What are the 5 types of writing?

What are the 5 types of writing?

Whether you write journals, autobiographies, poetry, reviews, or textbooks, understanding your purpose empowers your writing. Your writing style reflects your personality, how you present yourself to a specific audience, and your distinctiveness. Every writer aims to achieve different objectives with their writing: from describing places and personalities, to explaining the workings of something, or influencing people’s opinions. In the academic realm, these writing styles are described as modes of discourse. Nowadays, there are tools like a word counter that can also help you keep track of a piece’s length for a more effective delivery of your intended message.

If you keep focused on your goal, your writing will be at its finest. While there are numerous motivations for penning down your thoughts or tapping away on the computer, most students seek professional writing services due to lack of time and skills. 

There are only five significant sorts of writing: Persuasive Writing, Descriptive Writing, Narrative Writing, Expository Writing, and Creative Writing. Other subcategories combine two or more styles of writing to form a new style. Suppose you want to pursue writing as a profession or just improve your writing abilities; you need to be familiar with at least a few distinct writing styles, such as Technical Writing, Objective Writing, and Subjective Writing.

It is therefore essential to identify each writing category to help you understand which one best resonates with your articles. The five writing styles are as discussed below:

1. Descriptive Writing

This type of writing describes characters, events, and places in a way that helps readers clearly visualize a particular scene. In a descriptive essay, scenarios are articulated through the five senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste. Descriptive writers often have more artistic freedom compared to their expository compatriots. These writings are often poetic and detailed,  moreso since they leverage on figures of speech such as metaphors, similes, and symbols. The context of descriptive writing is often emotional and is written from the persona. Descriptive writing can be found in journals, poetry, nature writing, advertising, fiction, and diary writing.

2. Expository Writing

Expository writing is perhaps the most subject-oriented style of writing, and it is the most common genre in literature. Here, authors don’t voice their opinions since the expository essay is mostly based on facts and relies very little on stories. This type of writing helps explain a particular issue in a process-like manner, providing a logical order of sequence. The workings of expository writing are achieved by including tables and charts to interpret essential data, while links, quotes, and captions are used to show data sources. If you are a tech-savvy person and you have been wondering how virtual reality works, then perhaps expository writing on the subject matter will help you get the right answer. This style of writing is used in textbooks, recipes, business writing, and “how-to” articles.  

3. Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing aims to convince a reader to agree with the writer’s opinions. Authors showcase their personal views, providing relevant evidence that influences the reader to agree with them. This type of writing is fashioned with reassuring arguments and justifications, and more often, the author presents their thoughts seeking the reader’s approval. At the end of persuasive writing, the reader is asked to act on a given situation. These calls to action can be, for instance, voting for a candidate in the upcoming elections. Unlike expository writing, which is meant to inform by stating facts, a persuasive essay is very selective when it comes to presenting facts while building its storyline.     

This style of writing is used in advertisements, commercials, editorial pieces, letters of complaints, and recommendations. This is also applicable to reviews for music, videos, series, and books.  

4. Narrative Writing

Narrative writing tells a story. The author creates real and imaginary characters, describes what happens to them, and puts themselves in the character’s shoes. Narratives are mostly life stories, and even distinct in them is the fact that they have plots and storylines with a beginning and an end. Narratives writing uses dialogue to depict situations such as conflicts, disputes, and even motivational events. It is also essential to know that the narrative style is much longer than descriptive writing but, in some instances, incorporates descriptive passages. An example of a narrative is as shown below:

“Ted and Faith’s families have hated each other for decades, but these two have fallen in love with each other despite the existing differences.”

This type of writing is found in all kinds of fiction stories, as well as novellas, anecdotes, oral histories, poetry, and autobiographies.

5. Creative Writing

Unlike essays that follow certain rules about structure and form, creative writing is all about exercising one’s imagination. Creative writing pieces are often thought-provoking, entertaining, and wholly engaging as you read. They may invoke a certain kind of emotion, inspire creativity, or are simply meant to express thoughts. Here, the writer has more freedom and flow, and is not necessarily obligated to follow a single structure or format. Creative writing encompasses both fiction and non-fiction stories. Biographies and playwriting also fall under the same category.


An understanding of the various writing styles will help you recognize the objective of an article. Such knowledge is a viable prerequisite to becoming a sharper reader and a stronger writer. As a writer, you will be able to write more effectively when you can appreciate the different types of writing by knowing how they portray your writing to its intended audience.

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