Want to be a writer? This writing skills list will show you the different types of writing skills you can learn, and how and where to use them.
There are many benefits of writing and many reasons why writing is good for you. Writing can structure your thinking, allowing you to make abstract ideas more real and concrete and help you connect the dots in your mind.
Some types of writing, such as creative writing, freewriting, or journaling, can improve your creativity and cognitive abilities.
Of course, if you enjoy writing for pleasure, you don’t need a reason to do it, but you should know that writing can improve mental health and physical well-being too.
- Why You Need Professional & Business Writing Skills
- 15 Types Of Writing Skills & How To Learn Them
- #1. Diary or Journal Writing
- #2. Creative Writing
- #3. Journalistic Writing
- #4. Travel Writing
- #5. Copywriting
- #6. Content Writing
- #7. Email & Letter Writing
- #8. Speech Writing
- #9. Technical Writing
- #10. Scientific Writing
- #11. Summary Writing
- #12. Essay Writing
- #13. UX Writing
- #14. Resume/CV Writing
- #15. Transcription
- How To Improve Your English Writing Skills
- Writing Tips & Tools
Why You Need Professional & Business Writing Skills
The most important reason to improve your writing skills in English is that almost all business tasks are now implemented through emails, messenger applications, and workplace apps like Slack, making written communication skills an essential soft skill in today’s world of work.
The importance of writing skills in the workplace cannot be overlooked, and if you want to get paid to write and find high-paying freelance writing gigs, you need to work on cultivating the best writing skills in your niche.
As a professional writer, you should also build a good writing portfolio and writer platform, so you can stand out from other freelance writers on the gig platforms, and continue to take writing courses and read books on how to write better, so you can add new skills to your writing skills resume.
AI-generated content is the future of writing and writing with AI has become much easier and more intuitive with AI copywriting tools that are now widely being adopted by agencies and digital content creators. As a professional writer, you will be expected to have AI writing as one of the skills for content writer resumes.
15 Types Of Writing Skills & How To Learn Them
Whether you want to use writing for well-being, earning money, or just need to get your message across clearly and in a non-ambiguous way, you need to learn writing skills.
This writing skills list will help you learn about the different types of writing skills you may want to cultivate, depending on your career goals and the kind of work you do.
You’ll also find suggestions for writing classes, books on how to write better, and tips to improve writing skills in English.
#1. Diary or Journal Writing
Cognitive psychologist, James Pennebaker, found that reflective writing can be therapeutic as it can help heal emotional wounds and alleviate depression and anxiety, although some personality types respond better to writing than others.
Suppressing negative or trauma-related thoughts is known to depress immune functioning, and writing has been shown to improve immune system function. In fact, those who write about their feelings are less likely to fall ill.
“By writing, you put some structure and organization to those anxious feelings. It helps you to get past them.” ~ James Pennebaker
According to Pennebaker, short-term, focused expressive writing for mental health can benefit anyone and he usually recommends a simple 20-minute writing exercise over four consecutive days:
To write about your deepest emotions and thoughts about the upheaval that is most affecting your life.
Another therapeutic writing exercise you can use to reflect on your feelings and express your emotions safely is writing a personal letter to a loved one or someone who wronged you.
Now that you know how writing can improve mental health, you may want to consider journal writing for depression and keeping a journal for mental health.
If you plan on writing a journal for mental health or want to start diary writing for wellbeing, you should know that handwriting is better than typing.
If you want to learn how to write a journal entry, you can find daily writing prompts online to practice free writing without thinking in a diary entry.
How to learn journal writing:
- How To Shift From Depression To Creative Expression
- How to Start and Keep a Journal: Complete Journal Writing Guide
- Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight & Positive Change
#2. Creative Writing
Creative writing skills will come in useful if you ever want to learn how to write a story and start writing a book. Your literary writing style will depend on the type of literature you want to create and whether it’s a fiction or non-fiction book.
If you want to break into fiction writing, you can learn short story writing in this Masterclass with literary legend, Joyce Carol Oates, in which she teaches how to write a short story by developing your voice and exploring classic works of fiction.
You can learn how to write a novel in this creative writing Masterclass by Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, in which she teaches her creative process for developing ideas into novels with strong structures and nuanced characters.
Jessica Brody is a certified instructor of Blake Snyder’s famous Save the Cat! plotting method, and has taught thousands of novelists from around the world how to harness the power of the 15 key stories.
