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Four Types of Writing

Four Types of Writing Styles


Students taking a test in classroom.
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When your child comes to you for help with a writing assignment, the first thing you probably do is ask what the topic is. More important to find out is what type of writing has been assigned. There are four types of writing your child will be expected to use as his classes become more writing-intensive.

4 Types of Writing Styles

  • Narrative: Narrative writing is the type of writing that tells a story. Though it’s most commonly used when your child is asked to write a personal essay (along the lines of  What I Did to Celebrate the Holidays), this type of writing can also be used for fictional stories, plays or even plot summarizations of a story your child has read or intends to write. Narrative writing typically uses the first person (“I).
  • Descriptive: Descriptive writing is used to create a vivid picture of an idea, place or person. It is much like painting with words. It focuses on one subject and uses specific detail to describe that upon which your child is focused. For example, if your child is asked to write about his favorite ride at an amusement park, his writing will not only tell the name of the ride and what it looks like, but also describe the sensation of being on it and what that experience reminds him of.
  • Expository: Expository writing is to-the-point and factual. This category of writing includes definitions, instructions,  directions and other basic comparisons and clarifications. Expository writing is devoid of descriptive detail and opinion.
  • Persuasive: Persuasive writing is a more sophisticated type of writing to which your child will introduced around fourth grade. It can be thought of as a debate in writing. The idea is to express an opinion or to take a stance about something and then to support that opinion in a way that convinces the reader to see it the same way. Persuasive writing is often in essay form, contains an explanation of the other point of view and uses facts and/or statistics to disprove that view and support your child’s opinion.

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