Boost Your Kid’s (Writing) Style – Understanding the Various Writing Styles
“My child is an introvert.” It is common for parents to ask us about their child’s personality as part of their public speaking training. Aside from the difference between general confidence and stage confidence, many of us do not think about a child’s writing personality. This can come across strongly in your child’s writing style, affecting the type of language used, tone adopted or even the extent of your child’s vocabulary.
Understanding your child’s writing style is the first step to turning your child into an adept and flexible writer. With the awareness of the different writing styles, your child can manoeuvre between various writing tasks/objectives with ease. Your child’s strengths also supplement this. Beyond the classroom and the dread examinations, understanding their writing personality can help your child in the future workplace. There, the ability to transit between types of writing mediums, tones or format is an important skill.
Before you start identifying your child’s writing personality, read on to find out more about the various writing styles that they may fall under.
To Whom It May Concern – Formal and Directed
The first writing personality is a formal and professional tone. This writing style is typically goal-directed or objective-driven. When adopting a more formal or professional writing style, there is usually an underlying objective the writer is trying to achieve. For example, formal business proposals tend to be more structured in terms of style, sequencing and even the tone of the write-up. This can cover various factors ranging from the types of words to use to even the length of the document.
Broadly, if your child is keen to try out a more formal tone, start by identifying the objective of the writing task. For example, an e-mail to a teacher to request an extension for homework or even as a Head of the Class Committee should have a specific purpose (e.g. to update the teacher). Once your child has identified the objective, start choosing the vocabulary set that is appropriate for the task. For example, writing tasks that are more informative in nature tend to use simpler words that help to build understanding. Ultimately, with this writing personality, your child will be able to adopt a formal and professional writing style.
A Warm Welcome – Describing Scenes and Characters in a Story
Second, moving from the formal writing personality, the personality on the other extreme of the spectrum is the story-telling personality. This writing style is best defined by the use of descriptive words that help to paint a colourful and vivid imagery in your child’s story. This tends to be one of the focus of parents whenever they think about writing styles. For some, the ability to fill the writing assignment with descriptive words is an indicator of a successful writer.
That said, there should still be structure in the fluid nature of story-telling. Instead of simply jumping into a story based on creative ‘feel’, most great stories have a plan behind them. Guide your child through this planning process by first selecting his/her characters or scenes for their story. Break down the descriptive task into specific steps by choosing the appropriate words for each character. This helps to ensure the relevance and variety of the descriptive words used. Beyond the vocabulary, this writing personality also experiments with various sentence structures and length to create a more dynamic writing piece.
Exposition – Structure and Planning
Finally, a more fluid writing personality is the exposition personality. Most students try their best to avoid the more ‘risky’, fluid essay questions (such as one-word titles). These tend to be more flexible in terms of interpretation and students are worried about the possibility of not having enough content for their essay. Expository writing challenges your child to deliver sufficient content in a clear and understandable structure. This twin challenge is what makes the exposition personality write a versatile one!
When cultivating your child’s exposition personality, start early with the ideation phase. Place more emphasis on the brainstorming process to encourage your child to think out of the box on the various ways to interpret a topic. This should also be supplemented with a discussion on the sequence or structure of the overall essay, ensuring that your child can set out the full content. Finally, remember to guide your child in his/her design of a strong conclusion (e.g. through summary or emphasis).
Find Your Child’s Style
The search for your child’s writing style should not be done alone. Ultimately, your child should have a say in the type of writing style that he/she is keen on adopting. The key is not in developing only one style; instead, the best writers can shift between the writing personalities based on the writing task. With your help, your child can soon start to uncover their writing personality!
Public Speaking Academy strives to help students with both types of communication:
For written communication:
English Tuition for Kids – Primary 5 & 6 (PSLE):
For verbal communication:
Public Speaking for Kids / Children: