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Chapter 3: Writing Mechanics Help
Chapter 12: Teaching Writing
Chapter 23: Teaching Reading
College English Composition: Help and Review
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What Is Informational Nonfiction?

Literature can be divided into two main genres: fiction and nonfiction. Fiction includes all writing created or invented by the author. Nonfiction includes writing based on real-life events. One type of nonfiction is informational nonfiction, which aims to provide unbiased facts.

There are many types of informational nonfiction. Let’s take a closer look at two of those types: articles and speeches.


An article is a broad term that includes many various forms. In general, an article is a piece of writing that provides facts about a subject. In what form an article is published can determine the classification of that article.

The first type of article can appear in an academic journal. An academic journal is a periodical that focuses on a specific academic discipline. In an academic journal, peers within that discipline review the articles and can publish responses or critiques. For example, The British Journal of Psychiatry is a popular academic journal in which numerous psychiatrists can publish their research and experience in the field of psychiatry. Since academic journals contain articles written by professionals, the information within is considered extremely reliable and credible.

A second type of article is one that appears in reference books. A reference book is not meant to be read from beginning to end. Instead, it contains articles with specific information for the reader. The most common forms of reference books are a dictionary, thesaurus, and encyclopedia. You most likely have used these books throughout your schooling.

A third type of article is most likely seen in a newspaper or magazine. Editorials are articles in which the editor writes about his own opinion on a specific topic. The topics can cover a wide variety, all depending on the type of newspaper or magazine in which it will appear. An editor writing an article on how he believes the airports should be closed to anyone from an Ebola hotspot is a great example of an editorial article. Most of the time, editorials contain human-interest stories.

A final type of article is a review article. A review can also appear in any newspaper, magazine, or academic journal. This article features a summary of a topic or the writer’s understanding of a topic. In academic journals, review articles are written by experts on the topic; thus their analysis of the topic could be very informative. In newspapers, a review article might be something less scholarly but still valuable. Many review articles in newspapers and magazines feature the writer’s analysis and opinion of a specific experience. This could be a review of a musical, a movie, a restaurant, or even a novel.


One type of informative nonfiction that does not fall under the articles category is the speech. A speech is a formal address given to an audience. Speeches often center on one specific idea or topic. The purpose of a speech can vary, but the speaker is usually trying to inform his audience in some way.

A great example of one of the most popular speeches in the United States is the President’s State of the Union speech. Each year, the president gives a televised speech to the nation detailing the significant concerns of the country. The audience consists of all Americans, and his topic is the country’s concerns.

Another example is how Adolf Hitler often used speeches as a way to spread his Nazi ideology across Germany. Sometimes speeches can be impromptu, or a spontaneous occurrence, but usually speeches are written beforehand and well-rehearsed.

Lesson Summary

To review, there are many types of informational nonfiction, but all aim to provide facts on a topic.

One type is an article, which can come in many forms. An article in an academic journal focuses on a specific discipline and is written by an expert in that field. An article in a reference book lists information on a specific topic that can be looked up by the reader. Editorials are articles written by the editor of a newspaper or magazine and describe a personal viewpoint on a topic. Lastly, reviews are articles where a topic or event is evaluated.

A final example of informational text is a speech. Speeches are formal addresses given to an audience. Speeches usually inform about a topic but can also be used to persuade the audience.

Overall, these types of informational nonfiction can be used to help any writer express information and facts about a topic.

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