This module is for Grades: 9-10 Welcome

In this English Language Arts (ELA) module, you will practice skills that will help identify the central idea and details when you read literary nonfiction. Learning to read literary nonfiction closely will help you have more assurance and confidence in your ELA class. Literary nonfiction uses literary techniques usually associated with fiction or poetry to report on persons, places and events in the real world. It can include texts such as biographies, essays, diaries, memoirs and letters.

When reading literature or literary nonfiction, one of the most important things you need to discuss is the central idea of the text. This central idea or underlying message is rarely directly stated in the text. Instead, the reader must consider details in the text and make inferences to figure out the central idea.

In this module you will be reading several excerpts from the memoir/slave narrative "Twelve Years a Slave," by Solomon Northup, as you learn strategies and techniques for identifying central ideas and details to help read more closely and efficiently. Learning to read more closely, analytically and deliberately will help you improve as a reader.

Module Objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify details in text to determine the central idea.
  • Through reading closely, analyze the development of the text.

nineteenth century book with journal notes

Literary nonfiction can include texts such as biographies, memoirs
and letters.


  • Read and comprehend literary nonfiction.
  • Identify the central ideas and details in a text.
  • Cite textual evidence.
  • Analyze complex characters and the development
    of the text.