The major category into which a literary work fits. The basic divisions of literature are prose, poetry, and drama.However, genre is a flexible term; within these broad boundaries exist many subdivisions that are often called genresthemselves. For example, prose can be divided into fiction (novels and short stories) or nonfiction (essays, biographies,autobiographies, etc.). Poetry can be divided into lyric, dramatic, narrative, epic, etc. Drama can be divided into tragedy,comedy, melodrama, farce, etc. On the AP language exam, expect the majority of the passages to be from the following genres: autobiography, biography, diaries, criticism, essays, and journalistic, political, scientific, and nature writing. There may be fiction or poetry.