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What is factual writing?

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Factual writing explains a series of events in a chronological, unbiased way that allows readers to gain information that is not influenced by the personal opinions of the writer or publisher. Examples of factual writing include local, regional, national and international news stories. Factual stories describe an event without using subjective descriptions or assuming that the reader feels a certain way about the event.

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For example, if a reporter writes an article about a local county fair, she might include details such as how many amusement rides are at the fair and what types of snacks, beverages and dessert items are available. The reporter might also give opening and closing times for the fair, list vendor booth locations and supply a detailed performing artist schedule. However, the reporter does not tell the reader what amusement ride to ride, what foods or beverages to eat, what to buy from the vendors or what performing artist is the best to watch at the fair.

It is important to note that some factual writing only includes a description of one event. Other types of factual writing, called feature stories, describe a series of related events over a specified time period from the perspective of numerous people, places and things that are involved in the ongoing event, such as a political campaign.

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