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Prose is a form of literature that is often considered to be the opposite of poetry. What you are reading right now is considered to be prose writing, defined as the form of language in which grammatical structure and a natural flow of speech is followed. Poetry, as one may be aware, is often based on meter and rhyme. Prose, on the other hand, is built on sentences and paragraphs.


The term “prose” first entered the English language in the 14th century, derived from the Old French word prose, which in turn developed out of the Latin phrase prosa oratio, which means “straightforward or direct speech.” While lacking the ascetic appeal of poetry, prose writing, while dependent upon formal structure, can have a number of different types. Both fiction and non-fiction writing general employs prose. It would, perhaps, be impossible to construct a research paper in poetic form but prose can easily be written in a creative writing style. Some examples of prose are as follows:

  • A fiction Novel
  • A biography
  • An article for publication
  • An interview

While many forms of drama often employ poetry, the works of William Shakespeare being the most striking example, the vast majority of plays, as well as short stories and novels, employ prose language. In most languages, strict rules govern prose. For example, in English, the most basic sentence structure is subject, verb, object. “The boy threw the ball.” Passive voice would render the sentence, “the ball was thrown by the boy,” but the meaning is still the same. Prose is rigid, but applicable in any number of writing situations.

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