A field experiment was conducted to study the characteristics of non-point source nitrogen (N) in the surface runoff from sloping croplands and the influences of rainfall and cropland slope gradient. The results showed that dissolved total N (DTN) was the major form of N in the runoff, and the proportion occupied by dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) ranged from 45% to 85%. The level of NH4+-N was generally higher than the level of NO3--N, and averaged at 2.50 mg·L-1 and 1.07 mg·L-1 respectively. DIN was positively correlated with DTN (R2=0.962). Dissolved organic N (DON) presented a moderate seasonal change and averaged at 1.40 mg·L-1. Rainfall amount and rainfall intensity significantly affected the components of DTN in the runoff. With the increase of rainfall amount and rainfall intensity, the concentrations of DTN, NH4+-N and NO3--N presented a decreased trend, while the concentration of DON showed an increased trend. N loss went up with an increase in the gradient of sloping cropland, and was less when the duration was longer from the time of N fertilization.fertilization.