Definition of Style
The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes. It is the technique that an individual author uses in his writing. It varies from author to author and depends upon one’s syntax, word choice, and tone. It can also be described as a “voice” that readers listen to when they read the work of a writer.
Types of Style
There are four basic literary styles used in writing. These styles distinguish the works of different authors, one from others. Here are four styles of writing:
Expository or Argumentative Style
Expository writing style is a subject-oriented style. The focus of the writer in this type of writing style is to tell the readers about a specific subject or topic, and in the end, the author leaves out his own opinion about that topic.
In descriptive writing style, the author focuses on describing an event, a character, or a place in detail. Sometimes, the descriptive writing style is poetic in nature, where the author specifies an event, an object, or a thing rather than merely giving information about an event that has happened. Usually, the description incorporates sensory details.
Persuasive style of writing is a category of writing in which the writer tries to give reasons and justification to make the readers believe his point of view. The persuasive style aims to persuade and convince the readers.
Narrative writing style is a type of writing wherein the writer narrates a story. It includes short stories, novels, novellas, biographies, and poetry.
Short Examples of Style in Sentences
- If it sounds like I’m writing, then I prefer to rewrite it.
- “I think it’s a good ide,.” said Jenny.
“You can imagine the outcomes!” retorted Emma, pushing the door open.
Reluctantly, Jenny followed.
- The sunset fills the entire sky with the lovely deep color of rubies, setting the clouds ablaze.
- The waves waltz along the seashore, going up and down in a gentle and graceful rhythm, like dancing.
- A trip to Switzerland is an excellent experience that you will never forget, offering beautiful nature, fun, and sun. Book your vacation trip today.
- She hears a hoarse voice, and sees a shadow moving around the balcony. As it moves closer to her, she screams to see a gigantic wolf standing before her.
- From the garden, the child plucks a delicate rose, touching and cradling it gently as if it is a precious jewel.
- What if you vote for me? I ensure you that your taxes will be very low, the government will provide free education, and there will be equality and justice for all citizens. Cast your vote for me today.
- The deep blue color of the cat’s eyes is like ocean water on the clearest day you could ever imagine.
- The soft hair of my cat feels silky, and her black color sparkles as it reflects sunlight.
- This painting has blooming flowers, rich and deep blues on vibrant green stems, begging me to pick them.
- Our criminal investigators are famous for recovering clients’ assets, as we not only take your cases but represent truly your interests.
- Our headache medicines will give you relief for ten hours, with only one pill – and without any side effects. Try it today.
- Tax raising strategy is wrong because it will cripple businesses. We should reduce taxes to boost growth.
Parts/Elements of Style in Literature
- Diction: It means the choice and selection of words, phrases, and clauses to use in writing.
- Sentence Structure: It means the syntactic structure of sentences used in writing.
- Tone: It is an author’s attitude toward his writing, his characters, and his audience.
- Narrator: It means the narrator of the narrative who could be a first-person, third-person, second-person, or even an omniscient narrator.
- Grammar: It means the use of grammatical construction in the writing.
- Punctuation: It means the use of mechanics including capitalization.
- Use of Literary Devices: It means the use of figurative language and other literary or poetic devices.
Examples of Style in Literature
Here are some examples of different writing styles from literature:
Example #1: The Pleasures of Imagination By Joseph Addison
“The pleasures of the imagination, taken in their full extent, are not so gross as those of sense. … A man of polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures … A man should endeavour, therefore, to make the sphere of his innocent pleasures as wide as possible, that he may retire into them with safety … Delightful scenes, whether in nature, painting, or poetry, have a kindly influence on the body, as well as the mind, and not only serve to clear and brighten the imagination, but are able to disperse grief and melancholy …”
This is an example of an expository writing style, in which the author describes the advantages of imagination with facts and logical sequence, and tells his delight in imagination. Then, he discusses its benefits and finally gives opinions in its favor.
Example #2: Summer Shower By Emily Dickinson
“A drop fell on the apple tree,
Another on the roof,
And made the gables laugh,
The breezes brought dejected lutes,
And bathed them in the glee;
And signed the fete away.”
This poem gives an example of a descriptive style. Ms. Dickinson describes a summer rainstorm in detail, with beautiful images, so that the readers can visualize this storm in their own minds as if it is actually happening.
Example #3: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.’
By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?
The bridegroom’s doors are opened wide,
The guests are met, the feast is set:
Mayst hear the merry din.”
In this poem, Coleridge uses narrative style, as he tells a story about the ancient mariner. He uses dialogues, disputes, actions, and events in a sequence, thus providing a perfect example of the narrative style of writing.
Example #4: Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde
“The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden… The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through… or circling with monotonous insistence…”
This is a good example of descriptive writing style since the author gives visualizations, feelings, descriptions of a location, and details about bees that could be seen and heard.
Example #5: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By Mark Twain
“Pretty soon it darkened up and begun to thunder and lighten; so the birds was right about it … and here would come a blast of wind that would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of the leaves …”
Here, Twain has demonstrated a narrative style, as well as used colloquial words in presenting this passage, as expressed through the voice of a young Southern-American boy.
Example #6: The Raven By Edgar Allen Poe
“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary…
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!”
Here, the poet crafts a story of longing and desolation. The poem reads like a tale, containing a proper beginning, middle, and end. It has narrative elements like characterization, symbols, plot elements, and resolution that make it dramatic.
Example #7: Smoke By Henry David Thoreau
“Light-winged Smoke! Icarian bird,
Melting thy pinions in thy upward flight;
Lark without song, and messenger of dawn,
Circling above the hamlets as thy nest;
Or else, departing dream, and shadowy form
Of midnight vision, gathering up thy skirts;
By night star-veiling, and by day
Darkening the light and blotting out the sun;
Go thou, my incense, upward from this hearth,
And ask the gods to pardon this clear flame.”
Thoreau describes the intensity of the smoke that helps form a colorful image in the minds of the readers. He uses metaphor to compare smoke to “incense,” or an “Icarian bird.” He also describes “star-veiling” and “shadowy” and lets the readers imagine smoke.
Function of Style
A unique literary style can have a great impact on the piece in which it is used, and on the readers. When authors write and put their ideas into words, they have many choices to make, which include: words, sounds, logic, and sentence structures. However, different authors use different literary styles that depend on their distinct expressions, and their utilization of these choices. And their choices create their niche.
Synonyms of Style
There are several words used as synonyms for style such as manner, method, approach, system, mode, form, practice, methodology, manner, way, procedure, modus operandi, design, and pattern. Each has its own connotations and can be considered as close synonyms instead of direct meaning.