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Types of Writing Styles

An essential step in your content marketing is determining what kind of writing style fits your marketing needs. There are four primary types of writing styles, and understanding them will help you create the perfect messaging for your marketing strategy. It’s not necessary to pick one technique and stick with it. It’s ok to have multiple styles depending on your marketing drive.

With multiple means of online communication happening daily, we need to keep our conversation flowing organically and intentionally to reach our audience with a clear and precise message. Let’s explore the four types of writing styles to help guide your approach to optimized content marketing.


Expository writing is long on facts and short on storytelling and literary flourishes. It can inform or instruct readers about a subject, but in its purest form, it’s not out to change anyone’s mind.

More examples of expository writing:

  • News articles
  • Nonfiction books
  • Textbooks
  • Scientific and medical research
  • Instruction manuals
  • Cookbooks

Descriptive writing is, well, just that. It may be actual poetry, or simply poetic, often using metaphors, as well as adjectives, adverbs, and language that activates the reader’s senses. It also zooms in to appreciate minute details.

Places you’ll find descriptive writing:

  • Poetry
  • Diary entries
  • Nature writing
  • Within a longer piece of writing

The narrative style of writing tells a story. Its hallmark is a plot with a beginning, middle, and end, like so: Romeo and Juliet’s families loathe each other. The two star-crossed lovers fall for each other anyway. Tragedy ensues.

Examples of narrative writing:

  • Novels
  • Creative nonfiction (e.g., magazine features)
  • Screenplays
  • Biographies
  • Mythology

As the name implies, this writing style sets out to win its audience over to a certain point of view. It builds an argument by presenting evidence and justifications to back up an opinion.  This may lead to a call to action: Vote for this candidate, buy this product, support this cause, etc.

More examples of persuasive writing:

  • Academic papers
  • Opinion and editorial writing
  • Advertising copy
  • Product reviews
  • Cover letters and letters of recommendation


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