KOLEC Lesson 06: Concepts of Fiction and Nonfiction

KOLEC Lesson 06: Concepts of Fiction and Nonfiction

The concepts of Fiction and Nonfiction are important to understand in literature. 
The former deals with the creation of imagined materials while the latter deals with real materials. 


Fiction refers to the non-factual writings which are written by the writer who uses his/her mere imagination. 
The word 'fiction' comes from the Latin word 'fictio' which means 'a making' or 'a fashioning.' 
In literature fiction takes its form in narrative writings such as prose (novel and short stories), plays and poetry which we are going to cover later in this course.

There are various forms of Fiction. They range from major forms of literary genres to minor forms. The following are among them: 
*Novels and short stories 
*Tall tales 
*Trickster tales 
*Fairy tales 
Nonfiction, on the other hand, refers to the factual writings which are written by the writer who uses facts in his/her works. 
Nonfiction is factual writing about real-life situations. Nonfiction is the literature that deals with real people, real events, and real experiences. 
The book like "A Comprehensive Handbook for Ordinary Level Literature in English" is also an example of an instructional and academic nonfiction textbook. 

The following are the common forms of Nonfiction literature:  
*Academic textbooks 
There are various differences between Fiction and Nonfiction. The following are some of them: 
[1] Fiction talks about imaginary people, places, ideas, and experiences, while Nonfiction talks about real people, real places, real ideas, and real experiences. 
[2] Some common forms of Fiction are novels, plays, poems, and folktales, whereas common forms of Nonfiction are letters, biographies, and essays. 
[3] Audiences of Fiction are the people who look for nonfactual information but that give them knowledge and pleasure, while audiences of Nonfiction are the people who look for factual information(facts) 
[4] The purpose of Fiction is to deliver the message of the writer that can instruct, and entertain the readers, whereas the purpose of Nonfiction is to explain, inform, persuade, and entertain the readers. 
[5] Most Fiction writings are narrative, persuasive, and entertaining writings, while most Nonfiction writings are argumentative, narrative and informational/explanatory writings. 
For any literature student, mastering the concepts of fiction and nonfiction is an important part of understanding the difference between literature and other subjects or disciplines of study. Literature is primarily an art. Thus, it is based on imagination and artistic skills which brings about fictitious creations.  

KOLEC Lesson 06: Assignment: Concepts of Fiction and Nonfiction 
[1] With examples, differentiate the following:  
Fiction and Nonfiction 
[2] Match the items in List A with those in List B:  
List A:  
(i) Epics, novels, short stories, Plays, Fables 
(ii) Fiction  
(iii) Diary 
(iv) 'Fictio'  
(v) Essays, biographies; memoirs, history, letters. 
List B:  
(A) Common examples of nonfiction.  
(B) Comes from the Latin word 'fictio' which means 'a making' or 'a fashioning.'  
(C) The composition of non-factual texts. 
(D) Is a written account of a person's life on a daily basis.
(E) Common examples of fiction.  
[3] Describe major differences between fiction and nonfiction. (5 points)  
[4] Name any two fictional writings you have read on your own time or in the class.
[5] Name any two nonfictional writings you like. 


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Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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