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Welcome to the second episode of our weekly video series. Our aim is to shine light on every nook and corner of the content domain and dispel the pervasive myths people harbour about writing. 

 

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Your Query is Our Command!

 

 

 

So, let’s begin with the second chapter of the video series (Uh! we still don’t have a name for it. Check out our blog to know how you can coin one for us and win big at the same time.)

 

In the previous video chapter, we had covered the most fundamental factor that characterizes content writing; ‘Purpose’.

 

You must be clear by now that… 

 

what makes a content

 

So, the next natural question arises, how can we categorize content based on the purpose it serves. 

 

This blog is an attempt to clarify the same.

 

There are Four Basic Types of Content Writing

 

Whatever you write, whether it’s a business plan, a novel, an ad campaign or a piece of poem, each will follow one of these basic types.

EXPOSITORY WRITING

 

The beauty of any language is that most of its technical jargon can be understood by grasping the meaning of its individual parts.

 

As per the Cambridge English Dictionary, Expository means:

 

expository writing

So,

Main Purpose

 

The primary purpose of expository writing is to explain a topic by exposing its facts so that readers get a clear understanding of it. Through this, the writer strives to educate and inform the readers about a specific subject.

How to Attempt It? 

 

For an expository write-up, first decide on a topic, research all its relevant data and then present it in a logical order to enable clear comprehension of the topic. Remember, the content should be written in an impartial manner, without your subjective opinions or biases. Use absolute facts and figures to explain the topic without clouding it with your personal thoughts. 

When to Use It?

 

Most of the content you see online as well as in your daily life features this form of writing. The how-to articles available on the net, the recipe books as well as your textbooks are all perfect examples of expository writing. Even news stories are a part of this category, if we exclude editorial and opinion pieces. 

 

Among the common forms of writing, technical, legal, business and scientific writing fall within this group.

An Apt Example

 

Ever travelled in an AC 3-Tier Compartment of an Indian Train? If not, this detailed explanation from a Cleartrip Blog will give a good idea of what all it entails.

 

 

isn’t it quite comprehensive and informative? That’s how expository writing is.

 

DESCRIPTIVE WRITING

 

As per the Cambridge English Dictionary, descriptive means:

descriptive writing

So,

Main Purpose

 

The primary aim of this type is to describe an event, place or character with enough details to make the reader visualise it. When the writer uses a lot of artistic styling, such content also ends up taking a poetic turn?  

How to Attempt It? 

 

Focus on the word, “interesting” in the definition from Cambridge. That’s what makes your descriptive content different from the expository one. In the latter, you will use cut and dried facts to elaborate on a topic. There is a lot of artistic freedom in the former, enabling you to use the five senses and imagery to make your description vivid. So, visualise your subject and write about what all you can see, smell, hear, taste and feel to paint a picture in your reader’s mind.

When to Use It?

 

Descriptive writing finds a lot of applications in the domains of diary/journal writing, fiction writing, autobiographies, biographies, as well as poetry.

An Apt Example

 

Imagine the state of a cramped and crowded Indian Railway Compartment as people travel for Diwali. This is how Ruskin Bond wittily describes one such compartment in his book, “Vagrants in the Valley”.

 

 

Didn’t it just transport you to your own train experience, where you felt, “Wow! It’s so happened with me”. You didn’t even need a real image to visualise it all. That’s the magic of descriptive writing.

 

PERSUASIVE WRITING

 

As per the Cambridge English Dictionary, Persuasive means:

persuasive writing

 

So,

Main Purpose

 

The primary purpose of persuasive writing is to convince or persuade readers to agree with the point of view of the writer. The end goal is usually to propel readers to carry out a specific task, which is known as “call-to-action” in marketing jargon.

How to Attempt It? 

 

To attempt persuasive writing, make sure to be opinionated while including your personal biases. Since you aim to convince your readers, add justifications and reasons that add weight to your claim. 