In her online creative writing Masterclass on plot and story structure, she shares her profound knowledge of the elements of plot, story structure, and character transformation, to help you discover the secrets to what makes a novel really resonate with readers.
Characters are the heart of any work of fiction. This free eBook on Creating Legends will show you how to create compelling, engaging, relatable characters based on actions, motives, and their past.
Screenwriting or scriptwriting is another type of creative writing activity. In Aaron Sorkin’s Screenwriting Masterclass, you’ll learn how to write a script, the rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, what makes a script actually sell, and how to write a screenplay that captures your audience’s attention.
If you love to write rhyming words, you could become a poem writer or poet. Learn how to write a poem in this Masterclass on Poetic Thinking with Joy Harjo, the 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate, where she teaches you how to find the language to express yourself and approach your art with deeper meaning.
You can also attend free events such as ProWritersAid’s Fantasy Writers’ Week, to learn fantasy story writing from the best fantasy authors and start writing a fantasy novel.
How to learn creative writing:
- Free Book Writing Classes: Learn How to Write a Book
- Free eBook: The Novel-Writing Training Plan
- Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing
- Learn the Art of the Short Story with Joyce Carol Oates
- Learn Screenwriting with Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass
- Learn Poetic Thinking in this Masterclass with Joy Harjo
- How to Write Poetry with Prompts to Ignite Your Imagination
- The Foundations of Fiction (Writing Mastery)
- Write a Bestselling Novel in 15 Steps
- Complete Creative Writing for All Genres
- Write Masterful Fiction: All-in-One Essentials Course
#3. Journalistic Writing
News writing is a type of storytelling based on facts. In addition to writing news reports, there are many types of journalistic writing such as literary journalism, investigative journalism, feature article writing, editorial writing, and opinion writing.
To be a good journalist, you need to learn how to write an article, news report, or news story in an unbiased and factual manner, reporting just the facts. As an editor, you will need to learn how to write an editorial or an op-ed.
Learn how to investigate a story, interview sources, and understand how the news is written in this Masterclass with Bob Woodward whose Watergate reporting with Carl Bernstein helped expose the corruption of the Nixon presidency.
Two Pulitzer Prizes and nineteen best-selling books later, the legendary journalist is teaching his first-ever online class for anyone who wants to find the truth. The next history-making story might be yours!
Television is another journalistic medium that requires the ability to project confidence under pressure and draw the best value from your own professional and personal interactions, becoming a more assertive, more intentional communicator.
Legendary interviewer and broadcaster, George Stephanopoulos, has navigated challenging interviews for more than 30 years — as former White House communications director and presently as co-anchor of Good Morning America.
In this MasterClass, George Stephanopoulos, the trusted broadcaster and legendary interviewer shares his process and techniques for producing the most authentic and revealing conversations.
In his first online writing class, Malcolm Gladwell, renowned storyteller and best-selling author of Blink and The Tipping Point will show you how to craft stories that captivate, how he researches topics, crafts characters, and distills big ideas into simple, powerful narratives.
In this new extended version of his flagship Writing With Flair program, Ex-Wall Street Journal Editor, Shani, reveals to non-journalists the “superpower” tactics of the world’s best editors. Learning their secrets will help you stand out in almost any field of writing.
How to learn journalistic writing:
- Learn Investigative Journalism from Bob Woodward
- George Stephanopoulos Teaches Purposeful Communication
- Malcolm Gladwell Teaches Writing
- Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer
#4. Travel Writing
Travel writing is different from regular news report writing in that it is based on a personal narrative. It requires descriptive writing skills and comes under the category of narrative writing or narrating a story that may be a retelling of actual events.
Travel blogging is a form of lifestyle blogging that requires you to learn how to write list posts, and how-to posts, and provide travel tips on various aspects of travel, such as flights, hotels, entertainment, and food.
Another form of travel writing that you may want to learn is how to write a memoir or a travel guide that you can sell online.
How to learn travel writing:
- How To Learn Travel Writing & Become A Travel Blogger
- The Art and Craft of Travel Writing
- Travel Writing Guide: 4 Tips for Travel Writing
- How To Be A Travel Writer 4 (Lonely Planet)
If you want to be a freelance copywriter, you’ll need persuasive writing and copywriting skills that include advertisement writing, sales letter writing, slogan writing, and even AI copywriting with the help of artificial intelligence tools.
