Some examples of nonfiction writing are cookbooks, autobiographies, dictionaries and fact books that give information on people, places or things. Most types of nonfiction writing fall within the categories of informational texts, how-to books, reference books, essays and biographical writings.
Informational texts give factual data on a specific topic. Books on science or history, such as books on snakes or World War II, fall within this category. How-to books give step-by-step guides to completing specific tasks or solving certain problems. The wide range of how-to books includes auto manuals and crafting guides.
Reference books are typically not intended to be read cover to cover, but are available for the reader to look up answers to a certain question. They are usually organized alphabetically or by topic. Encyclopedias and grammar guides are specific types of reference books.
Essays are nonfiction opinion pieces that give an author’s point of view about an issue. People write essays on everything from historical events, such as war or the Great Depression, to popular social issues of the times. Biographical writings include autobiographies, which an author writes about her own life. Biographies are books about a person’s life that someone else writes. Memoirs are written from personal experience, but usually encompass a theme rather than a chronological retelling of the author’s life.