Five Types of Writing

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By: Suparlan *)

Lecturer of FKIP University of Tama Jagakarsa, Jakarta Selatan

 

There are four competences in English learning: (1) listening, (2) speaking, (3) reading, and (4) writing. Which is the easiest competence from the four competences? The easiest is to listen! Is that true? Generally yes. But, some time you can’t hear the explanation of our father or our mother, even the competence is just only listening or hearing!

There are five main types of writing: expository, descriptive, narrative persuasive and creative. There are many other subtypes that fall under these titles but it’s easiest to start here.

Expository writing 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. As the author is mostly trying to tell you all about the subject, their opinions are left out leaving you with facts and figures instead of trying to defend or support an opinion. An example of expository writing is “How-to” articles, where the author is explaining how to build or do something yourself. This process is like explaining the picture.

Descriptive writing 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. This process is like making a picture of a person, place of thing.

Narrative writing 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. Narrative is fun to read because you can replace the author with yourself and it will seem as if the story is happening to you. This process is like telling life stories and involves plot and storylines.

Persuasive writing 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! The process is like making a commercial material on television.

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. It doesn’t necessarily need to follow any line of facts, just as long as it’s interesting to read.

Now that you know the main different types of writing you can try some of your own. Even jotting down a few sentences for each topic will help you better understand what they entail. Read all different types of writing so that you have a broad knowledge of them and can point them out within the first few sentences. Happy reading! For that please do happy writing also!

*) Laman: www.suparlan.com; Surel: me@suparlan.com; MASDIK.COM.

 

Depok, 4 Oktober 2016.

 

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