Difference Between Narrative Nonfiction and Expository Nonfiction

Narrative nonfiction and expository nonfiction present an idea or information in different ways. Both nonfiction classifications involve a rigorous study, and the facts and ideas in the material are validated.

Narrative Nonfiction

Also referred to as literary nonfiction or creative nonfiction, it is a nonfiction work that tells a real tale in the manner of a fiction book. The term itself, “narrate,” means telling a story in a detailed way. The narrative nonfiction genre consists of factual writing presented engagingly- facts conveyed through the lens of a tale. While the focus is on storytelling, narrative nonfiction must maintain the highest degree of accuracy feasible.

Examples of Narrative Nonfiction

  • Memoirs
  • Journalism
  • Autobiography
  • Travel Literature
  • Biography

Expository Nonfiction

It is also referred to as informational nonfiction. It is written to explain or enlighten the target audience (readers) on a specific topic. This type of nonfiction is designed to provide information that can be understood and often uses simple language or does not contain complex jargon (if there is any- they explain it).

According to Duke & Bennett- Armistead, 2003), expository nonfiction is a subset of the broader genre of nonfiction. The principal objective is to provide information better to understand the natural or social environment and other ideas. Unlike different kinds of nonfiction, such as narrative and documentary nonfiction, the informative text does not employ characters.

Examples of Expository Nonfiction

  • History
  • Self-Help
  • Philosophy
  • Children’s Nonfiction
  • Business and Economics
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Health and Wellness
  • Educational Guides
  • Science
  • Crafts and Hobbies
  • Popular Science
  • Humor
  • Textbooks
  • Travel Guides
  • Politics and Social Science
  • Cookbooks
  • Language Books
  • Essay
  • Parenting and Family
  • Arts Books

Narrative Nonfiction and Expository Nonfiction

Expository nonfiction tells the story or message, and narrative nonfiction shows the story. In addition, expository nonfiction informs, explains, or describes the idea, whereas narrative nonfiction recounts a tale or expresses an experience.

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