"Prose" -- Some Basic Definitions


"Prose" -- The American Heritage College Dictionary


"Prose" -- The Encarta World English Dictionary


"Prose" -- A Handbook to Literature


One Further Distinction of "Prose"




The Primary "Aims" (or Purposes, or Goals) for Writing


A Classification of Prose -- Based on the “Aims”


The Organizational Plan for The Writer's Presence (a textbook) -- The Aims


Our Class for 2007-2008 is Set Up Using This Framework

We Will Read

We Will Write

A work of prose literature An expressive / personal essay
Several personal essays An expository / informative / analytical essay
Several expository essay An argumentative / evaluative essay
Several argumentative essays An argumentative / critique essay

Note: Even though we are going to write three different kinds of essays, the "style" of writing we will be doing is called "Academic Writing" -- as opposed to "Creative Writing" or "Business Writing" or "Technical Writing" or "Journalism."

Follow this link to see the Table of Contents for our custom Mercury Reader for this class.



The Chief "Modes" or Types of Composition


The "Modes" or Methods of Exposition


The Organizational Plan for Patterns for a Purpose (a textbook) -- The Rhetorical Modes



(further organized by the "aims")


The Most Common “Genres” of Writing

Expressive / Private Writing (to express, to share):

Expressive / Personal Writing (to express, to share):

Referential / Expository / Informative Writing (to refer, to inform):

Argumentative / Persuasive Writing (to persuade):

Literary (Fiction?) Writing (to entertain):



The Organizational Plan for The St. Martin's Guide to Writing (a textbook) -- Aims / Genres


The Organizational Plan for Reading Critically, Writing Well (a textbook) -- Aims / Genres


The Organizational Plan for The Call to Write (a textbook) -- Aims / Genres


The Organizational Plan for The Norton Field Guide to Writing (a textbook) -- Academic Genres


The Organizational Plan for Reading and Writing in the Academic Community (a textbook) -- Academic Genres