Understanding Texts

What is Non-fiction?

What is Non-fiction?

CaptureDefinition – Non-fiction for GCSE English Language is texts which deal with facts when presenting narratives, descriptions or opinions. In other words, these texts will offer a true account of events or situations, sometimes giving opinions as well. Non-fiction texts are based on reality rather than the creative imaginings of fiction writers. They examine or present real situations, people and events.

Types of Non-fiction

The world is full of non-fiction and it is likely that you will read at least one form of it every day. From newspaper articles, to the advertisements which appear alongside them, to even the helpful guides which explain how to use electrical appliances, texts informing you about facts are impossible to avoid. This is why it is important to learn about non-fiction and the techniques behind them.

Non-fiction includes:

  • newspaper and magazine articles
  • internet opinion pieces
  • letters
  • biographies
  • travel writing
  • an advertisement
  • a charity appeal
  • a leaflet
  • an encyclopaedia entry

Other types of communication which originate from non-fiction include

  • Television news programmes
  • Television advertisements
  • Documentaries
  • Speeches

Can we always trust non-fiction?

Non-fiction, though based on reality, should never be accepted as complete truth and relied upon fully. They may present facts but most non-fiction texts have an agenda, meaning they are written for a purpose: to persuade the audience to buy a product, for example. Another purpose could be a newspaper article about a specific topic, such as government spending on the 2012 Olympics. The newspaper could be against the overspending or supporting the regeneration of parts of London. The author of the article will use language techniques to gain support from the reader for their view.