Types of Genre and Media Types of Genre and Media

Types of Genres and Media

Literary Genres:

  • Fiction: All fiction contains plot, setting, and characters and most have themes.
  1. Short stories: often focuses on a single event and are usually short enough to read without taking a break
  2. Novels: a longer work of fiction that weaves together many different events, storylines, and characters.
  3. Novellas: generally longer than a short story but shorter than a novel, and it usually has a limited number of characters.
  • Poetry: Poetry looks different on a page than fiction or nonfiction. It’s made of lines that are arranged into groups called stanzas. In some poems the lines and stanzas reflect the rules of a particular form while in others, there’s no recognizable form. In poetry, sounds and language are just as important as form.
  1. Ode: a poem written in praise of someone or dedicated to someone who inspires the poet. There is no one set structure for an ode.
  2. Sonnet: a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter (10 beats per lined alternating unstressed and stressed syllables), and it has a strict rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean sonnet is ABAB/CDCD/EFEF/GG
  3. Narrative poem: a poem that tells a story so there are characters, setting, and elements of a plot. It does not have to be told in chronological order.
  4. Lyric poem: a poem that expresses the thoughts and feelings of the poet. Examples include odes and sonnets.
  • Drama: A drama is primarily written as dialogue between characters. The playwright describes the setting, characters’ movements, and props as stage directions written in italics throughout the play. These notes represent the playwright’s vision of the performance; however, a great deal is left to the imagination of the director, the actors, and the readers.
  1. Comedies: generally are lighter in tone and have a happy ending
  2. Radio plays: dramatized purely acoustic performances broadcast on the radio
  3. Historical dramas: tell stories set in the past and generally based on history. Sometimes there are historical characters but other times there fictional characters are included
  • Nonfiction
  1. Autobiographies: the true story of a person’s life told by that person
  2. Biographies: the true story of a person’s life told by another person
  3. Essays: a short work of nonfiction that focuses on a single subject. It’s intended to share a personal experience, to express feelings, to inform, to entertain, or to persuade
  4. Speeches: an oral presentation of the ideas, beliefs, or proposals of a speaker. It relies on powerful language as well as the speaker’s voice and gestures.
  5. News articles and feature articles: informative writing in newspapers and magazines. News articles report on recent events while feature articles offer in-depth coverage of human-interest topics. There is a use of headlines, subheadings, photographs, and graphic aids to present information and there is intent to be objective and fair.
  6. Functional documents: writing that serves a practical purpose. Types include consumer documents, such as user manuals, and workplace documents, such as resumes. They are written for a specific audience and often include charts, diagrams, or other helpful graphic aids.


  • Feature films: motion pictures that use narrative elements to tell stories. They are created for entertainment and to make money and rely on music, cinematography, sets, and actors to tell interesting stories. Usually, they’re at least one hour in length.
  • News media: accounts of current events in newspapers, magazines, television, radio and the web. They are designed to inform and entertain viewers and present information differently in each medium. They can include bias and inaccuracies so must be closely examined.
  • TV shows: programs broadcast on television, including dramas, sitcoms, talk shows, documentaries, and reality shows. These are usually created to entertain or inform and are sponsored by advertisers who pay to market their products during commercial breaks. They use camera techniques and dramatic music to make stories more compelling. Typically they last for a half-hour or hour.
  • Advertising: paid promotion of products, services, candidates, or public service messages using print, electronic, and broadcast media. It’s designed to persuade a target audience to buy a product, use a service, or agree with an idea using visuals, sound effects, and actors to persuade viewers. Finally, it’s presented when and where the target audience is likely to see it.
  • Web sites: collections of "pages" on the World Wide Web. Users navigate to pages by clicking menus or hyperlinks. Information is presented through text, graphics, audio, video, animation, and interactive features. It requires careful evaluation, as most Web sites are not checked for credibility.

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