Tips to Develop Writing Styles

identify writing style

In the last article we explored the four major styles of writing – Expository, Descriptive, Persuasive and Narrative. Each style is defined by definite characteristics that sets them apart from each other. For e.g. the expository and persuasive style of writing explain facts, but one only does the job of conveying the author’s personal opinions. The descriptive and narrative style are largely similar, except only one makes it a point to elaborately detail out the subjects in the book while the other concentrates of telling a story.

There is no way you can confuse one from another, though there are overlapping concepts. You can use more than one style, but it’s always good to know which is which. So here are a few but helpful ways in which you can use the four styles of writing:

Expository Style 

This type of writing aims to be factual, research based and without personal opinions. The job is to convey, as much in detail, information and insight on the subject. Your aim to inform your reader about a particular topic.

There are guidelines to follow expository writing

  • Avoid using words which have a positive or negative connotation.
  • Do not attempt to write your opinion or try to persuade your readers into thinking, feeling or doing something based on your beliefs.
  • Research and cite your sources.
  • Link websites or additional resources when writing online.
  • Use quotes, illustrations, informative graphics.
  • Give short and clear directions.

Descriptive Style 

The magic of the descriptive style of writing is in getting your readers to visualize your piece like they are experiencing it firsthand. The more descriptive you can be with your words, the more relatable your story will be to the reader. Fiction, memoirs, lyrics, journals and poetry are a few examples of descriptive writing.

This is what you need to keep in mind:

  • Use metaphors and similes.
  • Use suitable adjectives and adverbs to describe nouns and verbs.
  • Give lots of attention to the smallest details.
  • Use the senses: feel, sight, taste, smell, sound.

Persuasive Style

Persuading your readers into taking action is what this style is all about. It is the exact opposite of the expository style of writing. Though research and facts are also a necessity, the author can insert their own opinions into the piece and convince the reader to believe what the author believes. This style of writing is best seen in advertisements, political speeches, certain kinds of non-fiction, brochures, essays and more.

If persuasive is your style, this is what you should know:

  • Include information, data and facts to back your argument.
  • Cite your sources and give readers access to additional information.
  • Know what your readers need and want. This will help you persuade them.

Narrative Style 

Is far more complex than descriptive writing. This is the complete picture. It does not only consist descriptive paragraphs but details out characters, situations, plots, sub plots, conflicts and resolutions. The narrative peace will have timelines that go in a flow with a start point and an end. Mostly all fictional novels, sagas and longer epic poems come under this.

Guidelines to write a narrative piece include:

  • Outline a storyline, plot or timeline sequence of events.
  • Include detailed descriptions of characters and scenes.
  • Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why, each of them answered.
  • Convey what the moral of the story is? What was the outcome of the experience?
  • Use direct and strong language which gives readers an image to relate and visualize.

With these clear distinctions in place, you are free to choose your style, or styles, and set out to pen down your ideas.

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