Folklore scholars generally recognize three major forms of folk narrative: myth, legend, and folktale. Myths are etiological narratives that use gods (divine, immortal figures) to explain the operation and purpose of the cosmos. Legends are quasi-historical narratives that use exceptional and extraordinary protagonists and depict remarkable phenomena to illustrate cultural ideals, values, and norms. Finally, folktales [including fairy tales] are entertaining narratives that use common, ordinary people as protagonists to reveal the desires and foibles of human nature. The following outline illustrates the relationship of fairy tales to other folk narratives.
Below are three sets of X-1-2-3 sentences for a classification paper answering the question:
What kinds of characters are found in fables?
|X||Three principal types of characters appear in fables: animals, humans, and supernatural beings.|
|1||Some fable characters || are animals.|
|2||Some fable characters || are humans.|
|3||Some fable characters || are supernatural beings.|
|X||The characters in fables || are moral types.|
|1||Some of the characters in fables || are morally good.|
|2||Some of the characters in fables || are morally bad.|
|3||Some of the characters in fables || are morally mixed.|
The X-1-2-3 method helps novice writers keep their writing on track by instructing them to make the paper topic and the X-1-2-3 sentence subjects one and the same.
Remember: the X-1-2-3 sentences correspond to your Thesis Statement + three Topic Sentences:
|X||Thesis statement (usually the last sentence in the Introductory paragraph)|
|1||Topic Sentence #1 (1st sentence in 2nd paragraph)|
|2||Topic Sentence #2 (1st sentence in 3rd paragraph)|
|3||Topic Sentence #3 (1st sentence in 4th paragraph)|
* The partial exception is the “list thesis” in the first set: There are three principal types of characters in fables: animals, humans, and supernatural beings.