Writing - Four Writing Styles

Do you have a particular writing style?

Writing - Four Writing Styles

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You may be familiar with the four writing styles, i.e., narrative, descriptive, persuasive and expository. Now there is a heavy emphasis placed upon each student to be able to write well. As the author, you can chose a specific writing style that feels the most comfortable to you, a style that will show your readers something about you as the author by bringing forth your personality and the moods you like to create.

As you will be required to write more book reports, stories, poems and novellas, now would be a good time to revisit these four writing styles. Below is brief review of each style.

The Narrative Style: To narrate means to tell a story from your own viewpoint and your own perspective. For example: “I took dance lessons from the time I was three years old. In fact, I can remember a time that I didn’t want to become a professional dancer, although ballet was out simply due to my height.” The story is being told by the “first person, i.e., I.” In short, the writer has placed themselves within the story.

The Descriptive Style: When a writer uses great details in order to describe a person, place or thing, they use the descriptive style of writing. For example, let’s look at the following two sentences.

Thomas pushed the little dingy out into the lake.

Thomas, who was a ripe old age of 8, maneuvered the little dingy around from its perched position on the river bank and pushed it out onto the cold, morning lake. At this time of the morning the lake’s surface looked like an ice-blue pane of clear, perfect glass.

The first sentence is a basic, simple sentence. It does give the reader information but provides very little detail. On the other hand, the second sentence provides a great deal of description. It paints a much more vivid image for the reader to actually be able to visualize Thomas and know that he is a young boy. It also gives further description of the dingy, that being where it was located and its size. Finally, the author describes the look of the lake in the early morning. The writer of the second sentence is using the descriptive style of writing.

The Persuasive Style: In this style of writing the author is trying to persuade the readers to accept and embrace the author’s own views and opinions about what is being written about. This style can easily be seen in TV commercials such as product “A” has more meat in it than product “B” and because of that meat the value of product “A” is much greater than the value of product “B.” In a story, the author tries to persuade the reader to view things from a different perspective by first assuming that the reader’s opinions and viewpoints are different from the author’s. It is the author’s aim and goal to change the reader’s opinions and perspective to adopt the author’s own views and opinions.

The Expository Style: This style of writing is different from the persuasive style in that in this style of writing the author presents specific thoughts or ideas and then presents unbiased facts, figures and numbers about those ideas and thoughts without incorporating the author’s own opinions and views. Rather, the author allows the reader to come to their own conclusions. This style of writing is one of the more popular styles used and is found in many “How to” writings. Facts are given, such as instruction on how to build a tree-house, but how the reader uses those facts and interprets those instructions are solely chosen and decided by the reader.

