most typical varieties of prose are novels and short stories, while other types include letters, diaries, journals, and non-fiction also discussed below.
Prose is written in complete sentences and organized in paragraphs. Instead of focusing on sound, which is what poetry does, prose tends to focus on plot and characters.
Prose is the type of literature read most often in English classrooms. Some of these genres revolve around the structure of the text, such as novellas, biographies, and memoirs, and others are based on the subject matter, like romances, fantasies, and mysteries.
Students respond best to dramas, and grasp their mechanics more fully, when exposed to film or theater versions or encouraged to read aloud or act out scenes during class. The dramas most commonly taught in classrooms are definitely those written by the bard. Popular choices from his repertoire include Hamlet, Taming of the Shrew, and Romeo and Julietamong others.
Non-Fiction Poetry and drama both belong to the broader category of fiction —texts that feature events and characters that have been made up. Then there is non-fiction, a vast category that is a type of prose and includes many different sub-genres. Non-fiction can be creative, such as the personal essay, or factual, such as the scientific paper.
Some genres of non-fiction include histories, textbooks, travel books, newspapers, self-help books, and literary criticism. A full list of non-fiction types would be at least as long as this entire article.
But the varieties most often used in the classroom are textbooks, literary criticism, and essays of various sorts.
Most of what students practice writing in the classroom is the non-fiction essay, from factual to personal to persuasive.
Media The newest type of literature that has been defined as a distinct genre is media. This categorization was created to encompass the many new and important kinds of texts in our society today, such as movies and films, websites, commercials, billboards, and radio programs.
More and more educators are coming to recognize the importance of teaching media in the classroom. Students are likely to be exposed to far more of this type of literature than anything else throughout their lives, so it makes sense to teach them how to be critical and active consumers of media.
Internet literacy is a growing field, for example, since the skills required to understand and use online information differ in important ways from the skills required to analyze printed information.
Teaching media literacy is also a great way for educators to help students become participants in their own culture, through lessons on creating their own websites or home movies or commercials.
Other Types of Literature These are far from the only important genres of literature. Here are a few more that are sometimes used in classrooms: The oldest type of literature, and the foundation on which culture was built. Now most oral texts have been written down, of course, and are usually taught in the form of epic poems or plays or folk tales.
A distinction is often made between regular prose and folklore. Most folk tales were originally oral literature, and are short stories meant to pass on a particular lesson or moral.
They often have a timeless quality, dealing with common human concerns that are just as relevant to us today, while still being products of a very specific culture and time period.
Graphic Novels and Comic Books:This webpage is for Dr. Wheeler's literature students, and it offers introductory survey information concerning the literature of classical China, classical Rome, classical Greece, the Bible as Literature, medieval literature, Renaissance literature, and genre studies.
Learn fiction literature writing poetry drama with free interactive flashcards. Choose from different sets of fiction literature writing poetry drama flashcards on Quizlet. Note: You are purchasing a standalone product; MyLiteratureLab ® does not come packaged with this content.
If you would like to purchase both the physical text and MyLiteratureLab, search for. / Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing, Compact Edition Plus MyLiteratureLab - Access . Poetry is a form of literary art which uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language to evoke Drama Drama is literature intended for performance. that the meaning of such a work can be realized fully on the page. Nearly all drama took verse form.
English literature - Early Victorian verse: Despite the growing prestige and proliferation of fiction, this age of the novel was in fact also an age of great poetry. Alfred Tennyson made his mark very early with Poems, Chiefly Lyrical () and Poems (; dated ), publications that led some critics to hail him as the natural successor to Keats .
The five genres of literature students should be familiar with are Poetry, Drama, Prose, Nonfiction, and Media—each of which is explained in more detail below. You’ll see some overlap between genres; for example prose is a broader term that includes both drama and non-fiction.