Four Basic Kinds of Style

The concept of style for writers can have many different definitions. In this instance, I define style as the blend of syntax, diction, and pacing that writers choose to use in their work. Style can encompass many different ideas when it comes to writing. I found a great article discussing different types of style written by a writer named Syed Hunbbel Meer. Meer describes four kinds of style.

Expository: writing that is objective and subject-oriented and ideally devoid of personal biases. Traditionally, it’s used to explain processes, it frequently employs facts or figures, and it’s written in a logical sequential style.

Narrative: writing that is storytelling, event/plot-oriented, each portion is viewed as part of a greater whole or story. The author can involve personal influences at their own discretion. Narrative styles are used in fiction and non-fiction as well.

Persuasive: writing that encourages either accepting an opinion or partaking in an action. It is audience oriented and it typically involves emotional or ethical appeals. Like Expository style, it can utilize logical reasoning, however it is paired with bias and motivational intent and is often subjective.

Descriptive: writing is that involves a great deal of detail. It is sensory-oriented and it enables writers to draw attention to particular events, people or places. It can be poetic or emotionally evocative.

These categories are some of the most broad and topical. There are many more subcategories. However, the majority of writing that we see falls into one of these styles or is a combination of them.

2 thoughts on “Four Basic Kinds of Style

  1. daydreambeliever95 April 18, 2015 / 9:54 pm

    I really liked this breakdown of styles. I love descriptive writing because I think words are just so fun. Expository writing is probably my least favorite because there isn’t a lot of room for personal opinions and feelings.


  2. Allison Miehl April 19, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    I feel like I haven’t seen style broken down into these categories since my FCAT days. It’s good to see them and be reminded of different types of writing, because determining what style of writing you’re doing can help determine several other things, like what kind of voice to use, how to address the audience, and what your end goal should be when writing.


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