There is a major advantage if a writer knows how to shift his pen to satisfy the needs of a certain piece or article. Learn why writing styles matter!
Choosing the right style of writing is like choosing the best dress to wear for a certain occasion. It would seem inappropriate to wear a formal suit in a kid’s birthday party or to dress casually in an awards night. Writing has a lot of styles and each has its definite use.
The many different nature and characteristics of writing pieces consequently demand corresponding writing styles. Academic writing, journalistic writing and many others require diverse writing styles to serve their purposes.
Academic writing pertains to writing exercises done in the realm of the academe. Many scholars do academic writing to serve other scholars. This kind of writing requires serious tone and usually reflects a concrete discourse out of congregated ideas and facts. Like any serious articles, academic writing needs excellent command of language.
Being considered as a formal writing, an article entitled What is Academic Writing? (yourdictionary, accessed September 2010) states, “Writers seeking to improve their academic writing skills should focus their efforts on three key areas: strong writing, excellent grammar and consistent stylistic approach.”
Establishing a formal tone, using the third-person perspective, discussing a definite topic or issue, avoiding author’s opinion and observing proper word choice are the fundamental characteristics of a good academic article. Academic writing does not include informal jargons, slang, and abbreviations in its content or body.
Journalistic writing requires discipline depending on categories. Journalism, given its wide scope includes editorial writing, features writing, sports writing and news writing. Editorial writing usually starts with presenting the current issue or topic before going on to author’s analysis and conclusion.
Editorial writing requires proper choice of words to directly stipulate the editor’s stand on a particular issue. An editorial may explain or interpret, criticize, persuade or praise.
Inverted Pyramid Structure
News writing follows an “inverted pyramid structure.” In this case, paragraph sequencing is arranged from the most important down to the least important details of a certain news item, thereby demanding direct execution of words.
The first two paragraphs usually contain the news lead. News writers aim at coming up with an interesting lead which answers the 5W’s and H questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How). Here is an example of a news lead, “A damp and enthusiastic crowd of self-proclaimed “Tea Party patriots” gathered at the U.S. Capitol building Sunday for a second straight September 12 march on Washington.” (CNN, September 12, 2010)
Meanwhile, writing a sports news follows the same format as news writing, however different in language dynamics. Aside from the fact that sports need to deal with sports parlances, sports writing also require hitting words to emphasize the failure of one over the other.
For an instance, a sports article may begin like this, “Eli Manning lifted a stumbling Giants offense onto his back Sunday, throwing three touchdown passes to prevent an embarrassing defeat.” (New York Times, September 12, 2010). Observe how play of words transpires in a sports article.
Suspended Interest Structure
Feature writing works on a “suspended interest structure.” Regardless of purpose (to inform, to entertain and to persuade) and regardless of kind (personality-sketch, informative, science, etc.), the challenge of feature writing is to hook readers’ interests until the last sentence of the article.
Feature writers are free to use flowery words, idiomatic expressions and figures of speech. Describing it using the features approach, “Feature writing begins with a boom and ends with a bang.”
For those who want to pursue writing as their careers, learning different styles of writing can be a good initial step. If one happens to master the process of “writing to suit the needs of the situation,” he or she can find it easy to transcend thoughts, ideas and information almost like a professional writer, if not a journalist. After all, one does not need to finish any writing or journalism degree to start writing for a reason.