Chapter overview



Non-fiction text types

Your lesson progress



Non-fiction text types

In a nutshell 

Texts can either be fiction or non-fiction. While fiction texts deal with the imaginary or made-up, non-fiction texts deal with facts and real-life situations. This summary will explore different types of non-fiction texts and how to recognise them. 

Newspaper reports

A newspaper report is a story in a newspaper that informs you about what is going on in the world. Newspaper reports have recognisable features such as a headline, a photo, a caption and a body of the report which has direct quotes and facts. 

Local school teacher wins £10 million!
Over half the winnings have already been donated to charity. 
Direct Quote 
The lucky and generous winner Miss Davies told us "I cannot believe this has happened to me! But I'm definitely going to carry on teaching!"


A recount is a piece of writing about a past event. 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 the first person. 


Last week I received my GCSE results. I was so unbelievably nervous. All that hard work and time revising... I just wanted it to be worth it. Luckily it was! I can't even express the amount of relief, pride and happiness I felt when I opened that envelope and saw my grades. The most distressing day I've ever had turned into the best day I've ever had!


A biography is an in-depth description of a person's life written by somebody else. Biographers carry out a lot of research into the person they are writing about, for instance, through newspapers, letters, websites, personal diaries and photographs. Biographies are written in the third person because the biographers are not writing their own stories. They are also written in past tense and usually in chronological order. 


Mahatma Gandhi was born October 2, 1869, and was his father's fourth wife's youngest child. He eventually became a lawyer, writer and social activist, who led the movement against the British rule of India. Gandhi is most well-known for his doctrine of nonviolent protest to achieve progress in humanity, having famously stated that “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. 



An autobiography is very similar to a biography. It is also an in-depth description of a person's life which is written in past tense and usually in chronological order. But unlike a biography, an autobiography is the story of a person's life that is written by that very person. As autobiographies are written by the subject of the story, they are written in the first person using 'I'. 


People don't usually believe me when I tell them this, but I wrote my first novel when I was only 10 years old. Of course, it wasn't very good, but I have always been a storyteller. I continued to write throughout my life and later studied creative writing at university. By the end of my degree, I had written over 12 full novels but it wasn't until 5 years later that I finally got published. Since then, my career has accelerated unimaginable amounts!


Adverts are persuasive texts encouraging you to buy products. Advertisers use memorable words and catchy slogans to catch your eye. Adverts can be found in many different mediums, for instance, from posters and newspapers to radio and TV. 


Are you done with spending all your money on coffee, but hate the instant stuff? Cool Coffee is here to help. Our coffee machines will bring barista-style lattes, cappuccinos and flat whites to the comfort of your own home - at an astonishingly affordable price! What's not to love? Buy a coffee machine and keep caffeinated with Cool Coffee today. 

Explanation texts

The purpose of an explanation text is to explain something to you. This might include how something works or how to do something. Explanation texts are often written in easy-to-understand steps using straightforward language. Examples of explanation texts include recipes and instruction manuals.


For instance, the following explanation may be found in a recipe book. 

How to bake a vanilla cake:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
Add all your ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until the mixture is smooth
Pour the mixture into a pre-greased tin and place it in the oven for 50 minutes. 
Let the cake sit for 5 minutes before serving with dusted icing sugar. 

Want to find out more? Check out these other lessons!

Types of non-fiction texts

Finding information in non-fiction texts

Context of non-fiction texts

Language in non-fiction texts

Structure in non-fiction texts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


  • Question: What are some examples of non-fiction texts?

    Answer: Non-fiction text types include newspaper reports, recounts, biographies, autobiographies, adverts and explanation texts.

  • Question: What is the difference between a biography and an autobiography?

    Answer: Whilst a biography is an in-depth description of a person's life that is written by someone else, an autobiography is an in-depth description of someone's life that is written by that very person.

  • Question: What is the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts?

    Answer: While fiction texts deal with the imaginary or made-up, non-fiction texts deal with facts and real-life situations.



Your data protection

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. By clicking on either "Accept cookies" or "Necessary cookies only", you agree to this (read more in our Privacy Policy). Privacy Policy