Becoming a good copywriter requires an understanding of human psychology, especially the triggers that make us buy things. It helps to learn the basics of copywriting from the greats like Claude Hopkins, Gary Halbert, and Dan Kennedy.
How to learn copywriting:
- Stories That Sell: 7 Secrets To Create Killer Content
- From Structure To Style: Master Your Copywriting
- Free Copywriting AI Course: Supercharge Your Website Copy Fast
- Free eBook: Turn Yourself into a Prosperous Copywriter
- Best AI Copywriting Tools For Writing AI Content
- The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells
- 10 Techniques Of Writing Headlines For Clicks And Conversions
#6. Content Writing
Content marketing is an incredibly valuable service that helps generate real revenue for businesses. It’s one of the most effective and efficient ways for companies to generate new leads and customers.
Web content writers use informative writing to write an article for their clients or for their own websites. But writing essays in school or writing for print magazines is not the same as writing for the web.
Readers online have short attention spans, so you need to keep your sentences short and your paragraphs clear. Today, content writers must also learn how to use AI writing assistants to create content at scale.
AI writing is one of the important writing skills required for content writing today. These AI copywriting courses will teach you the art of writing AI content.
As a web content writer, you must also learn how to use SEO content writing tools to write SEO-friendly articles that will rank well on Google.
If you want to offer web content writing services you need to learn SEO writing, SEO copywriting, blog writing, and article writing, as well as other types of online writing skills that every content writer needs to know.
How to learn freelance content writing:
- Best AI Writing Courses For Writing AI Content
- Write Your Way to Your First $1k™
- Freelance Blogging in a Weekend
- Become A Blogger: From Strategy To Writing
- SEO Copywriting: Optimize Your Website Copy
- How To Write An Article For Publication
- Udemy Content Writing Course
- Writer’s Digest Guide to Magazine Article Writing
#7. Email & Letter Writing
Writing is an essential element of nearly every profession today. Whether you are drafting a proposal for a major prospect or collaborating by email, strong communications help colleagues and clients understand your ideas.
Errors and awkward writing can make you lose credibility. You can learn how to make the right impression with your communications with this free business writing guide. It will help you learn the techniques that professional writers use to write clearly and persuasively.
With so much business writing and communication today conducted over email, it is essential to have good email writing skills.
Whether you want to know how to write a leave letter to your boss, how to write a formal email to a client or business colleague, or how to write an informal email to your friend, learning how to write an email that gets read is an essential skill today.
Almost no one writes letters by hand anymore and letter writing is almost synonymous with email writing. But there are times in life when you may have to write an informal letter to a friend.
Or you may need to write and send a professional or business letter for legal or business purposes, or know how to write a formal letter of complaint to your housing society, so learning how to write a letter is a useful skill to have.
Business letter writing in English is an important skill to help you succeed in the workplace and in your daily life. This is why the skill of writing letters is an important one to learn.
How to learn email & letter writing:
- Free Email Writing Workshop: 3 Steps to Raving Fans + Customers
- Free Book: Business Writing Hacks for Flawless Communications
- Cold Email Marketing Secrets Course
- How to Write a Letter: Find the Words for Every Occasion
- Successful Business Writing. How to Write Business Letters, Emails, Reports, Minutes, and Social Media
#8. Speech Writing
Speech writing skills are in great demand by top professionals, business leaders, public speakers, and politicians, making it one of the most lucrative types of writing skills.
There are a number of expert speech-writing tips that will help you learn how to write a speech, like Brian Tracy’s speech-writing formula that will help you create a speech outline in 5 minutes.
How to learn speech writing:
- Brian Tracy’s Secret Speech-Writing Formula
- Speech Writing Checklist For Drafting A Speech
- Writing Great Speeches: Professional Techniques You Can Use
#9. Technical Writing
Technical writing requires the ability to write clearly, plainly, and accurately about extremely complicated material. It requires specialized subject-matter knowledge, making it one of the most highly-valued business writing skills.
Learning how to write a report or how to write a white paper requires a high volume of documentation-style writing, which is why technical writer jobs pay very well.
The most common clients for freelance technical writers are educational firms, training companies, and manufacturing, electronics, or software companies.
How to learn technical writing:
#10. Scientific Writing
Scientific writing, also known as academic writing or research writing, is a form of formal writing that involves writing a research paper, a research abstract in a research paper, writing a research proposal, or providing dissertation help.
A research paper is a formal paper, so writers are expected to obey all the principles of formal writing, including simplicity and accuracy. Proposal writing also called grant writing or research application writing can involve writing a Ph.D. proposal.
