If you are writing a book, you need to pick the style form of writing. But what is the difference between them? Why do you need use one style instead of another?
The style of writing you use depends on the type of book you are writing. For example, if you are writing a novel, a narrative style is most applicable. If you are writing a non-fiction book, an expository style is the best fit, while an expressive style is appropriate for a poem.
Every type of book has its own set of characteristics and it may affect the way you write that book. That’s why choosing the right style will help your reader understand what kind of book you are writing.
The 4 main writing styles are persuasive, narrative, expository, and descriptive. For each of these, there are several sub-styles such as analytical, argumentative, or informative.
Let’s start with a definition of each:
Persuasive writing is used to change the way someone thinks or feels about an issue. The writer, in this case, is trying to convince the reader to agree with a particular point of view.
Narrative writing is storytelling. The writer creates an experience for the reader, telling a story or recounting something that happened in someone’s life. It can be fiction or non-fiction; either way, it tells a story and allows the reader to follow along with the events.
Expository writing is used to inform readers about something, whether it be science, technology, history, politics, etc. Opinion is not essential in this type of writing; instead, the writer gives readers information to consider and learn.
Descriptive writing is used to evoke a sensory experience for the reader. Its purpose is to allow readers to see, hear, taste, touch, or smell something that the writer has experienced. It’s an attempt to make things real for the reader.
This style of writing takes a subject and breaks it down into its component parts. It goes beyond just describing what you see to explaining why things work the way they do.
This type of writing makes an argument for something, whether it be a cause or a product. It’s often used in advertising or to promote a particular idea. Argumentative writing is persuasive but takes a specific position rather than simply convincing readers
Informative writing provides readers with information on a subject, teaching them about something new. This type of writing is usually used for school reports or business writing. It follows the old adage, “Tell me what you’re going to tell me; then tell me; and finally, tell me what you told me.”
Here are some examples of each style:
Persuasive: In this article, the writer is trying to convince readers that descriptive writing is one of four main styles of writing. She uses phrases like “let’s start with” and “for each of these, there are several sub-styles.” The word choices convey a sense of authority because the author doesn’t say “I think,” she says, “This is what it is.” This writing is less formal than other persuasive writing would be, but it’s still persuasive because the writer is trying to convince her readers that these are the four main styles of writing you need to understand.
Narrative: This story is about a boy who goes fishing for the first time. It’s descriptive in that it uses sensory-specific words to make readers feel like they’re there at the pond with him. This story is in narrative style because it tells a tale and allows readers to follow along in the protagonist’s experience.
Expository: A science report would be expository writing because it provides information about chemistry. It doesn’t have an opinion. The writer of the paper wants you to know more about atoms, so he or she will give you information that you can look into more or use for your own research.
Descriptive: A writer of descriptive writing would be trying to make something come alive on the page, like this essay about a walk through the forest. The writer uses sensory words such as “hearing,” “touching,” and “turning.” This is descriptive because it exhaustively describes what the author experiences.
Analytical: This article is an analytical piece about different styles of writing. It breaks each style down for its readers and teaches them something new or interesting about writing in general. The writer manages to be informative while still using argumentative language like “this is what happens” and “here’s what you need to know.”
Argumentative: A political column would be argumentative because it takes a position and tries to convince readers that its perspective is correct. The writer may not use his or her own opinion but instead will rely more on facts or figures to prove their point.
Informative: A textbook on physics would be written in an informative style. It’s not argumentative, and it’s more explanation than opinion. It is designed to teach readers about physics and provide them with the knowledge they can use in their own lives or other projects.
Each of these writing styles is unique. They all offer something different to the reader, and they exist for very specific reasons. You should know them as they are helpful for any type of writing.
Do you use any of these specifically in your writing? Let us know how you use them to in your own work in the comments below!