What are the Modes of Writing

There are four modes of writing: descriptive writing, narrative writing, expository writing, and persuasive writing.

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing describes a person, place, or thing. When you read descriptive writings it create images in your mind. Your five senses are involved. Descriptive writing is not easy to write as they involve a good eye for detail and observation of people. The writer also must take care in selecting the words for the writing.

Example:

HUMMING BIRDS

The most beautiful humming birds are found in the West Indies and South America. The crest of the tiny head of one of these shines like a sparkling crown of coloured light. The shades of color that adorn its breast, are equally brilliant.

As the bird flits from one object to another, it looks more like a bright flash of sunlight than it does like a living being. But, you ask, why are they called humming birds? It is because they make a soft, humming noise by the rapid motion of their wings—a motion so rapid, that as they fly you can only see that they have wings.

One day when walking in the woods, I found the nest of one of the smallest humming birds. It was about half the size of a very small hen’s egg, and was attached to a twig no thicker than a steel knitting needle. It seemed to have been made of cotton fibers, and was covered with the softest bits of leaf and bark. It had two eggs in it, quite white, and each about as large as a small sugarplum.

When you approach the spot where one of these birds has built its nest, it is necessary to be careful. The mother bird will dart at you and try to peck your eyes. Its sharp beak may hurt your eyes most severely, and even destroy the sight. The poor little thing knows no other way of defending its young, and instinct teaches it that you might carry off its nest if you could find it.

Here are some pointers on how to write a descriptive piece.

  1. Choose a subject (person, object, event or setting) to describe. You will have to use descriptive words to describe its physical appearance and, if it is a person, its personality.
  2. Next, you have to chose your vantage point. This point could be a fixed point or a moving point. You chose a vantage point that would help you accomplish your purpose.
  3. Now, you must write to capture striking images of the scene or person you would like to describe. Use specific words; avoid words that are overused, such as good, bad, very, and really. Use a dictionary!

Here is an organizer to help you plan and write your descriptive writing.


Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is those that tell a story. The story may or may not have happened. All narratives have the the same common elements: character, plot, point of view, theme, and setting.

Example:

HARRY AND ANNIE

Harry and Annie lived a mile from town, but they went there to school every day. It was a pleasant walk down the lane, and through the meadow by the pond. I hardly know whether they liked it better in summer or in winter. They used to pretend that they were travelers exploring a new country, and would scatter leaves on the road that they might find their way back again.

When the ice was thick and firm, they went across the pond. But their mother did not like to have them do this unless some one was with them. “Don’t go across the pond to-day, children,” she said, as she kissed them and bade them good-by one morning; “it is beginning to thaw.”

“All right, mother,” said Harry, not very good- naturedly, for he was very fond of running and sliding on the ice.

When they came to the pond, the ice looked hard and safe. “There,” said he to his sister, “I knew it hadn’t thawed any. Mother is always afraid we shall be drowned. Come along, we will have a good time sliding. The school bell will not ring for an hour at least.”

“But you promised mother,” said Annie.

“No, I didn’t. I only said ‘All right,’ and it is all right.”

“I didn’t say anything; so I can do as I like,” said Annie. So they stepped on the ice, and started to go across the pond. They had not gone far before the ice gave way, and they fell into the water. A man who was at work near the shore, heard the screams of the children, and plunged into the water to save them. Harry managed to get to the shore without any help, but poor Annie was nearly drowned before the man could reach her. Harry went home almost frozen, and told his mother how disobedient he had been. He remembered the lesson learned that day as long as he lived.

Read more about narrative writing

Expository Writing

Expository writings informs or explains something.

Example:

BROTH OR SOUP STOCK (Brodo)

To obtain good broth the meat must be put in cold water, and then allowed to boil slowly. Add to the meat some pieces of bones and “soup greens” as, for instance, celery, carrots and parsley. To give a brown color to the broth, some sugar, first browned at the fire, then diluted in cold water, may be added.

While it is not considered that the broth has much nutritive power, it is excellent to promote the digestion. Nearly all the Italian soups are made on a basis of broth.

A good recipe for substantial broth to be used for invalids is the following: Cut some beef in thin slices and place them in a large saucepan; add some salt. Pour cold water upon them, so that they are entirely covered. Cover the saucepan so that it is hermetically closed and place on the cover a receptacle containing water, which must be constantly renewed. Keep on a low fire for six hours, then on a strong fire for ten minutes. Strain the liquid in cheese cloth.

The soup stock, besides being used for soups, is a necessary ingredient in hundreds of Italian dishes.

Abstract: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Italian Cook Book, by Maria Gentile

Persuasive Writing

Persuasive writing is writing done to motivate you, to get you to do something (such as buy something, vote for a candidate, etc.).

When you are writing your own persuasive writing you must choose a topic that you feel strongly about, know your audience (you cannot get someone to do something if you don’t know them), construct a clearly argument, and support your argument with evidence.

Example:

(An old advertisement for a Book: TOM BROWN’S SCHOOL DAYS. 1480)

By An Old Boy. New Edition. Beautifully Illustrated by Arthur Hughes and Sydney Prior Hall. 8vo, Paper, 50 cents.

Nothing need be said of the merits of this acknowledged on all hands to be one of the very best boy’s books ever written. “Tom Brown” does not reach the point of ideal excellence. He is not a faultless boy; but his boy-faults, by the way they are corrected, help him in getting on. The more of such reading can be furnished the better. There will never be too much of it.—Examiner and Chronicle.

Can be read a dozen times, and each time with tears and laughter as genuine and impulsive as at the first.—Rochester Democrat.

Finely printed, and contains excellent illustrations. “Tom Brown” is a book which will always be popular with boys, and it deserves to be.—World (N.Y.).

For healthy reading it is one book in a thousand.—Advance.

The first two samples of writings were taken from The Project Gutenberg EBook of McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Reader by William Holmes McGuffey

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