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RE 3240, RE 3902, and RE 5140 Evaluating Literature for Children: Non-Fiction

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Non-Fiction: A Definition

Works of Non-Fiction present documented facts on any aspect of the physical, biological, or cultural world. Although non-fiction works can be either accurate or inaccurate (depending on the work's quality, relevance, and currency,) it is generally understood that authors of non-fiction believe their works to be authentic and truthful at the time of their publication.

Types of non-fiction include:
- Biographies
- Reference Works
- Textbooks
- Histories
- Documentaries
- Scientific Papers
- Photographs
- Diagrams

Questions to Ask When Evaluating Works of Non-Fiction

Are the book's facts accurate and up to date?

Is the book well organized?

Does the book include a bibliography of sources? What about a glossary, appendix, or index?

Does the author adequately distinguish between fact, theory, and opinion?

Does the book feature photographs or illustrations? If so, are they appropriately captioned and placed?