Writing helps us to share a message, tell a story, or express our opinions. There is no writing without purpose even though every writer has a unique goal. Even making lists in a journal or writing down angry thoughts is not pointless. However, every writer can achieve their goal and communicate effectively by using the right writing types.

Different types of writing styles and ways are available for business, research, fiction, academics, and marketing. A writer can find their voice and express their ideas clearly by trying different tones. In this guide, we will explore the top 4 types of writing formats. It is crucial to explore different types of writing styles and bring life to your words.

4 Main Types of Writing

How many types of writing formats are there? There are different types of writing and each one has its tone, content, goal, style, and more. However, we can convert them into 4 main types – Narrative, Descriptive, Persuasive, and Expository.

1. Narrative Types of Writing

When you present a story through words to inspire, entertain, or teach, you can call it Narrative writing. Readers can easily understand Narrative writing, but writers can find it challenging whether the story is made up or true. Reader use their imagination and understand the story. The story must be engaging, so that the readers remain interested. Writers should remember 5 things to present a story: Plot, Characters, Theme, Conflict, and Setting. Plus, stories must need a start, middle, and end. For interpretation, it can be definite or left open. Though open endings leave room for readers to imagine what will happen next, definite endings finish the story.

Also, the writer should consider the point of view while narrative writing. They should put a narrator in the story with knowledge of everything about the characters and the plot or a character with limited knowledge. Narrative writing covers many types of writing such as fantasy, drama, myth, legend, love story, jokes, novels, adventure, comedy, mystery, etc.


  • Biography: A biography is a story that covers the details of a person’s life. Usually, it shows basic facts such as their family,
    relationships, childhood, career, education, and death. Autobiography
    is actually when a person writes their own life story.
  • Fable: Fable is a story where animals act like people and talk. It often does have a moral lesson at the end of the story. In this type of story, animal characters show human mistakes and weaknesses.
  • Myth: Myth is when a story presents powerful beings or gods doing stunning things at a time we don’t know exactly when. These stories
    include unusual events that don’t follow the regular rules of nature.
    Myth doesn’t explain extraordinary events even though they tell it
    with confidence.

2. Descriptive Types of Writing

Descriptive writing is about using words to create a picture and give readers a detailed impression of places, events, characters, and more. In such stories, writers described both looks and other senses such as hearing, smell, and touch. The writers have to understand the use of imagination. It is important to use clear and specific language while descriptive writing. Readers will face difficulty while imagining what is being described if you use vague adjectives, verbs, and adverbs. If there is a detailed and vivid description, the readers will find it easy to relate to the story. The goal of the writer is describing not persuading the readers. They might use descriptive words with negative or positive feelings.

This type of voice in writing often appears in different types of literature. Since there’s a need to describe events or places. Authors use adjectives and adverbs commonly. Sometimes, they use literary devices such as similes and metaphors. Additionally, writers should be familiar with examples of figures of speech if they aim to master this style. Descriptive writing involves many fictional pieces like prose, plays, poems, and lyrics. Again, descriptive writing can be found in nonfiction material such as travel, memoirs, and travel diaries.


  • Poems: When a writing uses rhythm and the interaction of words is called a Poem. Usually, a poem follows certain rules such as how many syllables are in 1 line. But these rules might not followed by modern poetry. Line might not rhyme and also, the syllabus may not follow a particular pattern in this type of poetry.
  • Memoir: When a writer writes about his/her memories that can go back to their childhood is called a memoir. Memoirs can be written by anyone even though famous people like leaders and celebrities often write memoirs.
  • Diary: A diary is used to write about personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It creates a timeline of emotions connected to events (Snowden, 2015). Moreover, a diary has become a helpful tool since it can manage both personal and work-related aspects of people’s lives.

3. Persuasive Types of Writing

Another voice type in writing is persuasive writing. It aims to convince the writer to agree with the writer’s actions and thoughts. The writer encourages the reader to do the same by taking a clear stance, either for or against something. Influencing people to support the author’s ideas is the main purpose. This type of writing is supported by analysis, logical reasoning, research, and studies. To maintain an objective tone, the writing includes justifications, reasons, and arguments even though the writer may have personal opinions.

Nevertheless, it’s also important to appeal to the reader’s emotions. Building a strong connection involves stirring the readers’ feelings. It is easy to encourage the audience to take action on the issue being discussed when they feel emotionally connected to the author. The editorial section of newspapers is a common example of persuasive writing. Reviews of books, products, music, places, movies, etc. are other examples. Also, this voice types in writing can be seen in argumentative essays, letters of recommendation, cover letters, advertisements, and letters of complaint.


  • Argumentative Essay: An argumentative essay is a type of writing that creates and assesses arguments. It sparks different types of written and personal exchanges for readers to consider about (Wu & Allison, 2003 cited in Fung & Mei, 2015).
  • Cover Letter: This type of writing is usually sent while applying for a job. It describes your qualifications and why you want to take this job. A good cover letter will help you to explain why you should be selected for the job. Plus, it goes along with your resume.
  • Editorial: Editorial writing is used to express writers’ thoughts on current issues. This type of writing is found in a newspaper or magazine. These opinions might not represent the viewpoint of the whole publishing house. A disclaimer is included if it’s the latter. This type of article isn’t considered expository writing.

4. Expository Types of Writing

Expository writing explains a concept or shares information with the audience. Also, this type of writing provides insights and instructions about a particular subject. You can find expository writing in multiple writing styles. Since this writing gives information to readers, it is also called information writing. This type of writing doesn’t include the author’s opinions, unlike persuasive writing. When a writer tries to convince the readers of something but presents information and facts, it is not called expository writing. For instance, an article called “Five Reasons Why Studying Abroad is a Bad Idea” may have facts, but it’s trying to persuade. This type of article is not considered expository.

Indeed both expository writing and descriptive writing describe things, but people sometimes confuse them. Yet, crucial differences are there. While expository writing explains external situations, processes, and things, descriptive writing expresses someone’s point of view about a subject at a particular time. Expository writing has a neutral and matter-of-fact tone. Some examples of expository writing are non-editorial articles in newspapers and magazines, textbooks, how-to books, recipes, scientific research, medical journals, etc.


  • How-to Articles: This type of writing format gives you true information and a set of steps to complete your work. Since more people use the internet and wish to share how to do things with a larger audience, this is a common writing type online.
  • News Articles: You can usually find News articles on online news sites or newspapers. This type of voice in writing presents a real event that happened. News articles cover questions like Who? When? What? Why? And Where? Furthermore, some blogs and papers have news articles.
  • Scientific Research: You should carefully plan for any scientific research before conducting it. These voice types in writing aim to help science grow by analyzing, gathering, and systematically evaluating data.

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Final Word on Types of Writing

For good communication with the audience, every writer needs to learn about different types of writing. In this guide, we explored the top 4 types of writing formats. You can become a good writer by knowing narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and expository writing. We recommend you use Docuo to improve your writing style. With its smart writing tips, you can improve your writing, create documents with pictures and videos, and handle your work smoothly. Enhance your writing and let your creativity shine with Docuo!

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