Definition of Style
The style in writing can be defined as the way a writer writes and it is the technique which 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 work of different authors from one another. 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, descriptive writing style is poetic in nature in, 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 where the writer narrates a story to. It includes short stories, novels, novellas, biographies and poetry.
Examples of Style in Literature
Here are some examples of different writing styles from literature:
An excerpt from “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 expository writing style in which the author describes advantages of imagination with facts and logical sequence and tells his delight of imagination. Then, he discusses its benefits and finally gives opinions in its favor.
Here is an excerpt from a poem.
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.
(Summer Shower by Emily Dickinson)
This poem is giving an example of descriptive style. Emily gives a description of a summer rainstorm in detail and visualizes with images so that the readers could visualize this storm in their own minds as if it is actually happening.
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.
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
In this poem, Coleridge uses narrative style and tells a story about the ancient mariner. He uses dialogues, disputes, actions and events in a sequence, thus provides a perfect example of the narrative style of writing.
An excerpt from 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, description of a location and details about bees that could be seen and heard.
Function of Style
A unique literary style can have great impact on the piece in which it is used and on the readers. When authors write and put their ideas into words, they meet with a large number of choices which include: words, sounds, logic, sentence structures. However, different authors use different literary styles that depend on their distinct expression and their utilization of these choices. And their choice creates their niche.