The Four Purposes of Writing

It's important to know before you begin writing what type of writing you're about to do.  Your purpose determines the type of writing and its contents.  Some purposes overlap with each other like description and narration.


To describe someone, some place, or some object.  Descriptive adjectives that describe what the five senses would take in play a key part in description as does figurative language such as similes and metaphors.


To narrate is to tell a story.  Description plays a key role in telling a story since the descriptive details allow the reader to visualize the story.


To explain using examples, details, illustrations, etc.  Exposition covers a lot of writing, and writers use many patterns to develop their expository paragraphs.


To persuade using reasons, examples, etc. Persuasion also depends on exposition to present the opposing viewpoints of an argument.  Presenting the side you oppose in a fair way and then tearing it down is an important part of persuasion.  If the other side isn't wrong in some way, can your side be right?