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Nikita Sharma
Business News Expert
Asked a question last year

What are different types of writing?

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Whether you write essays, business materials, fiction, articles, letters, or even just notes in your journal, your writing will be at its best if you stay focused on your purpose. While there are many reasons why you might be putting pen to paper or tapping away on the keyboard, there are really only four main types of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive, and narrative.

Each of these four writing genres has a distinct aim, and they all require different types of writing skills. You may also have heard them referred to in an academic setting as modes of discourseor rhetorical modes. Institutions of higher learning teach nine traditional rhetorical modes, but the majority of pieces we are called upon to write will have one of these four main purposes.

There are five main types of writing: expository, descriptive, narrative, persuasive and creative.

Expository writing8 is where the author intends to inform, explain, describe or define their subject to you. This is the most common type of writing you will find in text books and online. An example of expository writing is "How-to" articles, where the author is explaining how to build or do something yourself.

Descriptive writing9 uses a lot of great visual words to help you see the person, place or thing they are writing about. The writing can be poetic at times, and explain things in great detail. When you are reading descriptive writing you feel as if you are there or can actually picture in your mind what they are describing. Metaphors, similes and symbols are often used in descriptive writing.

Narrative writing8 is very common in novels, poetry and biographies. The author puts themselves in their characters shoes and writes as if they were that person. They tell life stories and involve plots and storylines. 

Persuasive writing8 takes on the opinion of the writer or issue the writer is writing for. This is considered biased material and is most often found in advertising. You know all of those commercials you see on television? Behind all the talk and messages is a persuasive writer. Always make sure you do background research when reading this type of material, as every story has two sides!

Creative writing is perhaps the most fun type of writing. Anything you think up in your head can be turned into creative writing. Creative writing is often thought provoking, entertaining and more interesting to read than say persuasive writing is. Short stories, poetry, novels and plays often fall into the creative writing category.