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Exorcising the Evil in Technical Texts

You may be an avid reader for pleasure or be involved in some type of literature class. Fiction constructed for pleasure reading is organized much different than technical texts. In order to understand the organization of the novel, you will need to understand its parts.

  1. Plot: This refers to the sequence of action from the opening scene through the climax of the story. The climax of the story the point the story builds to that keeps your suspense. For instance, the villain is apprehended or the murderer captured. Everything that occurs from that point until the end of the book is termed "falling action."
  2. Characterization: These are all of the characters that appear in the story; the hero and heroine, the villain and all the supporting cast. Typically you will be asked to know who the main characters are and their relationship to one another.
  3. Theme: Some would refer to this as the author's agenda. What is the point or message that is being presented through the characters?
  4. Setting: This refers to the time and locale of the story. For instance, Post-World War II Germany.
  5. Point of View: This is basically asking for the storyteller. Is it a third party telling the story from outside the setting or is it one of the characters?

A good way to proceed with a literary study is to do a quick chapter outline or summary after you finish each chapter, simply noting what developed in the plot during the chapter and what happened with any important characters. At the conclusion of the book you should make some serious notes about the characters and their relationship to each other and the plot and how they changed during the course of the story. You should also note what you think about the moral of the story or the author's purpose or agenda and whether the author accomplished the mission.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013


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