Modes of Writing

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Modes of Writing
Writers must make thoughtful decisions about topic, audience and purpose when creating text. Writers who reflect upon "what am I writing about", "who am I writing to", and "why am I writing" will become more effective if they integrate this awareness into the production of text.

Thinking about topic or "what am I writing about" helps the writer maintain focus as they incorporate relevant and selective details into their work. Considering audience or "who I am writing to" helps the writer choose effective language and tone to use with the intended reader. Attention to purpose or "why am I writing" directs the writer to identify a mode of writing best suited to deliver the intended message.

The modes/purposes of writing; description, narration, exposition, and persuasion, are often linked to specific trigger verbs. Students may be taught that these trigger verbs provide cues to the appropriate mode for writing. For example, when students are asked to TELL about a time, they are being cued to narration, or narrative writing. Narrative writing tells a story which may be real (personal narrative) or imaginary (narrative fiction). When students are asked to EXPLAIN, they are being cued to produce expository writing. Expository writing explains ideas and/or provides information giving reasons or examples. When students are asked to PERSUADE or CONVINCE their reader of an idea or point of view, they are being cued to persuasion, or persuasive writing. Persuasive writing calls for reasons and examples which will convince the reader to agree with the author of the text.

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