Types Of Writing

16 Types Of Writing Skills And How To Learn Them

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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.

What Writing Skills Do you Need to Succeed?

Good written communication skills are essential to succeed in life and work. The most basic and important writing skills include the ability to write effectively, persuasively, and accurately.

To be an effective writer, you must use proper grammar and spelling, be able to communicate your ideas and write clearly and concisely, and organize your thoughts logically, so your writing is well-constructed and easy to understand.

To be persuasive, you must understand your audience, know how to craft a message that will appeal to them, and make your writing interesting and engaging. You must also be able to back up your arguments with facts and evidence.

You can learn more than one type of writing skill, and while it takes practice to develop good writing skills, with patience, effort, and training, anyone can improve their writing ability.

You can find many writing resources online and in print to help you get started, such as books to improve writing skills on topics like grammar, writing tips for specific genres or styles of writing, style guides, and writing courses, like the ones listed below.

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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 business writing and written communication skills essential soft skills 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. This form of writing has become much easier and more intuitive with AI copywriting tools that are now widely being adopted by content writing 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. These AI copywriting courses will help you learn the art of writing AI content.

what is writing skills

16 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 includes the different types of writing styles to learn and 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.

An international bestseller, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is the seminal book on the subject of creativity, incorporating her life-changing twelve-week program, that millions have found an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life.

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. Or writing a dream life journal for designing your dream life.

If you plan on writing a journal for mental health or want to start diary writing for well-being, 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:

diary writing

#2. Creative Writing

There are different types of creative writing skills you can learn. 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 and learn how to write a story, you can take this short story writing 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.

Margaret Atwood Masterclass

 

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, and 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.

Joy Harjo Masterclass
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.

When you’re stuck for ideas, you can get inspiration for a story from an AI story generator or use a creative writing AI poem generator to write a poem.

These MasterClass writing classes by the best MasterClass authors will help you take your English creative writing skills to the next level.

You can also use your creative writing skills to offer ghostwriting services for clients who need a book written by a ghostwriter.

How to learn creative writing:

#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 write electrifying, well-structured, crisp, and professional copy on demand with bestselling writing instructor, Shani Raja, a former Wall Street Journal editor and in-house writing trainer, who now teaches the world’s best newspaper editors secrets to 500k+ students around the globe.

Shani has written for The Economist, Time, the FT, Dow Jones, and Bloomberg News. In his course, From Structure To Style, he reveals how wordsmiths do the magic of producing captivating copy for millions of global readers.

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!

bob woodward masterclass

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.

George Stephanopoulos MasterClass
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.

How to learn journalistic writing:

#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.

In this highly-rated Travel Writing Course taught by Dave Fox, a freelance travel writer, a bestselling travel author, and a writing and creativity coach, you’ll gain a clear understanding of the techniques professional writers use to write captivating travel essays, and discover your own, unique writing voice.

The stories we gather while traveling are among the most important in our lives. We get to keep those stories for the rest of our lives if we remember the details. Writing about them in a travel journal helps to keep our memories fresh.

In this Travel Journaling course, you’ll learn how to write extraordinary travel diaries and quickly splatter bold and vivid details into your travel journals, allowing you to maximize your time for exploring while your writing doesn’t eat up precious vacation time.

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. In this Memoir Writing Course, you’ll learn how to turn your life story and memories into a non-fiction book, and get your memoir written, edited, and published.

How to learn travel writing:

travel blogger

#5. Copywriting

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:

#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:

freelance writer masterclass

#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 through business writing courses. 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 business 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:

Speech Writing

#8. Proofreading and Editing

Proofreading and editing are two different stages of the revision process. Proofreading is the last step of revising a document and focuses on finding and correcting typographical errors.

Editing is a more comprehensive process that includes making sure the document is well-organized, clear, and free of errors.

The best way to learn proofreading and editing skills is to read as much as you can, especially well-written articles and literature. The more you read, the better you will become at spotting errors.

