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Reflection on Presentation

Reflection on Presentation



Since the beginning of this year we have been trying to define where the divide between non-fiction and fiction lies. We have read multiple types of non-fiction narratives such as graphic novels, documentaries, and memoirs. Throughout the year some of my classmates felt that we got caught up in trying to define terms such as “fact” and “truth.” I believe that it was appropriate, however, to begin talking about this because it is what non-fiction authors set out to do – tell the truth. By the end of our class most people decided to completely dissolve the terms “fiction” and “non-fiction.” For me, this was the first time I had thought in so much detail about these terms. I started to wonder what other people thought about these terms.


My teammate “tgarber” and I decided to interview a handful of people and ask them questions that we had ourselves considered throughout the semester. Most of our interviews follow this script:


1.       What is your definition of non-fiction?

2.       What is your definition of fiction?

3.       Can there be lies in non-fiction?

4.       Is there truth in fiction?

5.       Do you think that the labels non-fiction/fiction are appropriate?



I feel like these questions reflect the evolution of our class: we started by defining the terms, we questioned them, and finally dissolved them. However, we did run into something that we did not foresee. When one of the people we interviewed did not know the definition of non-fiction, we were not ready with an unbiased answer. We ended up influencing their answers a lot more than we had intended. For instance, we asked them to define the terms and then we ask them whether they trust that definition. We were sort of leading them to believe that the correct answer was “no.”


It would be interesting to find out, were we not at the end of the semester, how many of the people we interviewed are in the English department. This might be reveal to us whether or not they are used to thinking about narratives, and being skeptical. For example, the person who was confused about the definition of non-fiction is in the science department.



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