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Reading - text types

Types of non-fiction texts

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Tutor: Kat


​Types of non-fiction texts

​​In a nutshell 

Texts can either be fiction or non-fiction. While fiction deals with the imaginary or made up, non-fiction deals with the factual and real life situations. Any written work only using facts and real events is non-fiction, including newspaper reports, recounts, biographies and autobiographies. This summary will explore different types of non-fiction texts and how to recognise them. 

Newspaper report 

A newspaper report is a story in newspapers that informs you about what is going on in the world. The news reported usually includes new stories which have just happened. Newspaper reports have many recognisable features including headlines, a photo, a caption and the body of the report which has direct quotes and facts. 




Direct quote

UK heatwave approaches! 

Last month temperatures around Britain reached highs of 40.3°C40.3\degree C​. 

Metrologist Kate Adams said: "There will be lots of sunshine for a vast majority of the UK and we expect temperatures to rise day after day."


A recount is a piece of writing about a past event that happened. When you write about an event in your life, you are giving a recount of what happened to you. Recounts are written in past tense and in first person. 


Yesterday, my mum and I ran into Harry Styles! We were in the West End and my mum was buying some trainers for me. So, I was picking up a pair of yellow and blue trainers when I heard a familiar voice behind me say, "Very nice. That's a great choice." I turned around and 100%100\%​, it was him, Harry! It was such an amazing day. 



A biography is a book-length, factual story about a person's life. Biographers carry out a lot of research into the person they are writing about in order to find true stories. Newspapers, letters, websites, personal diaries and photographs are used for research. Biographies are written in the third person, because the biographers are not writing their own stories, and usually in chronological order. They are also written in past tense. 


Nelson Mandela was an activist from South Africa who was also the first president of South Africa (199419991994-1999​). A member of the Xhosa tribe, Mandela was also royalty, being born into the Thembu family. At university of Fort Hate and the University of Witwatersrand he studied law before becoming a lawyer. 


An autobiography is very similar to a biography, both are book-length factual stories about a person's life, both are written in past tense and usually in chronological order. But unlike the biography, an autobiography is the story of a person's life is written by that very person, while a biography is written by somebody else. As autobiographies are written by the subject of the story, they are written in first person using I


I watched my first football game with my father when I was five years old. I saw how happy the players looked playing the game and how happy the fans were watching the players, and that was when I thought to myself, "This is what I want to do with my life". 

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a newspaper report?

What is a recount?

What is a biography?


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