an overview and examination of the different types of non-fiction non-fiction

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  • An overview and examination of the different types of non-fiction Non-Fiction
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  • Non-fiction Overview What is non-fiction??? Non-fiction is writing about real topics Non-fiction is about actual people, events, and places It is unlike fiction, obviously, which is about imagined people, worlds, and events. Non-fiction includes journalism, textbooks, essays, pamphlets, journals, letters, memoirs, and biographies, just to name a few examples
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  • Non-fiction: Overview Sometimes it is purely factual, but sometimes authors may also insert their personal opinions This is why it is important to read non-fiction critically, and evaluate the authors intentions, messages and support.
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  • Elements of Non-fiction There are four main elements of non-fiction: 1) Purpose 2) Organization/Structure 3) Tone 4) Style Lets look at each in more depth.
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  • 1 st Element: Purpose Purpose is essentially the authors reason for writing the piece of non-fiction. Is he or she simply informing the audience about a topic, or is he or she trying to convince the audience of something too? There are two things in particular you should consider with the authors purpose Audience: who is the author trying to reach? Bias: does the author have a clear opinion?
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  • 2 nd Element: Organization/Structure A piece of writing typically has a particular structure or organization Examples: chronological, cause and Effect, definition, analysis, problem-solution, compare/contrast, Narrative, etc. Often a piece of writing will contain several types of organization within it
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  • 3 rd Element: Tone Tone is basically the authors attitude towards his or her subject or the audience Tones can be sarcastic, accusatory, skeptical, etc. We will examine tone separately later
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  • 4 th Element: Style An authors style is the particular way he or she writes Style can consist of, but is not limited to, diction, tone, imagery, concrete details, figurative language, perspective, and support
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  • 1 st Type: Expository Non-fiction Expository non-fiction is generally used to inform an audience about a particular topic Can also be used to describe or explain something (ideas, terms, people, events) When writing this type of non-fiction, you cannot assume the audience has any prior knowledge Should not include much if any bias
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  • Expository, cont. Different types of expository writing: Description: describes a topic Sequence or process-lists items in a numerical or chronological order (how-to) Comparison: Comparing two items Cause/Effect: list causes and the effects Problem/Solution
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  • Expository, cont. Facts, statistics, quotes, etc. are important as support in describing a particular topic Should include a strong introduction to grab the readers attention
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  • English 9 Non-fiction Unit Persuasive Non-Fiction
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  • Purpose The purpose of persuasive non-fiction is to persuade the reader to believe a certain opinion Its important to identify the authors opinion/position, then identify the arguments they use, and finally evaluate the strength of their arguments. The author should have support to back up their ideas (stats, facts, quotes, etc.)
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  • Bias Persuasive non-fiction will include bias and opinion It is your job to find it and evaluate the authors arguments Do not confuse facts with truths A truth is an idea believed by many yet cannot be proven Ex.: dogs are almost always more friendly than cats
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  • Persuasive Appeals Aristotle: the father of rhetoric (study of using language (written or spoken)) He articulated three persuasive appeals: Appeals to Logic Appeals to Emotion Appeals to Character
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  • Appeals to Logic Trying to appeal to peoples sense of reason Using facts, statistics, logical arguments and valid reasons Aim for the brain
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  • Appeals to Emotion Trying to appeal to an audiences emotions or passions Aim for the heart
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  • Appeals to Character The author is trying to demonstrate the strength of their character, in order to prove that they are a reliable source Showing the audience you are trustworthy
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  • Examples of Persuasive Appeals Example #1: Buying a puppy, but its expensive Appeals to: Logic: Providing benefits of / reasons for owing a puppy Emotion: look at how cute it is! (appeal to girls) Youll be popular with all the girls! (appeals to boys) Character: History of successful breeds Certified as a pure bred dog
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  • Examples of Persuasive Appeals, cont/ Example #2: Selling a new car Appeals to : Logic: Highlighting gas mileage / safety Emotion: Mentioning how cool the owner will look in a new car Character: of the salesman / dealer; good track record / awards
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  • Example of Persuasive Non-fiction P.G. Sittenfeld: Young Voters an Decide Their Future Assignment: Identify the Purpose Organization Tone Style Is there any bias? If so, what is it? Which audience do you think the author is trying to reach?
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  • Second Example: Stephen King Now You Take Bambi Examine the purpose and the arguments King makes Also, evaluate his support and reasoning Is he biased?
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  • Persuasive Techniques: Propaganda Propaganda: Propaganda is the misuse of information in order to persuade you of something Technically it is official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect. It is most often found in politics, but it can also show up in advertising and journalism, among other places It is used to influence our thought and behavior It can be blatantly obvious or incredibly subtle
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  • Propaganda, cont. When politicians, marketers and writers try to sway your opinion, you need to be on your guard Especially with propaganda, you need to be able to evaluate the authors message or argument to determine if it is valid or not With so much information out there, often we have to take mental short cuts to process it all Propagandists love these short cuts, because it allows them to manipulate their audience, by stirring emotions, taking advantage of our insecurities, and by using ambiguous language and faulty logic. If were not careful, they may influence our thought without us even knowing it
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  • Propaganda in Animal Farm We saw propaganda when we studied Animal Farm; it was something George Orwell wanted readers to be aware of The pigs use fear tactics when they threaten the return of Mr. Jones, preying upon the animals fears of Mr. Jones to keep them in line Squealer uses the phrase it has been proved by science to add legitimacy to his argument-this is the use of transfer Finally, when the pigs in charge talk about changing the animals rations, they use ambiguous language, speaking not of a reduction but a readjustment
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  • Propaganda Techniques We are going to examine eight common propaganda techniques, though there are many others as well Much of this information has been taken from the following website: http://www.propagandacritic.com
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  • Transfer Think of the transfer technique as making false connections With transfer, propagandists will try to sway your opinion by carrying over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something [they] would have us respect Uses a lot of symbols to accomplish this Examples: A commercial for a prescription drug claiming its effectiveness and safety have been proven through scientific research Placing a picture of an American flag on the packaging of a product-they must be patriotic!
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  • Plain Folks When someone uses the plain folks technique, they are trying to make the audience believe that they are average Joes and their ideas are of the people It works (they hope) because people are more likely to accept the message if they think the speaker/writer is just like them Examples Think about politicians-they try to get votes by acting like average men and women, when in reality most of them are millionaires Bill Clinton ate at McDonalds; Ronald Reagan often was pictured chopping wood
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  • Euphemisms Euphemisms essentially equate to word games A euphemism is It aims to convince someone of an idea by using words that sugar coat or cover up unpleasant realities Often found in military language Civilian casualties in wartime: collateral damage MX-Missile was named the peacekeeper
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  • Glittering Generalities Some words have very fixed associations or emotions attached to them: democracy, Christianity, patriotism, etc. When someone uses this technique, they use these cherished words to lower our resistance to their idea; they hope we will hear those magic words and be sold without considering the idea itself Perhaps a politician wants us to give up certain liberties or freedoms-they know we will resist, but if they try to explain how patriotic it is to give them up, or how important is for our democr