Academic writing skills require a sophisticated vocabulary, in-depth knowledge of the research paper topic, and some experience in writing or editing scientific research papers.
Here are some essential scientific writing skills for scientists and researchers:
- How to write a lab report
- How to write a methodology
- How to write an abstract
- How to write a thesis statement
- How to write a research paper
- How to write a literature review for a research paper
- How to write a research proposal
- How to write a proposal for a project
- How to write an analysis
How to learn scientific writing:
- Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited & Proposals That Get Funded
- How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for Ph.D. Students
- The Scientist’s Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily & Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career
#11. Summary Writing
What is a summary? A summary is a condensed version of a longer text. It usually sums up the important points of a text, breaking it down to its most essential parts. A well-written summary provides a basic understanding of a piece of literature, media, or history.
Learning how to write a summary is a skill that may come in useful when you need to know how to write a book review, or how to write a literature review that gives readers an aggregation of the most important parts of what they’re about to read.
QuillBot’s Summarizing Tool is an instant text summary tool that will sift through research papers, news articles, or long-winded emails to identify the main points and give you a high-level overview of the material.
This AI writing tool uses natural language processing to locate critical information while maintaining the original context and can condense articles, papers, or documents down to the key points instantly.
Another type of summary that you may want to learn about is how to write an executive summary for a business plan.
How to learn summary writing:
- QuillBot’s Summarizing Tool
- How To Write A Highly Effective Executive Summary
- How to Write a Book Review: A Template for Reviewing Books
#12. Essay Writing
We all learn how to write an essay in school. In fact, knowing how to write an essay in English is one of the writing skills that every student in school and college is expected to have.
This has resulted in the growth of professional essay writing services that help students tasked with writing an English essay complete their homework or term papers.
Essay writing in English (also known as composition writing) is a lucrative skill for any freelance writer and you will usually have to write one of these 4 genres of essays:
- The descriptive essay
- The narrative essay
- The expository essay
- The argumentative essay
If you want to get paid to write essays and become an online essay writer, you must learn how to write a good essay and know about the many other genres of essays.
These include the critical essay, persuasive essay, reflective essay, discursive essay, analytical essay, personal essay, informative essay, and opinion essay.
QuillBot’s Free Citation Generator Tool is the fast and easy way to make citations for your essays, presentations, and documents, and easily create APA, MLA, and Chicago style full and in-text citations in a snap.
The four types of writing styles are narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository. Each of these styles has a particular purpose, so it’s important to match up your topic and goals with the correct style in order to properly convey your message.
Learn the strategies, tools, and secrets to writing successfully at the university level with this Academic Writing Essentials University Writing Crash Course. You’ll understand how to approach the most common academic writing assignments and learn how to write graduate school admissions essays.
How to learn essay writing:
- Academic Writing Essentials: University Writing Crash Course
- How To Write Any High School Essay: The Essential Guide
- How to Write a 5-Paragraph Essay Step-by-Step
- QuillBot’s Free Citation Generator Tool
- QuillBot’s Guide to Writing an Essay
- Free Expository Writing Course
#13. UX Writing
UX writing is a growing field within the user experience (UX) design industry and refers to the process of creating user-friendly content for websites and apps. This includes everything from writing interface copy (e.g. labels, buttons, notifications) to creating help materials (e.g. tutorials, FAQs) and everything in between.
While UX designers focus on creating interfaces that are both visually appealing and functional, UX writers are responsible for crafting the text that helps users understand and interact with those interfaces.
The goal of UX writing is to make the user experience (UX) more efficient and pleasant for users by making sure that the content is clear, concise, and easy to understand. After all, no matter how beautiful or well-designed an interface may be, it will be unusable if the text is confusing or unclear.
UX writers help ensure that users have a positive experience with a product or service by crafting clear and concise text that guides them through every step of the way. While the role of a UX writer is still fairly new, it is becoming increasingly important as companies put more emphasis on delivering great user experiences.
To learn UX writing, read up on the basics of user experience design and writing. You can also take a course on UX writing or watch the video below to help you learn everything from the basics of user research to how to write an effective microcopy.
How to learn UX writing:
- Learn UX writing with Online UX Writing Classes
- Strategic Writing for UX: Drive Engagement, Conversion, and Retention with Every Word
#14. Resume/CV Writing
To become a professional resume writer, you will likely need to have some experience in the workforce and be familiar with what employers are looking for.
