Writing Prompt 117
Do you think the federal government had valid reasons to shut down? Why or why not?
It appears that the Republicans and Democrats are at an impasse over provisions of President Barrack Obama’s new healthcare plan. One side wants certain provisions of the new law to be taken out; the other side won’t budge unless they are left in. From the outside, it seems that the rational, intelligent adults in charge of our Congress refuse to agree on some sort of middle ground or mediation. The result of this lack of agreement has been a furlough, which has left many nonessential federal employees without a job.
What is your opinion of all of this? Can you write a thoughtful response to today’s prompt in a respectful, considerate way?
Proposed Nonfiction Writing Categories
In my last post, we talked about a basic definition of nonfiction writing, and I said I would start to talk about the different styles of nonfiction writing today. Well, today is here, and I’m ready to unveil a proposed listing of nonfiction writing categories.
Just so you know, there does not seem to be one standard universally accepted categorization of nonfiction styles of writing. In fact, a lot of the material that discusses nonfiction tends to focus exclusively on the scholarly, academic, and research aspects of nonfiction writing. I think that approach is not as comprehensive as it can be because it leaves such wonderful nonfiction books as inspirational, guidebooks, and tutorials in the dust!
Keeping that in mind, I created my own list of nonfiction categories or genres as follows.
Narrative (true story about a person, place, or thing)
- Diary – stream of consciousness about your life
- Writing journal or morning pages – stream of consciousness with a focus on writing well
- Memoir – life story with memories
- Spiritual – faith-based
Expository (explanatory – lots of research)
- Academic textbooks
- Scholarly journals
- Scientific or mathematical writing
Persuasive (takes a position and explores it)
- Newspaper editorial, often referred to as op-ed
- Grant writing – requests for grants must contain valid reasons why a person or group is entitled to receive monies
- Profiles of businesses
- Journalism and news-based stories
- Personal experiences or participation with activities, such as food, travel, sports
- Historical accounts
- Book reports
- Nature writing
- Book proposal – usually detailed with listings of comparative markets
- “Elevator speeches” about books – shorter than book proposals; contain essential elements
- Product advertorials, placements, or information-based blog posts or informal writing
- Craft and hobby tutorials
- Technical writing
- Guidebooks and how-to books
- Information technology user manuals
- Software requirements for developers and programmers
- Essay – short, formal works on various subjects written from the author’s personal point of view
- Literary criticism – critique of a literary work
- Book review
- Social commentary on social media platforms (like sound bytes)
- Creative nonfiction – focuses on literary style and technique; often reads like fiction
- Advertising and marketing
- Government proposals – part research, part description, part persuasive writing why one service provider is best suited for a job
- Personal correspondence – includes old-fashioned thank you cards, handwritten notes, and informal e-mails
- Professional resumes – can be traditional or modern (industry-specific); part narrative, part description, part persuasion
Starting next week, we’ll take a more in-depth look at some of these nonfiction writing styles.
About the Author
Amanda M. Socci is the creator of the “I Know I Can WNFIN” 10-month training program for Write Nonfiction in November. The first two blog posts of the series explain more about this program and its benefits. Amanda refers to herself as the Creative Idea Gal because she comes up with deliciously original ideas for herself and others. Based in Alexandria, VA, she is a devoted mother of two and a hopeless fanatic of all things creative. Connect with Amanda on Google+ or Twitter.
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