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10 Types of Nonfiction Freelance Writing | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

10 Types of Nonfiction Freelance Writing

Date February 4, 2008


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As a freelance writer, you’ll be covering many topics. But, no matter what you write about, virtually every piece of nonfiction can be categorized into ten distinct areas.

Whether books, ebooks, or articles, your final piece will most likely fit into one of the following categories.

News: Primarily for newspapers, newsletters, and some articles. Reports on events as accurately as impartially as possible.

Feature: Takes a single topic and expounds on it through analysis and opinion. It’s primary function is to provide information and insight.

Analysis: Takes data or background information and attempts to analyze and interpret that information. Can lead to a new viewpoint, conclusion, or alternate finding.

How-to: Demonstrates how to complete a task or accomplish a goal. Many articles written by ghostwriters are how-to in nature.

Investigation: More extensive research than a feature or analysis. Generally seeks to draw conclusions based on new evidence or to bolster existing conclusions.

Inspirational: This is where all the self help gurus come in. Motivational more than how-to. Gives the reader an uplifting experience.

Interview: A written conversation between two people usually directed by the interviewer. Most interview writers will edit the conversation for clarity.

Memoir: Usually written in first person or in an “as told to” format. Describes in detail the life or specific incidents in the author’s life.

Creative Nonfiction: A general term for any non-fiction piece that tells a story, offers insight, or provides entertainment. Many blogs fall into this category based on an author’s everyday “ramblings” or “musings”.

List: Very popular format for Web articles and blogs. Just a simple run down of information, broken down into bite sized pieces.

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