Special Sub-Topic: The Four Types of Writing
|This type of writing explains things.|
exposition. Exposition writing "explains" or "informs." Most of the writing we do is expository. When we write exposition, we are exposing the reader to specific information.
|This type of writing tries to persuade the reader to think about something in a new way or to take a certain action.|
argumentation. Argumentation writing is also called persuasive writing. It appeals to reason, emotions, or ethics (sense of right and wrong).
|This type of writing tells a story.|
narrative. Narrative is storytelling, whether that story is fact or fiction.
|This type of writing uses the five senses to give specific details to the reader.|
description. Description can be used by itself, but many times it is found in the other three types of writing. Description uses details attained from the five senses to give the reader a "word picture" of a setting, an object, a person, or whatever it is that is being described.
|You have written an article on "How To Find the Best Deals While Shopping Online." What type of writing is it?|
exposition. A "how-to" article explains how to do something.
|You wake up one morning and are feeling blue. You write a poem about your glumness. What type of writing is it?|
description. Frequently, poetry uses descriptive language.
|You have just finished writing the great American novel. What type of writing is it?|
narrative. A novel is storytelling. Some of the elements used in storytelling are character, plot, theme, dialogue, setting, scene and point-of-view.
|You read a news story on the front page of the paper about an earthquake in another country. It gives the facts about where, when, who, what and how. What type of writing is it?|
exposition. A straight news story informs the reader about a subject.
|You read an article in the paper about some questionable practices at the company for which you work. You disagree with the article and write a letter to the editor of the paper with your opposing viewpoint. What type of writing is it?|
argumentation. In your letter to the editor, you are trying to convince the reader of your viewpoint's soundness. You are trying to persuade them to understand your side of the story.
|You have lived an interesting life so far, so you write your autobiography. What type of writing is it?|
narrative. In an autobiography, you are telling the story of your life.
|You go on a hiking trip across Europe. Throughout your journey, you keep a journal in which you describe the scenes, people, buildings, plants, animals and everything else you encounter. What type of writing is it?|
description. Journal-keeping requires much description.
|You have just been hired as the restaurant critic for your local newspaper. For your first assignment, you visit a new restaurant and discover the best seafood in the area. You write a critique telling the readers to check out this new restaurant. What type of writing is it?|
argumentation. As a restaurant critic, you are trying to persuade the reader to visit--or in some cases, to not visit--certain restaurants.
|You have a big exam for world history on Friday. You realize you haven't done any of the reading assignments. You spend all night reading several chapters from the textbook. What kind of writing is it?|
exposition. Textbooks explain subjects. They inform the reader about a certain topic.
|You write a business letter to a company telling them about your latest projects. What kind of writing is it?|
exposition. Letters, business or personal, are considered expositional writing because they inform the reader about something.
|You write a personal experience article about being trapped on Mount Everest for five days and how you survived. You send the article to a magazine to see if they will accept it for publication. What type of writing is it?|
narrative. This article would be narrative because you are telling a story about your own personal experience.
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