Expository documentaries propose a strong argument and point of view, using images to advance the argument, often employing voice-over or titles.
Observational documentaries attempt to observe lived life spontaneously with minimal intervention.
In a participatory documentary or participant-observation films the filmmaker as a social actor affects the subject or alters the situations, presenting "the truth" of the encounter.
Performative documentary stresses subjective experience and emotional response to the world and might include hypothetical enactments.
In the aesthetical poetic mode of documentary images of the material world are organized by means of associations and patterns.
Reflexive documentary skeptically draws attention to the fact that it is just a representation of the reality.