Q:

What are the general classifications of literature?

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Quick Answer

The general categories of literature are non-fiction, poetry, prose, drama and media. These are usually called genres. Literature is broken down into genres to make it easier to identify and discuss.

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Poetry is often considered the oldest form of literature, because the rhyming technique used in poems would have been helpful in a time before written language. The main elements of poetry are rhythm, meter and imagery. Not all poems have to rhyme, and they are not required to be written in complete sentences. Poetry is often filled with emotion.

Prose is any type of literature that is not poetry. Prose is always written in complete sentences, and those sentences are put together to create paragraphs. A verbal form of prose is the folktale, which is created and passed down through generations. Sub-genres of prose include fables, fantasies, legends and myths.

The genre of non-fiction is almost always written as prose. Though it can be creative, non-fiction is most often used for educational reasons. Sometimes non-fiction tells a story, such as an autobiography. It can also be used for scientific papers.

Drama is a text that is meant to be performed. It can be read, but the sole purpose of the piece is performance. In modern society, drama is usually either a play or a movie script.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you read literature?

    A:

    Reading literature critically requires a minimum of two separate readings: one reading for understanding of basic plot, or sequence of events and characters, and a second reading to delve deeper into understanding the meaning of the work. During the first reading, the reader should simply enjoy the work.

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  • Q:

    Why should we study literature?

    A:

    Students should study literature to gain knowledge of the traditions and cultures associated with the time period in which the literature was produced. In addition, exposure to literature can improve a student's comprehension and reading abilities and help them to identify literary devices, such as the concepts of rhythm and beats within writing.

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  • Q:

    What is tone in literature?

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    Tone is an attitude that the author conveys through writing about an audience or subject. Tone is typically expressed through word choice or through the viewpoint the author has on a particular subject.

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  • Q:

    What is attitude in literature?

    A:

    Attitude in the field of literature, also referred to as tone, is the way in which authors approach subjects and situations. As with other aspects of communication, the tone that authors use can cover a variety of emotions. Some authors change tone throughout the length of their works to emphasize various character roles while others maintain a dominant tone from cover to cover.

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