A writing style, or type, is a reflection of an individual’s personality and expresses a certain character to the reader. Writing is expressive, educational and informative and evokes feelings and emotions. It is therefore important for a writer to explore the different styles of writing so as to achieve his intended goal.
There are many different types of sub-styles of writing but they all boil down to the following;
This is where the writer tells a story, fiction or non-fiction full with a plot, characters, dialogue, conflict, and resolution. A narrative type of writing usually involves a beginning, middle, and end which are usually well developed. Its main aim is to tell the story and runs a bit longer as compared to other styles.
Examples of narrative writing include;
- Short stories
Below is an example of narrative writing which tells a story that includes a dialogue between characters and shows the plot unraveling.
“Can I join you?” she asked again.
“I was just about to leave,” he said nonchalantly.
“Ooh. Some other time then.” She smiled while turning to walk away.
He was conflicted.
“Wait!” he said with a hint of nervousness.
This style of writing is solely explanatory. Here, a writer focuses on explaining a certain topic or how to do something and gives facts, figures, statistics, and evidence without basing their own personal opinion. This kind of writing is usually the most used kind of writing and uses a logical order and sequence.
Examples of expository writing;
- How-to articles
- Business, medical and scientific writing
- Instruction manuals
Below is an example of an expository article that gives facts and has no personal opinion.
“Kenya was ranked at position four in Africa with 1.9 million people who have the condition (WHO report, 2104). According to the Kenya Mental Health Policy (2015-2030), mental disorders in Kenya continue to rise rapidly. Estimates point that 20-25 percent of outpatients seeking primary healthcare presents symptoms of mental illness at any one time, while government statistics indicate that at least I in every 4 Kenyans suffer from a mental illness at one point in their lives.”
This employs a style of writing that describes a person, place, feeling or thing to the reader. It is mainly used in fiction writing and uses metaphors, similes, adverbs and adjectives, and language that activates the reader’s senses; what they see, hear, smell, taste, and feel.
Example of descriptive writings includes;
- Prose and poetry
- Lyrics to songs
- Travel diaries
- Passages within a story
- Nature writing
Below is an example of writing that describes something;
“As he continued to admire the heavily bosomed woman from where he sat, he couldn’t help but remember his wife, Joy! She was a beauty. Short, curvy in all the right places and had dimpled cheeks that her smile always lit up a room and always warmed his heart. He had met her at a club along Lang’ata road in Nairobi. She was a wild spirit, she danced in a sensual way and had admirers lined up from here to Timbuktu.”
This kind of writing entails trying to persuade and convince the reader to the writer’s opinion or beliefs. They usually contain the reader’s opinion and justifications for the same. It also involves the writer doing a call to action and asks readers to stand with them in their opinion and biases.
Examples of persuasive writing include;
- Academic papers
- Cover letters
- Letters of complaint or recommendation
- Opinion or feature articles
Below is an example of a persuasive piece of writing;
“Are you tired of seeing your paychecks slashed by unjust tax deductions? We work hard to provide for our families and then wind up only being able to live paycheck to paycheck. If you vote for me, I’ll make sure your taxes are lowered and you get the government services that you depend on. Imagine everything you’ll be able to do with more wiggle room in your monthly income. Cast your vote today.”
In conclusion, the above styles can be used interchangeably while writing an article, story, or whatever piece of writing one is undertaking. An article can include more than one kind of style to effectively deliver the intended message. For a writer, the four styles will greatly help to grow and develop your own individual voice and assist in carving out a niche for yourself in what style you feel most comfortable with.