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Types of Writing:

The Match Game

 

 

Today's Snack: Let's have snack foods that are a good match. Peanut butter and crackers? Cereal and milk? Carrot sticks and ranch dip? Celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese? Whatever sounds good as a pair - and match your snack up with a drink that matches, too, either in color or flavor or "just because" you think it goes together.

 

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Supplies:

Print out the list, below, on cardstock and

cut into a deck of cards,

or just write each type of writing on a different blank card

 

Assemble as many examples of these different kinds of writing as you can

 

 

Go over these definitions of the various types of writing. Note that it is important that you match the format of a piece of writing with its purpose.

 

You wouldn't write the news about someone's death for an obituary in the newspaper in the form of a light-hearted poem, for example. Nor would you use a Q&A format for a funny short story - that's a mostly serious format, and you'd need a less formal structure to let your humor shine through.

 

When you've discussed the formats, lay out samples of different kinds of writing on long tables. For example, for an example of "business" writing, put a memo; for "persuasive," put a political flier.

 

Give students a deck of cards with the types of writing on each. Divide into pairs or teams and give out an equal number of cards. The students should go around to the different kinds of writing, and lay the corresponding card on each one.

 

If you have a lot of students, you can print out three or four different sets of cards, on different colored cardstock, and make it a race.

 

Have the students discuss their choices. Ask if anyone can think of another format of writing that is not listed.

 

Creative

Expressive

Descriptive

Narrative

Personal Narrative

Journaling

Social Correspondence

Email

Instant/Text Messaging

Informative

How-To

Q&A

Research

Laws and Rules

Technical

Narrative-Informative

Reaction

Compare and Contrast

Cause and Effect

Persuasive

Argumentative

Business

Advertising

News

Literary Response

Poetry

Scripts

 

 

 

Creative

To entertain the reader, often in fiction such as books and short stories.

 

 

Expressive

To share thoughts, ideas, emotions, feelings and convictions about a subject.

 

 

Descriptive

To tell facts and details about a person, place or event, "painting a picture" for the reader so that it can be clearly seen in the reader's mind.

 

 

Narrative

To describe an experience, event, or whole sequence of events, in the form of a story, with characters, plot and setting.

 

 

Personal Narrative

Sharing an experience or event from the narrator's own life.

 

 

Journaling

A personal log of one person's experiences, feelings, life events and ideas.

 

 

Social Correspondence

Love letters, thank-you notes, postcards, telegrams, letters of apology,

 

 

Email

Electronic messages written in rather short format, often with longer articles and background information provided as optional attachments.

 

 

Instant/Text Messaging

Short, informal communication with lots of abbreviations and slang characterize these quick and casual writing forms.

 

 

Informative

Also called "expository" writing, you expose or reveal information, such as an explanation of how something works, report on a book or a battle or any other subject under the sun, or give directions to a location, in short, clearly-written text.

 

 

How-To

Also known as "process writing," this is a format to explain the steps to take for a certain outcome, or to give directions for how to get somewhere, or what procedures should be undertaken in given circumstances.

 

 

Q&A

Questions are published along with the answers to them in this straightforward format designed to deliver information quickly and accurately.

 

 

Research

To report and explain new information that has been learned by studying existing resources, documenting every step of the way. Examples: medical studies, family genealogies, consumer comparisons of car quality, etc.

 

 

Laws and Rules

Long lists of what you can and cannot do in society are carefully written and indexed in rulebooks, legal texts, government regulations, school dress codes and behavior codes, and so forth.

 

 

Technical

Often using complex vocabulary and explanations out of the grasp of the lay reader, technical writing is often aimed at a select group of readers who are experts or near-experts in a technical field.

 

 

Narrative-Informative

A blend of storytelling and fact-delivering by using one or more characters plus plot and setting to convey facts, knowledge and information.

 

 

Persuasive

To stand behind an opinion or view, and influence the reader's opinion or view with strong, supportive evidence.

 

 

Argumentative

To state something that the reader will at first disagree with, but then win the reader over to your viewpoint with convincing facts and details that will get the reader to change his or her mind.

 

 

Reaction

To communicate your response to something else, and back up your opinions, views and conclusion, whether your reaction is "pro" or "con."

 

 

Compare and Contrast

To show how two things are alike, and different.

 

 

Cause and Effect

To show relationships between two things, including good and bad consequences.

 

 

Business

Letters, memos, training manuals and other publications to help everyone in a workplace, or between workplaces, to communicate ideas, perform needed services, work as a team, and make money together.

 

 

Advertising

To inform about a product or service, and persuade the reader to buy it or otherwise support it.

 

 

News

Reporting the 5 W's and H (who, what, when, where, why and how), providing a journal of day-to-day history as it is being made.

 

 

Literary Response

To share how a piece of literature, such as a book, changed your mind and heart, taught you something, inspired you, opened your eyes to a problem, etc.

 

 

Poetry

To combine language in a beautiful and compelling way to shine the light of imagination onto a subject, idea or event, working in stanzas and, sometimes, verse, rather than in textual sentences and paragraphs.

 

 

Scripts

For dramatic plays, movies and TV, radio programming, DVD's and a host of other purposes, scripts are the written directions given to the actors and technical staff working together on the production.

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Writing 2010

 

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