The best proofreaders and editors have a critical eye for spotting mistakes, and attention to detail. You can get practice by proofreading and editing your own writing at first, and then editing other people’s copy.

Today, there are many online editing tools to help you proofread and edit documents and tutorials that offer advice on proofreading and editing.

But, if you want to offer proofreading and editing services to clients, you should do an online course or workshop to learn the proofreading and editing skills you need to succeed.

In this Udemy Proofreading and Editing Course, you’ll learn how to impress clients through simple editing philosophies and approaches, work comfortably with professional proofreading symbols, and use lists and guides to ensure proofreading consistency.

This Complete Punctuation course will help you know the differences in punctuation in the UK and US; correctly use commas, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, and dashes; and use punctuation at the level of a professional editor.

The Master the Comma Course will give you greater confidence in writing by teaching you punctuation rules for comma usage, following the Chicago Manual of Style, the style guide for US authors.

These courses will provide you with valuable formal instruction on how to identify and correct errors in writing. Many of the courses below also offer certification that will lend credibility when you’re looking for clients who need your services.

How to learn proofreading and editing:

proofreading and editing

#9. 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:

#10. 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.

According to Glassdoor, freelance technical writing salary scales range from $79,000 to $106,000 in the greater Seattle area. The US Dept. of Labor Employment expects the demand for technical writers to grow.

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. Another form of technical writing is the skill of writing clear, short, quality procedures or SOPs.

If you learn to become an SOP writer, you’ll be the one who is called when a process needs an update or to describe a new process in your company or offer sop writing services.

In this Business Writing Udemy Course, you’ll learn Dan Graham’s tried-and-true writing system for generating lengthy papers like proposals, and how to produce documents that are successful by working your way from the initial writing analysis to the final copy.

How to learn technical writing:

technical writing

#11. 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

You can use Scite, an award-winning platform for discovering and evaluating scientific articles via Smart Citations, to search over 1 billion citation statements extracted and analyzed from over 30 million full-text articles, and to find expert analyses and opinions on all subjects.

How to learn scientific writing:

scientific writing

#12. 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 into 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:

essay writing

#13. 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, making it one of the most lucrative types of freelance writing.

There are different styles of writing essays, and essay writing in English (also known as composition writing) requires knowledge of how to write different types of essays, such as:

  • The descriptive essay
  • The narrative essay
  • The expository essay
  • The argumentative essay

Each of these four types of writing styles has a specific purpose, so it’s important to match up your topic and goals with the correct writing style to properly convey your message.

If you want to become an online essay writer and get paid to write essays, these writing tips for essays will show you how to write a good essay and learn about the other genres of essays.

These different forms of essay writing include critical essays, persuasive essays, reflective essays, discursive essays, analytical essays, personal essays, informative essays, and opinion essay writing.

In this Academic Writing Essentials University Writing Crash Course, you’ll learn the strategies, tools, and secrets to writing essays successfully at the university level.

QuillBot’s Free Citation Generator Tool is a 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.

How to learn essay writing:

freelancer workspace

#14. 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:

#15. 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 courses and 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 ones below:

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:

resume writer

#16. Transcription

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, and you can transcriptionist certification with affordable, high-quality, proven transcription courses.

How to start learning transcription:

transcriber

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 this Udemy English Writing Course that covers all areas of English learning, including English grammar, English speaking, and English writing (punctuation).

The ProWritingAid Writing Reports are another useful writing resource to help you 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?

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Writing Tips & Tools


How To Develop Writing Skills
How To Improve Essay Writing Skills
How To Improve English Writing Skills
How To Improve Writing Skills
How To Improve Your Writing Skills
How To Improve My Writing Skills
Writing Skills List
How To Improve My Writing Skills
How To Improve Your Writing Skills In English
How To Improve Your English Writing Skills
Types Of Writing
Types Of Writing Skills
How Can You Cultivate Good Writing Skills
Different Types Of Writing Skills
How To Learn Writing
How To Learn Writing
Writing Skills
How To Inprove Writing
Writing Skills In English
How To Improve On Writing Skills

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