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Do You Have Trouble Puttings Words to Paper?

Jan 11, 2008
A writer will use a number of different techniques when using their words to grab a reader's attention. They know that some people respond to some ways of writing better than others. There are also styles of writing that are more fitting when used in specific circumstances. When writing some form of communication it's useful to be able to identify what these different techniques are, and to be able to use the most appropriate for the writing you are going to undertake. However it should be noted that in many forms of communication it is appropriate to use more than one technique in the same piece of writing.

Description -- this is something you will do in such communications as letters -- where you write about a series of events, or you tell of something that you have done. You may be writing about something you have bought, such as an item of clothing, or a place you have visited. In a piece of descriptive writing you will give details about your subject, usually using your senses as a guide to show the reader what you experienced. For example you can tell them what color the sweater is, how hot the weather was, whether the disco was too noisy, or the restaurant had an overpowering smell of garlic. Using your senses in this way the person who reads your writing will be able to get some kind of mental picture of the situation your writing about.

Good description will cover as many of the senses as possible, as well as just tell of the event. 'We went to a disco' isn't going to give the reader much of a visual image other than a place to dance. "We went to a disco that was so crowded we hardly had room to dance. The air was smoky, and the music loud. It was great!" This gives a different image all together. It brings the experience to life for them.

Narration -- this is where you tell a story. You don't have to give as much description but you do write out the things that happened. For example, "We went to the disco. The place was so crowded that we couldn't dance very well, so we ended up propping up a wall for most of the evening. I found it a bit stuffy because of the smoke machine that kept blowing smoke around the dance floor, plus smoking cigarettes was allowed at the bar and the smell drifted across the room and mingled with the different perfumes and aftershaves worn by the dancers." This is more of a story than the pure description and your reader will be able to follow your experience to the full.

Persuasion -- now this is a writing technique that many writers use to help businesses sell their products. They understand the target buyer and they write in such a way as to entice them to buy something. They use words to create a sense of need or want in the reader's mind.

For example, "Do you want to look years younger? Do you know that within 7 days you can take 10 years off your face simply by applying a specially formulated cream?" Of course most women over the age of 25 are going to be interested in this product, and will want to read more about it and probably try it out. You can even use this kind of writing if you are trying to convince someone to go somewhere with you by writing about what's in it for them, as in "You love dancing, and this is where all the top celebrities are hanging out. Even Britney's been seen there!"

When starting to write something, think about this article and the different kinds of writing techniques you can use, and choose the one that best suits the kind of writing you're about to do.
About the Author
Jane Saeman runs an In-Home Tutoring service called Aim High Tutors. Find out about how to help your student reach their full potential at http://www.aimhightutors.com/blog
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