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The 4 Types of Writing

The 4 types of writing are expository, descriptive, persuasive and narrative. Before any writer writes, they must decide what type of writing they wish to produce.

Here are the definitions of each…

# 1 Expository

Expository writing aims to present information to the reader in a coherent and unbiased manner. It is the writing style of textbooks, manuals, recipe books and the like.


The UK Equality Act 2010 aims to protect people with disabilities from forms of discrimination, providing said individuals with rights where the following are concerned: employment; access to goods, services and facilities; buying and renting land or property; education.

# 2 Descriptive

Descriptive writing intends to give the reader a detailed understanding of a character, event and/or location, including references to memory and to the use of the five senses. It also permits the writer to fictionalise material and use much more literary language, as opposed to the more fact-based and “sterile” expository writing [defined above].


The bakery on Drury Lane would have been heavenly. The counters would have shimmered with sunlight, and customers would have been able to smell the irresistible fresh pastries being made all the way down the narrow streets.

# 3 Persuasive

Persuasive writing intends to encourage the reader to adopt the writer’s perspective, usually a political one about current ethics or a prominent social issue/theme/debate. This is achieved chiefly by rhetorical devices.


How could you not think the defendant was guilty, given her smug expression?! It was obvious from the start that she was a downright criminal. You’d be stupid not to want her imprisoned!

# 4 Narrative

Narrative writing uses a narrator to tell a story about one or several characters, what they do and what happens to them, by use of both/either dialogue and/or description. These stories are often fictional but do not have to be.


Stanley was the best lizard Gertrude had ever had. When she was younger, she would start every day with a gentle tap on the glass of his tank, and a whisper, “Good morning, Stanley! I love you!” As a response, Stanley would always nod his head and take off his homemade hat — a true gentleman of a lizard.

See Also: the Creating Narratives Series.

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