Start studying the art of writing resumes with online resume writing courses or programs that teach how to write a resume and learn how to write a cover letter for a resume.
There are many books on how to write a resume or how to write a CV, which can provide a more in-depth look into the process of professional resume writing.
Professional resume writers may require certification by organizations such as the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARW/CC) or the National Résumé Writers’ Association (NRWA).
To get certified and start offering resume writing services, you typically need to have a certain number of years of experience in the workforce, submit two written resumes for review, and pass an examination.
Certifications from these organizations also require continuing education credits every few years in order to maintain your certification.
How to learn resume / CV writing:
- Online Resume Writing Classes
- Step-by-Step Guide to Professional Resume Writing
- How to Write the Perfect Resume
- How to Write an Effective Resume, LinkedIn Profile & Cover Letter
- How to Write Outstanding Resumes and Cover Letters for Every Situation
- How to Write a Resume
A transcriber is someone who converts spoken or video and audio recordings into written text. Transcription can include anything from transcribing an interview for a podcast to transcribing a court hearing or a medical record.
As technology has advanced, transcription has changed from writing down verbatim what is said to providing an accurate, yet still understandable summary of the records.
The role of the transcriber is especially important in legal and medical transcription where an absolutely accurate account of what was said is critical.
Accuracy is vital for a transcriber, as even small mistakes can change the meaning of what is being said. For this reason, many transcribers work slowly and carefully to make sure they get everything right.
Transcription software can create transcripts of speech with a very high degree of accuracy; however, these AI transcription tools still require a human being to edit them to ensure accuracy and readability.
Good listening skills and a strong grasp of grammar are essential for anyone hoping to become a transcriber. In some cases, you may also be asked to edit or proofread transcripts that have already been completed.
A professional transcriber can also take heavily accented speech and make it easier to understand for people who are not used to those accents.
As a professional transcriptionist, you can offer video or audio transcription services as a freelancer or get hired by the best transcription sites and transcription companies like Verbit, Happy Scribe, or Rev.
But being an excellent transcriptionist that actually gets hired, involves much more than the ability to listen and type. Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere offers affordable, high-quality, proven transcription education.
These courses were developed to transform typists into transcriptionists in as little as 2 to 4 months. Take her Free General Transcription Mini-Course and learn if you’re a good fit for transcription and how much you can earn as a transcriptionist.
How to start learning transcription:
- Free General Transcription Mini-Course
- Free Training: How To Become a General Transcriptionist
- Free eBook – The Truth About Transcription
- How to Create and Use a Transcription Style Guide
- What is Legal Transcription and How Can You Get Started?
- Ultimate Guide to Working from Home in General Transcription
How To Improve Your English Writing Skills
Of course, no professional writer can be expected to have all of these writing skills and you will most likely be better at some types than others.
However, there are a number of resources that provide activities for writing skills improvement, like the ProWritingAid Writing Reports that analyze your writing and highlight potential improvements.
Each report focuses on a particular area of your writing. Some reports will provide quick fixes that will allow you to polish up a short piece of writing. Other reports will go in-depth and reveal areas where you can do more to improve your writing style.
The ProWritingAid Writing Reports will help you improve your writing style as you use the reports because you’ll become more aware of the mistakes that you make, just like having a real-life writing coach guiding you.
This Free 20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers eBook offers the most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers to learn how to improve on writing skills.
Some of these tips focus on the minutia of specific word selection, while others focus on the more complex ideas like finding the right metaphor, policing your work for Purple Prose, or figuring out when it’s time to send it off to potential publishers.
ProwritingAid also has a number of free writing tools, such as free grammar checkers, that you can use to improve your writing skills. Whether you’re writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good written communication skills are essential for communicating your ideas.
Now that you know about the benefits of writing, the different types of writing skills, and how to learn them, which one are you most motivated to get started with?
Writing Tips & Tools
- Learn freelance writing with the best freelance writing classes
- Best AI writing courses to start writing AI content
- 12 best AI content generator tools for writing AI content
- Write SEO-friendly articles with SEO content writing tools
- Best online paraphrasing tools to rewrite sentences online
- Writing for the web: Learn SEO content writing for beginners
- How to start a web content writing business
- 7 tips for overcoming and dealing with writer’s block
- Best online writing tools & novel writing software
- 7 habits of the most successful writers & famous authors
- 12 fast writing tips to learn how to write fast & write well