Overview of Types of Writing

More likely than not you will be required to write an essay in English when pursuing your higher education in countries like Canada, US, Australia, UK, New Zealand, or even UAE. This is meant to help advance your skills as well as assess them.

Note that writing is an important skill in professional and academic fields. In academics, it is a language of communication that is used to articulate particular ideas. Such communication is key in essay-writing assignments.

Accordingly, types of writing can usually be grouped into 3 categories that include:


1. Argumentative: This category entails making an argument that is coherent, well-reasoned, and backed by solid evidence. When venturing into it, you are required to advance a particular idea and then go ahead to support it.


2. Informational: This type of writing requires you to conduct several research projects addressing distinctive aspects of a similar topic by relying on information or data from more complex articles, books, and other different sources.


3. Narrative: This category entails writing a literary analysis summary or report that is based on a central idea and an intelligible focus that is adequately supported using relevant examples, details, and facts.


Note that these types of writing should assume a particular structure. This brings us to the different types of writing structure. These types are as discussed below.


Types of Writing Structure

The question to ask here is, “why is text structure important?” Markedly, the structure acts as the skeleton of the particular piece of writing. It is the backbone encompassing all the relevant pieces that are connected to create a solid, and uniform foundation that a writer builds unique work upon.

That said, there are different types of writing structure for distinctive genres of academic writing. Such structures include:


1. Categorical

This is one of the most common types of writing structure.  The structure entails addressing a series of topics that are equally important. The respective topics or items being addressed should be easily categorized as closely related to each other.

For instance, you can use a similar structure when writing speeches such as campaign speeches, political speeches, or the state of the nation address speech.

It is important to note that the order of the respective topics or items is not essentially imperative. Accordingly, the items in this type of writing structure techniques can follow in any sequence the writer finds convenient.

For example, when writing about types of smartphones, you could opt to start with Samsung, then Apple, followed by Sony, and end with Nokia. The order can be interchanged in any sequence.


2. Chronological

This is also one of the most common types of writing structure. It is particularly useful in how-to and narrative forms. The structure focuses more on the actual story telling than the story’s end result. In this, it adopts a simple way of ordering ideas by presenting them as they occur in time.

Accordingly, the text structure analysis in this category encompass a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is one of the key writing structure techniques used in novels and stories, where early events precede later events.

For instance, an essay discussing the evolution of a car model like Ford Mustang could start by looking at its launching in the 1960s, evolution in 1970s, changes in 1980s, and so forth. The items in the story follows in a sequential manner.

It is important that the focus of the text structure analysis in this category is the sequence of events. As such, you are required to narrate how one act happened after the other.


3. Sequential

This is equally a common structure. It is imperative to note that the categorical and sequential categories are two closely related types of writing structure. However, the sequential structure focuses more on guiding someone how to do something.

The guide usually describes a step-by-step process aimed at impacting particular skills to the target audience. For example, the structure could be applied when describing the process of baking a cake or creating a pictograph, where the respective steps follow sequentially.

To ensure coherency between the different steps, this structure utilizes various transitions. The transitions play an important role in clarifying the particular instructions. This said, common transitions used between the steps include: 1) first, 2) second, 3) next, 4) finally, etc.


4. Evaluative

This is also one of the most important types of writing structure in academics. The text structure analysis in this writing is similar to the categorical structure. However, ideas in the evaluative structure do not have to follow each other in a particular order.

Differently, the writer is allowed to choose the arguments to present in support of a particular position. The writer’s position could also include a neutral position to the particular position or against that position, following in any order.

In this structure, you should introduce a problem and then go ahead to examine its pros and cons. For instance, you could employ it in an email requesting for advice on a particular issue from a confidant.


5. Comparative

This is another of the common types of writing structure. Note that the comparative and evaluative are considered quite similar writing structure techniques. However, the comparative structure is used particularly when there are several layers to the issue being weighed on.

The structure is suitable when you need to compare and contrast different ideas. This make the structure quite common when writing “compare and contrast” essays. Note that it is advisable to discuss the most relevant ideas first.

For instance, you could use the structure in an essay that requires you to compare and contrast fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. In this, you can discuss their similarities in the group they belong to, electronegativity, and the potential to be harmful to biological organisms.

You can then go ahead and discuss their differences in areas such as their respective atom sizes, atom bond weaknesses, and boiling points.

The structure is also suitable for debate teams that seek to explain why their points are better than the opponent’s.


6. Causal

This is also one of the central types of writing structure in academics. Markedly, observations indicate that the structure may appear similar to the comparative structure but it is different in the sense that it does not weigh different options against each other.

Text structure paragraphs in this category require you to discuss the causes in a particular issue or topic followed by the respective effects. In this, you could highlight the causes, then elucidate on the effects, and end with the solutions to the problem.

For example, you can use this writing structure to develop an article on the contributing factors of poverty, where you discuss the factors that cause poverty, followed by the impacts of respective factors on society, and finish by providing solutions to the problem for each factor.

You can also use this structure to explain reasons for leaving a job in your resignation letter.

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