Book Writing Styles


There are many ways at looking at book writing styles. Some observers might view style as dependent on country of origin, while others could link the writing to a literary giant such as Hemingway or Twain. Perhaps the most practical method of looking at book manuscripts is with a subjective system that places style into four areas. Thus a book's content could be described as persuasive, narrative, summary, or a response to literature.


  • The goal of narrative style writing is to tell a story. This can be done in either the first or third person, though the first person is most frequently used. Anecdotes are important in narrative style, as the writer wants to make it clear that her writing is based on some personal experience.

    Another important aspect of narrative writing involves the author's attempt to make a point or a strong statement through the use of example and illustrative subject matter. In this regard, the writer needs to refrain from being too direct and just allow the story to flow.

    The narrative style works best when the writer gradually builds interest resulting in a rich and intricate ending.

Summary Style of Writing

  • The summary style of writing, also called the outline style of writing, is all about writing informative and subjective essays, then drawing a decisive conclusion. This type of writing first involves presenting readers with pertinent information as well as different ways of looking at the issues or questions of the day.

    The writing should evolve towards a logical conclusion by giving background and current information that defends the summary position.

    Even though a lot of factual information is involved in this writing process, the writer still needs to express her thoughts in an interesting and lively manner that can be understood and easily read.


  • A persuasive style of writing has some similarities to the summary style, but overall a book written this way argues either for or against a particular set of ideas and trends. The writer takes a point of view and then expounds on the issues through her argument.

    Persuasive writing often begins with an unusually provocative statement, which acts as a hook for the story and carries the reader through the book.

Response to Literature

  • A response to literature essay is roughly the equivalent of a lengthy and scholarly book review relating to a literary work of art. Such an essay could be written for a magazine review, but more commonly might be found as part of an academic essay or a scholarly critique for a degree program.

    Within the thesis, the responder might discuss images produced by the reading or allude to similarities between the story and real events in the author's life. In general, this kind of writing falls under the category of literary criticism and is not found in book form, unless the book is a collection of literary criticism.

    However, much social criticism and current commentary does have a certain resemblance to literary criticism, so it might be placed within this realm of writing and could be easily expanded into book form.


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