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different types of writingWriting is everywhere. It can take on a great number of forms depending on what the writer wants to create. If you’re a student, you likely live in a world of essays and papers. If you’re an employee, your writing is likely proposals and reports. There are a great number of forms that writing can take, and each one has its own guidelines and its own importance in the world of the written world. Check out the short list of different forms below, and try some prompts from each different type. Write quality paragraphs and essays with this course so your writing shines no matter what form its in.


This particular form of writing is a personal account of a person’s life written by the same person. These can also be written as personal memoirs. Writing an autobiography can be a great experience. If you’re interested learning how to write one, consider this article on writing an autobiography. If you’re not quite ready for the writing process, consider keeping a diary and/or journal so you have plenty of notes when you go back to write your autobiography later in your life. You can learn more on writing a diary or journal below.

Book Reviews

Book reviews play an important role for writers of books. A good book review can change the future for the book leading to more publicity and more book sales. A bad review can also change the future for the book too by causing the book to receive less sales or even be pulled from shelves and online stores. Write great literature reviews using this course to help you.

Character Sketches

There are two different types of character sketches. One involves the creation of a character, usually with questions and answers, for your own creative writing. Read more on creative writing character sketches with this article. There are also academic assignments that involve creating a sketch of another author’s character, which is usually designed to help you create your own characters.

Even if your creative writing is an autobiography, you should consider creating a character sketch for any and all characters you plan to use. It’s also a good idea to consider a brief character sketch when writing a book review. Write it on your favorite character from the book.

Comic Strips

If you’ve ever read the funnies in the newspaper, you’re familiar with comic strips. They are drawings that follow in a sequence to detail a story. While there’s more art involved than prose, there is still some writing to be done for them. If you’re considering comic strips, you might want to work on your drawing skills. Udemy has a great article on pencil techniques, and they even offer a class on drawing and painting comics. Medium Large also has an article on writing comic strips.


Descriptions are a spoken or written representation of a person, event, or object. This particular piece of writing can be helpful for both fiction and non-fiction writing. An example of non-fiction descriptive writing is this article detailing a human resources position. If you want to learn more on how to write descriptions, check out WritetoDone’s helpful article for fiction writing, and consider KISSmetrics’ article on creating product descriptions for non-fiction writing.


Considered the “newspaper” of your life, diaries detail what happened during the day – who you saw or met, what you did, where you went, etc. Usually, diary entries don’t focus on the emotions or insights involved. That usually begins the journaling process where you state what your opinion was on such person, how you felt about the things you did, etc. You can use a diary as notes for your autobiography.

Writing a diary is similar to writing a journal, but the main difference is that diaries focus on the basic details. Again, they tend to focus more on the Who? What? Where? and When? of your life. A journal details the Why? Both can be extremely helpful when creating an autobiography, and if you’re interested in keeping a journal, you can find out more in the Journal section below.


Essays are a paper or article that tends to focus on a particular subject, and they usually fall under certain types. The four basic essay types are expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive. You can learn more about essays with this article summarizing the four different types. There are a number of helpful article on essays so be sure to check them out if you need help with your essay.


Short stories with morals are usually considered fables. A great example of some fables are Aesop’s Fables. If you’re interested in creating your own fables, check out this helpful wikiHow article on writing fables. Do a little reading on morals and values to help you in writing your fable with this article.

How-to Articles

With the rise in internet access, many people have begun sharing how to do something by posting it online. A how-to article is a nonfiction article that gives you the steps to do something. A great example of this would be this article on how to factor by grouping. If you’re interested in writing your own how-to articles, consider Writer’s Digest’s how-to article on how to write such an article.


The journal being discussed in this portion is not a published journal of medicine or a fancy term for a nonfiction magazine. The journal discussed in this section is a personal journal that you may or may not share with others. Writing a journal can help you deal with issues in your life, or it can give you idea fodder for fiction pieces to write. Use even your worst memories as stories to help you heal with this class.

If you need help getting started writing your journal, consider these four steps on starting one. Once you have a collection of memories, you can start writing a memoir, or just keep those entries hidden to look through when you want to remember something about your life. If you are interested in using your journal to write a memoir, kick start the process with some writing exercises using this online course. You can also use your journal to create an autobiography.


The age-old art of the handwritten letter has slowly been fading out with the introduction of email and text messaging. Letters are now usually sent via email, but they still lack the art that usually came with handwritten correspondence. If you’re interested in handwritten art, consider reading this article on calligraphy.


A monologue is a long speech done by one character in a play or movie. They can have a similar format to speeches, but they are also different in that it’s usually a fictional piece. Sometimes, playwrights will create monologues for real people that are biographical in nature. If you’re interested in writing a monologue, consider this wikiHow article on writing a dramatic monologue.

News Articles

These particular pieces involve the Who? What? Where? When? and Why? of a true event that occurred. These are usually published in newspapers or online news sites. There are also blogs that will account news articles. If you’re interested in writing news articles, consider these helpful articles like writing an interview news story or writing non-fiction articles. The second article can help you with writing other articles, like the how-to articles.


An opinion is a piece of non-fiction writing that details the opinion of the person writing it. These non-fiction pieces are usually written regarding a particular item, service, person, or even another piece of prose. Book reviews tend to be considered opinion pieces. WritetoDone has an excellent article on writing an opinion piece.


Dramatic pieces that are expected to be acted out are called plays. You are likely familiar with plays like Romeo & Juliet, and other famous Shakespearean works. If you’re interested in writing your own play, consider checking out this website called Playwriting 101. Try an online class to really harness your creativity in whatever writing you do.


A poem is a rhythmical piece of writing that crosses the boundaries between prose and song. There are usually formal elements involved including meter, rhyme, and stanzaic structure. However, there is also free verse poetry that tends to avoid these formal elements.

You can learn more about poetry with an online course. Read about literary devices in poetry or poetry styles to help you when writing your own poems. There are a number of great articles about writing poetry so be sure to check them out.


If you’ve ever gone job searching, you’re likely familiar with resumes. They give an account of your education, experience, and skills that you have that might be used for the job you’re applying for. You can read this article about creating a resume for a career change if you’re planning to change jobs soon.


When a poem or other lyrical words are set to music, it’s considered a song. Songs can have a huge impact on people, as you can read about in this article on music’s influence on moodsLearn how to write songs with an online course.


When someone delivers a formal address in front of an audience, they are delivering a speech. These speeches are written before being presented. They usually follow a similar format to essays, but they are presented in front of a crowd. If you’re looking to write your own speech, consider Speech Tips for help. Get some great tips on writing a motivational speech with this article.

Tall Tales

Children are great at telling tall tales, whether they realize it or not. Tall tales are exaggerated stories that usually involve real events, and they are often told in such a way that while unbelievable, you wish they were believable. A great example of a tall tale is the movie Big Fish.

If you’re interested in writing tall tales, consider using this helpful “fill in the blanks” page. You can also use your tall tale to create a great children’s story. Get some helpful advice on writing for children with this articleConsider using these creative writing prompts listed in this article to create a great number of different writing forms.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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