Academic Guides: Learning The Particularities of Different Writing Genres

One way to become a better student writer is learning the particularities of the different writing genres. What this means is to understand when different writing styles are appropriate and learn the specific expectations and rules required of each one. Something many students find to be true is that they are good at writing in one genre but struggle in another. It isn’t very common for someone to be great at writing in all styles. However, you can improve your writing once you understand what is different about each once.

  • Creative Writing
  • Creative writing is all about the author’s creativity and imagination. It is also about coming up with a unique way to express an interesting idea or concept. Themes in creative writing can be diverse. There is certainly no right or wrong answer. When you write creatively you are expected to follow the basic writing rules such as spelling and grammar but formatting is generally flexible.

  • Report Writing
  • For students report writing is all about summarizing and restating information that they have read or learned about through research. Report writing focuses on re-explaining an idea or concept in a formal structure. Most reports are strictly fact based and do not include any personal insight. Students are often graded on the accuracy of their report.

  • Essay Writing
  • Traditionally essay writing combines both creative writing and report writing elements. Depending on the type of essay the student is writing (research essay, narrative essay, argumentative essay) it may lean towards one or the other.

    The purpose of an essay is set specific structural criteria for a written composition. This is so that a student can be more accurately graded on their knowledge, and ability to compose a long form response to a question.

  • Other Writing Genres
  • The three genres listed above are just a few examples of student writing assignments. They serve different purposes and are assigned in different courses for different reasons. Each of these three items also has sub-categories that further specify the particularities of the writing style.

It is important for students to understand the main key differences between these writing genres when they are asked to write. Knowing why, and what makes this styles of writing different will provide hints about what is expected of the writer as well as what they will be graded on.

Posted by November 22nd, 2016