This module is for Grades: 9-10 Welcome

Literary nonfiction is a text that is written not only to entertain, but also to inform the reader and help him or her to learn something new, but the text uses some of the same techniques that fiction writers use. When composing literary nonfiction, writers sometimes use figurative language as a way of conveying their ideas. Figurative language is any wording in which the intended meaning is not what is plainly stated. This type of language is useful in conveying meaning because it connects the author’s message to a concept that may already be familiar to readers or that they may more easily imagine and understand. One example of figurative language is symbolism. A text that uses a lot of symbolism throughout in order to deliver the intended message is called allegory.

By applying close reading skills - carefully and purposefully reading a text multiple times - you can extract the important pieces of evidence needed to determine the subtle differences between what an author is saying and what he/she really means, why he/she chose to include the details that are found in the text, and how the writer leads his/her audience to understand and agree with the message. This is a necessary skill for interpreting texts that you will encounter in all aspects of life and leads to greater critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Man thinking

Close reading for author’s purpose and use of literacy devices will improve your critical reading and thinking skills.


  • Read and comprehend literary nonfiction.
  • Cite textual evidence.
  • Determine the figurative meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text.
  • Read for deeper meaning beyond the “surface-level” meaning.
  • Connect information from different parts of a passage to construct meaning.
  • Understand author’s purpose in choosing specific words and phrases.

In this module, using Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” you will learn how to close read literary nonfiction texts in order to identify evidence to explain the author’s purpose and the meaning of multiple-meaning words and phrases.

Module Objectives

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

  • State the central idea of a text.
  • Analyze the development of the central idea over the course of the text, including how the central idea emerges and is conveyed by specific details.