Main Idea:Literary Terms and Definitions: Elements of Nonfiction A

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Last updated: April 25, 2019

Argument or Persuasive Writing
Attempts to prove something is true or convince you to adopt the same viewpoint as the writer.

Cause and Effect
A relationship between two or more events in which one event brings about another. The event that happens first is the cause; the one that follows is the effect.

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Chronological order
The arrangement of details in time order.

The writer explains an event, experience, or series of steps in the order in which they actually occurred

Classification and Definition
Used to explain and describe a thing or concept and how it looks, acts, and fits in among members of a group.

Editorial
An essay or article that gives an opinion about a timely or important topic

Fact
A statement that can be proved

Opinion
A statement that reflects a writer’s beliefs. I t cannot be proved, but should be supported with strong, compelling facts and details

Interview
A series of questions and answers between two or more people. The purpose is an exchange information about a given topic.

Lead
The opening paragraph or paragraphs of a newspaper, magazine, or Internet article. The lead establishes what the article is about and often answers the important questions: who, what where, when, and why

Main Idea
The central idea in a piece of writing.

It is the point that the author wants you to remember most. Sometimes it’s stated directly; other times you have to make inferences about it

Problem and Solution
The author identifies and describes a problem and then offers one or more possible solutions.

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