When you think of the word genre, what comes to mind? A genre is a subject or topic of a piece of writing.  When you think genre, think, “What part of the library would I find this in?” While the two biggest genres are fiction and non-fiction, each genre has many genres within it. 

Note: If you ever have trouble remembering which is which, remember this –

                Fiction is Fake and Non-Fiction is Not Fake

Open a Google Doc and name it “Genre.” Write down why you think it’s important for us to know what genre a piece of writing falls into?

Knowing the genre of a piece of writing can help us understand why something was written (author’s purpose). As readers, this can help us understand why a piece was written a certain way or give us an idea of certain things to look for or expect. 

Example: If I read this article, I know that its genre is non-fiction journalism based on the topic and the source (New York Times Up Front Magazine).  I can then look further and see that two different people are giving their opinion on a topic, which shows me that the purpose of the article is to persuade me to agree with one side.  This allows me to look for key elements (like the ways the writers use ethos, logos and pathos), to better understand the article. 

Below is a list of common genres that we come across.  In your Google Doc, write down which ones are your favorite and why.

Fiction Genre List


Action and Adventure



Graphic Novels

Historical Fiction




Picture Books

Realistic Fiction

Science Fiction

Young Adult

Non-Fiction Genre List


Autobiography, Biography & Memoirs

Music, Film & Entertainment


History & Military

How To

Journalism (newspaper and magazine articles)







Click here and here to quiz yourself on your knowledge of theme.  How well did you do? Post your results in your Google Doc.

For each of the books below, decide what the genre of the book is (first decide whether the book is fiction or non-fiction, and then determine the sub-genre), and then decide whether the author’s purpose is to inform, persuade or entertain. Use the list above to help you.  All images and descriptions from

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account

Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eyewitness Account


by Miklos Nyiszli, Tibere Kremer (Translator), Richard Seaver (Translator), Bruno Bettelheim (Introduction)


When the Nazis invaded Hungary in 1944, they sent virtually the entire Jewish population to Auschwitz. A Jew and a medical doctor, Dr. Miklos Nyiszli was spared from death for a grimmer fate: to perform “scientific research” on his fellow inmates under the supervision of the infamous “Angel of Death”: Dr. Josef Mengele. Nyiszli was named Mengele’s personal research pathologist. Miraculously, he survived to give this terrifying and sobering account.


Meet the Author

Miklos Nyiszli was a Jewish prisoner/doctor along with his wife and young daughter, who was transported to Auschwitz in June 1944. He died in 1956.

Ender's Game (Ender Quintet #1)

Ender's Game (Ender Quintet #1)

by Orson Scott Card, Orson Scott Card (Introduction)



Once again, the Earth is under attack. Alien "buggers" are poised for a final assault. The survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the buggers. But who? Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battleschool. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battleschool is just a game. Right?

Facebook For Dummies

Facebook For Dummies

by Carolyn Abram



There's no time like the present: get started on Facebook today with this friendly beginner guide!


Facebook is constantly changing and evolving, replacing old features and introducing new ones. And while it can difficult to keep up with everything that it has to offer, its ever-changing features allow you to jump in and get started at any time! This edition of the popular For Dummies guide to Facebook covers the latest updates and guides new users into the Facebook experience quickly and easily. It explores the new look for photos and videos, the updated features in messaging service, expanded options for Timeline user profile, updates to popular Facebook apps, and much more.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

by Jordan Sonnenblick



Thirteen-year-old Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down. He is forced to deal with his brother's illness and his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece. Salted with humor and peppered with devastating realities, DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE is a heartwarming journey through a year in the life of a family in crisis.

I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier

I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior: Memoirs of an American Soldier

by Howard E. Wasdin, Stephen Templin





When the Navy sends their elite, they send the SEALs. When the SEALs send their elite, they send SEAL Team Six—a secret unit made up of the finest soldiers in the country, if not the world. I Am a SEAL Team Six Warrior is the dramatic tale of how Howard Wasdin overcame a tough childhood to live his dream and enter the exciting and dangerous world of U.S. Navy SEALS and Special Forces snipers.


Think of the book you are currently reading.  What is its genre? What is the author’s purpose?