Now that you have finished your review, read each small written piece given below and see if you can determine which style of writing is being used.
1.
Do you like to visit waterfalls? I find them quite amazing. In fact, for the past 30 years as I have traveled the world over, I have made it a point to visit every waterfall. This book is a colorful picture guide of each waterfall that I have visited. It includes the waterfall’s location, the waterfall’s length, a brief history about the area of the waterfall and how each waterfall got its name. Perhaps it will inspire you to add waterfall hunting to your vacation itineraries.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
In this writing the author is presenting the reader with information on the waterfalls of the world. Although the author will present some facts, the author is not going to make a conclusion and try and persuade the reader to think one way or another. That final decision will be up to the reader. This method of writing is clearly that of the expository style. Therefore, Answer (d) is the correct answer
2.
I have decided that I am going to stop listening to movie critics. They rarely ever get the movie right. Rather, I have decided that I will start my own school column on movies. I think my opinions will be more in line with my peers. As I love going to the movies and seeing everything out there, no matter what style of movie it is, drama, horror, comedy, romance, mystery, futuristic or you name it, I have a more unbiased opinion and feeling. So this continuing weekly column will give you a brief review of what I thought about a movie, the acting and the overall storyline.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
This style of writing is being told from the first person’s perspective. There isn’t very much description being given and, at this point, there is no persuasion going on nor are there facts being presented in a non-biased way as to make it an expository style of writing. This style of writing is a clear example of a narrative. Answer (a) is the correct style being used
3.
I had never visited a farm before but this summer my family spent an entire month on my great-grandfather’s farm in Wyoming. I found that I loved everything about farming, except for shucking out the horses’ stalls - that wasn’t fun. Aside from that one unpleasant chore, farm life was exciting and always moving. I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. every morning. When I first learned that bedtime was 9:00 p.m. sharp, I was appalled - I was on my summer vacation after all. But, after putting in a hard, long day on the farm, it seemed that 9:00 p.m. couldn’t come fast enough.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
This style of writing is being told from the first person’s perspective. There isn’t very much description being given and, at this point, there is no persuasion going on nor are there facts being presented in a non-biased way as to make it an expository style of writing. This style of writing is a clear example of a narrative. Answer (a) is the correct style being used
4.
I believe that everyone is entitled to an education. That really goes without question. However, I am not certain that everyone needs to attend college, especially in today’s world. In 2013 a poll was taken of college graduates. The main question asked was whether or not the graduate was able to find a job in the field in which they graduated in. The results were a bit startling. Of all the graduates polled, only 27% of them were actually working in their major field. Some 54% were working in entry level jobs such as at fast foods restaurants, as grocery or retail store cashiers or as couriers. They were all living under a burden of debt which many were not able to pay due to their entry level jobs. Nearly 7% were unemployed, living back at home and dependent upon their parents and the remainder were considering returning to college to study another field. The immediate future does not look any brighter. So if you are thinking about attending college, maybe you should take another look. Will it really benefit you or bankrupt you? Does a degree really get you into the door of a major company anymore? Is the degree worth any more than the paper it is printed on? As for me and my family, I don’t think so.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
In this piece of writing the author is clearly trying to persuade the reader into thinking about whether going to college is really worth anything anymore. If the reader has a different opinion, the author is putting in reasons why that reader should change their opinion. This style of writing is a clear example of the persuasive style. Answer (c) is the correct style being used here
5.
Why spend lots of money on ribbons and bows for adding decorations to a package or present when you can make them for a fraction of the cost. That’s right, most of anything that you will need to decorate a gift can be found in your own home or just outside the front or back door. This book will help you see all of the possibilities that exist around you. More importantly, they will amaze your family and friends. No one needs to know how “cheap” you really are when it comes to decorations because your gifts will look like a million bucks. First, let’s look at what you can find in your house that you can use as decorations.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
This one can be a little tricky because it appears as though it is giving you directions making it an expository piece, but upon closer look, you can see that the writer is actually trying to persuade the reader into wrapping gifts in a different way. It piques the reader’s attention to learn what it is that they can do and, perhaps, change their opinion on how to wrap a package or present. Therefore, this piece is an example of persuasive writing making Answer (c) the correct answer
6.
