Why is writing style important? It forms the basic structure of the tone and context in which you write. Each style has characteristics that allow you to achieve what you want from your readers and how you want them to view the situation.

Expository Writing

Expository writing is explanative writing. Typically, it is an unbiased piece with relevant facts. It is extremely common as you encounter it in many how-to articles and instructional materials. This is best formatted in a logical sequence as you might find in a textbook or educational source.

While it is common in technical fields, expository pieces do not have to be boring. Have you ever read a gripping news story (that isn’t an opinion piece)? Written reports use this style of writing as it is supposed to present evidence fairly. However, if the evidence supports an opinion, it is not an expository piece.

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing can be considered as the opposite of expository writing. Even when there is supporting evidence, it is to steer the reader into the direction the writer wants. It is neither instructional nor unbiased.

It is most commonly used in advertising copies, marketing material, opinion pieces and applications. Good persuasive writing has a balance between solid arguments and opinion. It should not scold or force the readers to agree with the opinions of the writer. Instead, it should enforce subtle coercion.

Descriptive Writing

A description is supposed to be detailed, but not too flowery. This style of writing is best suited for literary work. In pieces that employ its use, it must appeal to the senses of the reader. Figurative language is appropriate and used liberally.

Poetry, fiction and even introspective pieces, like journal entries, are usually written in this style.

Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is different from the others in that is has a plot. This doesn’t mean that the other forms do not have a structure. This means that narratives must have a story. A story has characters, settings and events that unfold.

Irrespective of which tense it is written in, narrative writing must show the reader something that is unfolding. The piece must show a developing process. In this process, it must have a beginning, middle and end. It does not necessarily have to feature dialogue, but it usually does. It is most commonly used for novels, novellas, stories, biographies and anecdotes.