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Prose includes almost all kinds of literature except poetry. Examples of prose writing could include fictional novels, travel commentaries, factual biographies and autobiographies, instructional manuals, lab reports, cookbooks, and many more. The type of information one provides to students about how to read and understand these different types of literature varies, depending on the specific type of prose being studied.
In most cases, students need to begin by understanding the reason the particular piece of prose was written, as this mindset will allow them to prepare to receive and interpret the material contained in the work for an appropriate application.
Different types of prose have different "short cuts" that can be used to present information which need to be explained and utilized: fictional works use literary devices such as similes or analogies to illustrate ideas; a math textbook uses symbols, graphs, and formulas to summarize applications; an instruction manual may combine written directions with illustrations, so practice in matching information from different presentations may need to be practiced.
Students may need help in understanding how to choose the type of literature that will best serve a particular need. Reading fiction requires a different set of skills than does reading nonfiction to gain factual information, so these different sets of skills must be presented.
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