Every writer has a writing style. Writing styles are a way of saying the form or type of written work you are creating. The style reflects their personality, uniqueness, and the way writers approach their audience and readers.
Each writing style has a different purpose. Different characteristics are present when you are writing each type of work. From poetry to advertisements to scholarly journals, you’ll see how the different styles of writing interconnect. Knowing all four different types of styles and their usages is important for any writer.
Here are the categories and their definitions:
Expository writing is long on facts and short on storytelling and literary flourishes. It can inform or instruct readers about a subject, but in its purest form, it’s not out to change anyone’s mind.
Example of Expository writing:
- News articles
- Nonfiction books
- Scientific and medical research
- Instruction manuals
Descriptive writing is descriptive, as it names. It may be rhythmic or simply poetic, often using metaphors, as well as adjectives, adverbs, and language that activates the reader’s senses. It also zooms in to appreciate minute details.
Example of Descriptive writing:
- Diary entries
- Nature writing
- Within a longer piece of writing
The narrative style of writing is telling a story. Its hallmark is a plot with the beginning, middle, and end, like so: Romeo and Juliet’s families loathe each other. The two star-crossed lovers fall for each other anyway. Tragedy ensues.
Example of Narrative writing:
- Creative nonfiction (e.g. magazine features)
As the name implies, this writing style sets out to win its audience over to a certain point of view. It builds an argument by presenting evidence and justifications to back up an opinion. This may lead to call to action: Vote for this candidate, buy this product, support this cause, etc.
Example of Persuasive writing:
- Academic papers
- Opinion and editorial writing
- Advertising copy
- Product reviews
- Cover letters and letters of recommendation