Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kinds of writing

What kind of writing do you do in English? Of course, basics are important in all writing and grammar is still grammar. But purpose, audience, special forms or genres and specialized vocabulary make a big difference in how you write.

What is fine in a personal letter may not be at all suitable for a business letter. Engineers' reports follow different form and style than lawyers briefs. Chatroom and IM slang is never suitable in business, technical or legal writing.

That's confusing. I know. It must seem like having to learn many languages or at least dialects just to be able to use one. Learning the most used formulas - rules or guidelines - for different genres will make the task less confusing.

That is also why it is important to know what kind of writing you need most. So think about your 'writing needs' and tell us about them. You probably even use more than one kind depending on why and to or for whom you are writing.


  1. Hi Ms Vanessa.

    It’s a very good question for all off us.
    I think that I want to make the English language like my native language.
    I like to write reports, essay, thoughts, and stories. Like the newspaper doing, like an Arthur doing. Since I was a child I like to write. Even now. When I must to learn something or to studying something I have best results when I write it.This is the reason that my “steps’’ are small.
    But to tell the truth the last two years I have improve some things. When I want to write something in English , I don’t think my native language first. First English and then Greek. This is something that I couldn’t before. I think was scared.

  2. Hello!

    I think that declarative kind of writing is more suitable for me. If I want to explain or describe something, I have to own English language very well as like native language.


  3. Mata & Mark

    I think you may have misunderstood my question as well as what I mean by kinds of writing. I'll try to be clearer.

    By 'what kind of writing,' I mean specific kinds of writing like personal letters, email, business correspondence, reports, memos, technical writing, notes, recipes, instructions, and so on. These are also referred to genres.

    Both of you are classifying 'kinds' by purpose (personal expression) or function (expository). Of course there is overlap - we cannot completely separate form, function and purpose.

    Mark, there are 'declarative sentences' - but not 'declarative writing.' You probably mean 'expository writing,' which is used for reports, workplace written communication and other information writing. We call it 'expository' to distinguish it from 'persuasive writing.'

    Mata, your interest appears to be in writing for personal expression. Specific genres for personal expression writing include private letters and email, private journals or diaries, personal blogs and creative forms like stories and poetry.

    You can share personal writing with others or keep it to yourself but your purpose remains the same - personal expression rather than persuasion, argument or reporting, although those elements certainly cam be and often are present in expressive writing.


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