Whether you write for a job, school or fun, achieving the best quality product begins by knowing the objective or target for the piece you are crafting. There are many types of writing, but two of the most prevalent and important are the basic informative and persuasive styles. The difference between the two involves not only stylistic and voice differences, but also differences in issues of ethics. Knowing which style to use can save of time rewriting and editing.
When you write something informative, you are generally writing to give an audience a basic-to-advanced perspective on something. To be a successful informative writer, keep in mind the knowledge level of your target audience and remain unbiased. For example, if you are writing about LCD televisions, know whether you are writing to the average consumer or to a conference of electrical engineers and avoid trying to tell the audience which television is best or why one is better than another. Instead, focus on providing facts that will allow consumers to make this decision for themselves.
Persuasive writing is another type of writing that draws mainly from informative writing as a basis, but which spins off in another direction in content. Most persuasive essays and articles will begin as informative and then, through the use of various comparative writing strategies, attempt to convince the reader that one point of view is better than another. Most good persuasive writing draws on solid, comparable facts about two products or ideas, such as the voting records on certain issues of two candidates or the costs of two refrigerators, but this is not always the case.
Ethical Persuasive Writing
Whether you're writing a persuasive article to be distributed to a group of like-minded people or one that will be seen by people of many different opinions, keep in mind a sense of ethical writing. When writing persuasively, the primary point of ethics is not to try and pass your creation off as something purely informative. Also, it is important not to lie, fabricate or exaggerate facts or ideas to strengthen your argument. Depending on the severity of the infraction, these issues result in consequences between your writing being stripped of any credibility up to charges for defamation of character through libel.
Voice and Style
When writing in one of these two styles, successful writers will often employ different voices and styles. For example, a good informative writer will want her writing to call forth an image in the readers' minds of someone who is an expert on the subject at hand through direct and concise writing. Likewise, a persuasive writer may try to sympathize more with the reader, using the second person (i.e. you) more often in writing and may focus more content on what the average reader might gain from one product or position over another. That said, a good writer of any kind will employ proper grammar and have a commanding grasp of the language with a rich vocabulary from which he can draw the most appropriate words and phrases without seeming overly poetic or cliche.
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