Literary Nonfiction


  • abstract/universal essay
  • autobiography
  • alliteration
  • chronological order
  • classification and division
  • compare-and-contrast essay
  • ethos, pathos, logos
  • exemplification
  • extended metaphor
  • memoir
  • objective/factual essay
  • personal/autobiographical essay
  • repetition
  • satire


Literary Texts
      • One Writer's Beginnings (Eudora Welty)
      • A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (Harry E. Crews)
      • Running in the Family (Michael Ondaatje)
      • “A Four Hundred Year Old Woman” (Bharati Mukherjee)
      • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens (Alice Walker) (EA)
      • The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (Maxine Hong Kingston)
      • “Learning to Read and Write” (Frederick Douglass) (EA)
      • Notes of a Native Son (James Baldwin)
      • “A Sketch of the Past” (Virginia Woolf)
      • Excerpts from Life on the Mississippi (Mark Twain) (EA)
Informational Texts
      • “Second Inaugural Address” (E) and/or “The Gettysburg Address” (Abraham Lincoln) (E)
      • “Address at the March on Washington” and/or “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” (Martin Luther King, Jr.) (E)
      • Nobel Prize in Literature Acceptance Speech 1949 (William Faulkner) (EA)
      • “Sinews of Peace Address” (Winston Churchill) and/or “Brandenburg Gate Address” (Ronald Reagan)
      • Politics and the English Language” (George Orwell) (E)
      • “The Lost Childhood” (Graham Greene)
      • Excerpts from The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (Martin Seymour-Smith)
      • “Lear, Tolstoy, and The Fool” (George Orwell)
      • “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” (Clement Greenberg)
      • “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” (William Wordsworth)


Write a memoir (after the style of one of those read—optional) recounting a specific person, place, experience, event, day, moment, work of art, or another specific thing and convey its significance to you. (W.9-10.3)

Due Date:

Literary Criticism Essay
Write an essay in which you discuss how two literary texts studied illustrate Faulkner's thesis in his 1949 Nobel Prize acceptance speech. State your thesis clearly and include at least three pieces of evidence to support it. (RL.9-10.2, RI.9-10.9, W.9-10.2)

Due Date:

Select a one-minute passage from one of the speeches here and recite it from memory. Include an introduction that explains:
          • The occasion/context of the speech
          • Its literary and historic significance (SL.9-10.6)

Due Date:

Seminar Question
Compare Lincoln's “Gettysburg Address” with Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “Address at the March on Washington” and explain why these are both considered great speeches. Be specific and cite from the texts. Begin discussion by identifying the elements of a good speech.” The seminar question may also be used as an essay topic. (SL.9-10.1 and 3)
Oral Presentation
Discuss how one of the paintings studied exhibits characteristics of (self-) reflection and compare it to one of the memoirs read. State thesis clearly and include at least three pieces of evidence to support the thesis. (RL.9-10.7, SL.9-10.5)

HELPFUL RESOURCE: Nonfiction Comprehension Practice