Reading & Writing Center
Types of Texts
Texts are divided into four main categories:
You can click on one of the links above to learn more about a specific type, or read more about the differences between the types below.
Fiction is writing made up by the author, rather than writing that is intended to reflect truth or reality. Examples of fiction are novels and short stories. These works may have elements of truth, be based on the author’s life, or seem realistic, but the important thing is that they are not intended to be truthful accounts. When reading fiction, the reader does not expect that everything described really happened as it was described or really happened at all.
Nonfiction is writing intended to reflect the truth or reality. There are only a few kinds of fiction but many kinds of nonfiction because there are many real topics that people can write about. Examples of nonfiction are essays, magazine articles, editorials, biographies, memoirs, texbooks, argumentative/opinion books, history books, and scientific writing. Readers of nonfiction expect that the author presents the truth to the best of his/her ability.
Poetry is writing that is divided into lines, where the structure matters as much as the words and content. Poetry frequently makes use of rhyme and other patterns of sound, as well as using description and imagery. Poetry is usually contrasted with “prose,” which is regular writing not divided up by lines or structured unusually.
Drama means works that are intended to be performed by actors. Dramatic works, or plays, are written as scripts with lines to be spoken by various actors. The text of a play may also include descriptions of settings, sounds, or character's movements.
- Learn strategies for reading drama.
This page was created by Karin Spirn and Michelle Gonzales.