Narrative Nonfiction and Expository Nonfiction Genres

Many readers see nonfiction as a distinct genre. However, a stroll around your neighborhood bookshop reveals hundreds of departments dedicated to nonfiction publications, while fiction titles are classified into a few broadly defined categories such as ‘Fantasy/Science Fiction and ‘General Fiction.’

To ensure that nonfiction publications get the support they need and to assist writers in choosing the appropriate category for their work, here is a list of the narrative nonfiction and expository nonfiction genres, along with their distinguishing characteristics.

Narrative Nonfiction

While narrative nonfiction books remain factually accurate, they are written narratively. As such, the chapters of a book have a natural flow — a narrative structure, if you will — rather than being arranged methodically by subject.

Memoirs and Autobiography

Each work in this category is based on the author’s personal life. Memoirs are often associated with a particular period in the author’s life or with a specific subject chosen by the author.


It is a book written about someone other than the person itself- often someone famous or whose life and/or death may teach the world something worthwhile.

Expository Nonfiction

Expository nonfiction seeks to educate the reader about its topic, understanding it, whether it is a historical event, natural occurrence, fashion trend, or anything else.

Arts and Photography Books

This genre encompasses works on a wide variety of artists and works on each distinct kind of art and its history.

Religion and Spirituality

This genre encompasses various faiths and spiritual activities, ranging from personal guides to spiritual memoirs to history.


This genre is all about assisting the reader in realizing their potential, honing their abilities, and living meaningful lives.

Inspirational/ Motivational

The primary goal of this genre is to motivate the reader to act, inspire them, or challenge their viewpoint in life.


This genre concentrates on a particular period or spans a considerable length of time, often addressing specific historical figures.


This category includes books on every kind of cuisine that someone has taken the time to write about and cooking for specific diets and nutritional requirements.

Health and Wellness

It deals with topics related to health concerns and achieving good health. In addition, it includes the ideal diet and weight reduction for specific body types.

Business and Finance

It talks about how to build wealth and how to manage one’s money properly. Also, it deals with proper management in a work environment.

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