In fourth grade, students are starting to prepare for middle school, when nonfiction writing is practiced in all subjects. What’s more, under the Common Core Standards, nonfiction writing is more and more essential to the curriculum. Learn more about your fourth grader’s writing under Common Core. According to the standards, students should be learning three types of writing:

Informative/explanatory writing

Like a report, the purpose of this type of writing is to convey information accurately with facts, details, and supportive information.


These can be stories or screenplays or other fiction written in the first, second, or third person.

Opinion pieces

In opinion writing, students encourage readers to accept their opinion about something by writing what they and why.

Fourth grade writing sample #1

John Cabot and the Rediscovery of North America

In this child’s report on John Cabot, you’ll see a few important features. First, there are five sections, each with a bolded header announcing what sort of information follows. Note that the fifth section is the bibliography, where everyone can see the two sources this student relied on for her information.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fourth grade writing sample #2

Big Book of Evolution

Dylan’s report on evolution is also divided into sections. Note that Dylan uses visuals throughout this report. What’s more, the report has a table of contents at the beginning, and at the end, Dylan cites his sources for the written information and the visuals.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fourth grade writing sample #3

A Tale of Despereaux

This is a classic fourth grade book report. Note that the student uses headers to announce what type of information follows: the summary, the characters, and the writer’s recommendation about the book.

Type of writing: Informative/explanatory writing


Fourth grade writing sample #4

Zoos Should Close

This student writes an opinion piece about why she thinks zoos should close. Note that she cites multiple reasons with examples of why zoos aren’t good for animals. She also addresses a counterargument and refutes it, which isn’t actually required until seventh and eighth grade.

Type of writing: Opinion writing


See more examples of real kids’ writing in different grades: Kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade, fifth grade.

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