Left Sidebar Workplace Writing College Board Writing Student Research Writing Portfolios Assessment & Rubrics 6 + 1 Traits Types of Writing Writing Process Teaching Writing

BCPS Baltimore County Public Schools

Writing Text Types

Left Sidebar Writing in All Classrooms Writing in English Language Arts Writing in History and Social Studies Writing in Science Writing in Math and Technical Subjects Writing Across the Curriculum Writing in English Language Arts Writing in History/Social Studies Writing in Science Writing in Technical Subjects

CCSS Writing Place Home Writing Place Home

What are the types of writing?
Argument

Informational/Explanatory
Narrative

Additional Resources

Common Core logo What are the types of writing?

The Common Core State Standards identify three types of writings: Argument, Informational/Explanatory, and Narrative
Student speaking at podium Argument: Definition

An argument is a reasoned, logical way of demonstrating the writer’s position, belief, or conclusion.  The writer makes a claim and then defends that claim with information from credible sources.  Students must clarify relationships between the claim and the evidence and address counter claims.  Argument takes the form of opinion in the elementary grades and evolves into argument in the middle and high school grades.

What are the characteristics of the argument text type?

Argument is an especially important text type since it requires the writer to provide reasoned, logical proof for a claim or assertion. The purpose of argument is to change the reader’s thinking, move the reader to action, or convince the reader to accept the writer’s explanation of a problem or concept. The complexities of this type of logical reasoning exceed the cognitive ability of most elementary students. Therefore, as a precursor to argument, elementary students are taught to express opinions that are well supported by facts and evidence.

“While all three text types are important, the Standards put particular emphasis on students’ ability to write sound arguments on substantive topics and issues, as this ability is critical to college and career readiness.” (From Appendix A, page 24 of the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.)

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard:  Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Argument is an especially important text type since it requires the writer to provide reasoned, logical proof for a claim or assertion. The purpose of argument is to change the reader’s thinking, move the reader to action, or convince the reader to accept the writer’s explanation of a problem or concept. The complexities of this type of logical reasoning exceed the cognitive ability of most elementary students. Therefore, as a precursor to argument, elementary students are taught to express opinions that are well supported by facts and evidence.

Student doing research Informational/Explanatory: Definition
Informational/ explanatory writing conveys information accurately.  The writer’s purpose is to increase the reader’s knowledge, to help the reader better understand a procedure or process, or to increase the reader’s comprehension of a concept.  Information writing begins with the assumption of truthfulness and answers questions of why or how.  Writers draw information from what they already know and from primary and secondary sources.  They must select and incorporate relevant examples, facts, and details. 

What are the characteristics of the informative/explanatory text type?
Informative/explanatory writing conveys information accurately. Writings that exemplify this text type include summaries and instructions. The purpose of informative/explanatory writing is to increase knowledge, explain a procedure, or explore a concept in depth.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard:  Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

Once upon a time Narrative: Definition
Narrative writing coveys an experience, either real or imaginary and uses time as its deep structure.  Narrative writing can be informative, persuasive, or entertaining. 

What are the characteristics of the narrative text type?
Narrative writing uses time as its deep structure. This writing conveys experience – real or imagined. Genres that exemplify narrative writing include the autobiography, the memoir, and fictional stories. The purpose of a narrative may be to entertain, instruct, inform, or entertain.

College and Career Readiness Anchor Standard: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

RESOURCES

Online Resources for Teachers and Students:

Audio and Video:

  • Video: Writing to Inform and Make Arguments (The Hunt Institute)

Interactive:

Write It (Scholastic): An online writing resource that’s packed with engaging ways to build your students’ writing skills. The site provides teachers and students with:

  • Resources from Literary Cavalcade and other Scholastic publications.
  • Units of lessons and activities which focus on specific genres like Poetry, Essay, Short Fiction, Memoir, Humor, and Journalism.
  • An Interactive Online Community for students and teachers to share and discuss writing
  • Teacher's Guide

Worksheets: