Elements of Non-Fiction

Now that you have spent some time in self-reflection, we will be moving forward to discuss another genre of literature that has a variety of emphases.

Some students in English Language Arts courses find it frustrating when trying to distinguish between different genres of literature. There is fiction encompassed in novels and short stories, and then there are essays, another form of prose, where the intent is different.

© Thinkstock

© Thinkstock

What is not always clear to students is the criteria for distinguishing between a short story and an essay.

Some essays are easy to distinguish because they are opinions and argumentative, while others are personal essays that often tell an autobiographical story of some sort to demonstrate a point. Other essays are memoirs, while still others are analogies and magazine articles.

Each type of essay has its own particular emphasis, which often make them perplexing.

Essays generally follow a particular structure, although the structure can often vary. It is valuable to know what a traditional essay structure looks like.