As she leaned back up against the large, cool, black rock that jutted out from the grass carpeted ground beneath her, she removed her shoes and stretched forth her legs on the warm, baked grass and wiggled her toes delightedly from the sheer freedom they had sought. Looking around, Kally could see a number of tiny bees scurrying about as they went from one flower to the next. From the vast array of colorful flowers that lay before her, she surmised that they had been quite busy for some time now and were doing a glorious job of helping to bring forth the rebirth season. A sudden flutter in the tree to her right caught her attention. She glanced high up, squinting through the sun bathed leaves until her eyes caught the source of the noise she had heard. Two blue birds were fluttering about, working masterfully in the preparation of a new nest. This was yet another sign of the season. Kally smiled as she watched them arrange, then rearrange each little twig or scrap of dry leaves they had found to make sure the nest that they were building would be the best and most secure place they could create to raise their little ones that were sure to come soon.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
The author of this piece is quite obviously giving the reader a great deal of description. In this short piece of work, the writer is not trying to persuade the reader to change their views or opinions on any subject nor is the writer allowing the reader to come to their own conclusion about the situation. In addition, the writer is not writing from the first person perspective. Instead, this piece is a perfect example of the descriptive writing style. Answer (b) is, therefore, the correct style being used here
7.
Let’s face it, we live in a very fast paced world so when it comes to making a good, well balanced meal, it often gets pushed aside for quick fast foods. I was in that trap myself but hitting 40 changed that for me - my health was failing so I had to find answers. That’s when I really tackled cooking. After a full year, I came up with over 50 quick, easy and healthy meals to make. Meals your kids won’t say “yuk” to. So if you’re ready for a life change beginning in the kitchen, this book should be able to help you. There are meals that cover all styles of foods from American, to Italian, to Mexican and more. Look each one over and see what works for you and your family.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
This writing appears to be leading the readers to “how to prepare” quick, healthy meals. It is a good introduction but it doesn’t try to persuade the reader in any way, nor is it very descriptive. This style of writing is clearly that of an expository style making Answer (d) the correct answer
8.
Hanging wallpaper has become somewhat of a lost art, mostly because many people believe it is simply too difficult. However, after reading the next few pages, you will see that hanging wallpaper can be easy and even fun. The first step is prepping the wall for the paper. If a wall isn’t prepped properly, the wallpaper won’t hang right or it will roll, bubble up or easily peel off. To prep the wall you will begin by completely washing the wall down well. Then lightly sand it. After the sand, gently run a damp cloth over the entire wall again to remove the sanding residue. Next is to measure the wall from ceiling to floor. This should be done at about every foot. As you go along, you will find that the length of the wall might change so that by the end you will sometimes see as much as a full inch or inch and a half difference from your first measurement to your last measurement. Record these measurements as they will be needed when it comes time to cut. Now let’s move to step 2.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
In this style of writing the author is giving the reader instructions on hanging wallpaper. No persuasion is going on nor is it over descriptive or narrative. The writer is merely giving the reader facts on how to do something, i.e., preparing a wall for wallpaper. It is up to the reader to follow those instructions as relayed or use them in a different way as they see fit. This style of writing is clearly that of an expository style making Answer (d) the correct style
9.
I remember my very first time going to Girl Scouts’ Camp. I was 12 years old and it was really my first time away from home for more than one night. As I lived in a big city, I found that I was unprepared in many ways for camping. My goodness, there weren’t even any flushing toilets. I couldn’t stand the smell of the outhouses we had to use. I especially was unprepared for all of the bugs. I never knew there were so many different spiders. I think the fear of spiders that I have today goes back to that first camping experience.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
This style of writing is being told from the first person’s perspective. There isn’t very much description being given and, at this point, there is no persuasion going on nor are there facts being presented in a non-biased way as to make it an expository style of writing. This style of writing is a clear example of a narrative. Answer (a) is the correct style used to describe this passage
10.
Sterling wrinkled his nose as he slowly made his way into the back of the pitch-black cave. Reaching inside his very worn, red and black backpack, he blindly rummaged around in search of the small flashlight his mother had persuaded him to take at the last minute before he left for his solo adventure into the vast, yet densely populated forest. After what seemed like an eternity, his fingers finally found their target. Flicking the small light on and then scanning the walls he had been clinging to, Sterling was able to make out that the cave was bearing to the right just ahead of him. He had no sooner turned to the right when an overwhelming putrid smell smashed into his face. Sterling’s first thought was that the smell could only be that of a decaying carcass. Just then his foot hit something. Looking down, he found the source of the odor - it was the dead body of a deer, its throat torn wide open and its intestines were sprawled on the ground before it.
Narrative
Descriptive
Persuasive
Expository
The author of this piece is quite obviously giving the reader a great deal of description of what Sterling was experiencing. The smell described by the author helps the reader to imagine what Sterling was experiencing. In this short piece of work, the writer is not trying to persuade the reader to change their views or opinions on any subject nor is the writer allowing the reader to come to their own conclusion about the situation. In addition, the writer is not writing from the first person perspective. Instead, this piece is a perfect example of the descriptive writing style. Answer (b) is, therefore, the correct style being used here
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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