The 2 Main Styles of Non-Fiction Writing
After much careful thought and observation, as well as speaking to dozens of people on the subject, I have learned that the reasons are as many and varied as the writers themselves. But the best reason to write is the best reason to do anything because it helps you develop your own innate potential.
Writing is and always will be a marvelous way to learn. When you write you distinguish whether you really understand something, or just think you do. The very procedure of writing makes you think, and think hard.
The procedure of writing is an uneasy cycle of inquiry, composition and rewrites and pushes an author toward the true goals of critical thinking, creativity, analysis, deduction and informed judgment. In this aspect then, writing is chiefly about learning and not about flaunting what you already know. If writing teaches you nothing then it is nothing.
Two common forms of writing are expressive and communicative. Expressive writing is loose and personal, written to further comprehension and expression on the part of the writer. Communicative writing is analytical, formal and roughly impersonal.
Open-ended and creative, expressive writing is a beneficial way to start learning about a topic. It presupposes that the writer already has considerable knowledge and discernment on the topic and it is writing to inform a reader. Expressive writing calls for adherence to firm rules of tone, voice, choice of words, evidence, and reference.
Writing as learning begins with expressive writing. Think about what it's like when you're first learning about a topic. Everything is unfamiliar. It's like being in a unusual land and the words themselves are alien. Expressive writing gives you an opportunity to begin to make sense of a topic; to bring the countless facts, definitions, rules, possibilities, and views to life and enforce some order on them.
With communicative writing, appearance is everything. Communicative writing includes reports, plans, official documents of all sorts, letters of application and so forth. What all these forms of writing have in common is the extreme importance placed on appearance.
The rigorous rules governing communicative writing rather effectively distinguish those who don’t enough knowledge in a field. Technical papers or initial sales pages, for example, can often weed out poor writers simply by how they appear.
Communicative writing, as I've mentioned, requires you to know a good deal about a particular field's rules and patterns so you are better know what you are talking about.
No matter what type of writing you are doing, expressive or communicative there is always room for improvement. As a writer you should always be on the lookout for ways to hone and improve your writing skills so that you can be the best writer possible.
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