 

Take a proper stand in your argument, so that you seem firm enough to compel readers to agree with your view point.

When to Use It?

 

It is often used in letters of complaint, letters of recommendation, advertisements & commercials, affiliate marketing pitches, cover letters, newspaper opinions, editorial pieces, and promotional blogs. This type of writing is also found in book and movie reviews, as well as product descriptions on a company website.

An Apt Example

 

As seen in the above examples of expository and descriptive writing, a train journey has many aspects, good as well as bad. Check out the paragraph from “Tour My India” site to get a clear sense of how the blogger built his argument using specific points in favor of a train journey.

 

 

Did you observe how positive points have been highlighted to make train journey a fascinating experience? Thanks to Ruskin Bond, we know what the complete truth is!

 

NARRATIVE WRITING

 

As per the Cambridge English Dictionary, Narrative means

 

narrative writing

 

So,

Main purpose

 

The primary purpose of narrative writing is to tell a story. Authors can write from different points of view including first-person, second-person, and third-person narrative. One of the major elements in narrative writing is character and scene creation, which shows where and with whom a particular act is taking place.

How to Attempt It?

 

For narrative writing, practice the skills of creating relatable characters with relevant dialogues that give the scene a realistic feel. Make sure to be able to show what happens with your characters and why it happens to avoid plot holes or unanswered questions in your story.

When to Use it?

 

Narrative writing is a characteristic of novels, novellas, short stories, oral histories, anecdotes, poetries, biographies, and autobiographies.

An Apt Example

 

This is an example from one of the most exalted writers of India, Ruskin Bond. It involves an excerpt from his book, “Woman at Platform 8”, where he uses the first-person narrative to describe a stirring encounter between a boy and a stranger.

 

 

Which Writing Type is More Important?

 

Aspiring writers and freelancers often ask a pertinent question, “which among the four should they master?”. And like the solutions to most problems in this universe, there is no simple answer to this.

 

Essentially, the best writing type depends on who is asking the question.

 

For Freelancers: A major chunk of freelancing projects include website content, technical articles, business blogs, academic papers, ad campaigns, and social media posts. So, from the freelancing perspective, mastering expository and persuasive types of writing would benefit you the most. The ability to research relevant data and present it in a format and tone that fulfills its purpose is all that is needed to ace as a freelancer.

 

For Hobbyists: People seldom write business or technical content as their hobby. Most of you either indulge in penning poetries, prose or stories in your leisure time. For such content, descriptive and narrative forms of writing are most important. Mastering these types would enable you to build a compelling narrative with vivid scenes and characters that bring life to your writing.

 

For Wise Writers:  Even though most professional writers excel in a special writing niche, for amateurs, it’s best to learn all types and practice them. Even though the four types are different, they are not independent of each other. You will find it quite common for a single piece of content to require more than one type of writing.

 

Take, for instance, you need to write a promotional article on iPhone 11.

 

Begin with a riveting story of how a fledgling entrepreneur was failing in all his attempts to grow his business. He then discovered the AR feature of iOS 13 and began to innovatively connect with his customers. This resulted in an unprecedented boost in sales and skyrocketed his revenues. Then continue with a detailed description of iPhone 11’s state-of-the-art features that can make an entrepreneur’s life easy. End it on a persuasive note that for any businessmen with ambition, an iPhone 11 is a must.

 

Hope it’s clear that learning all types of writing is a wise choice for new writers. First, be the Jack of all, then decide to be the Master of One!

 

For most acclaimed authors, writing is an act that offers satisfaction and fulfillment while helping them earn their bread. As a beginner full-time writer, avoid following their footsteps, since they had a stable income source before becoming a full-fledged novelist. 

 

However, with time, you too could pay your bills while writing content that feels rewarding and enriching.

 

Stay tuned to our upcoming videos where we teach how to earn and write & share amazing writing hacks and brilliant tips on self-publishing.

 

Interested in something specific?

 

Comment below to choose your next learning target!