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A communication system that uses visible signs or
symbols on a flat surface(paper, cloths, stone
Activity of making letters or numbers on a surface,
especially using a pen or a pencil
Writing usually learned through systematic
Formally (in school)
In-formally (taught by parents at home)

To get things done
Homework, assignment
To inform
Writing a memo, writing a letter
To persuade
To convince the reader
Health-related brochures
To maintain relationships
Infromal letters to family members, friends, pen-pals
To document occurrences, events
Journals, diaries
To record feelings, experiences and observation
Journals, diaries
This type of writing comprises of a sequence of events
together with characters and setting (examples: a story,
This type of writing comprises of detailed accounts of physical
attributes or qualities of a person, an object or a place. These
descriptions evoke the readers sense of sight, hearing, smell,
touch and taste which enable the reader to form a vivid
picture of whats being described.

This type of writing comprises of facts, information and
explanation of concepts, issues or topics related to scientific
or general knowledge. Expository pieces of writing are
impartial, which means the writer does not include his/her
interpretations or opinions (examples: the solar system,
cooperative learning)

This type of writing comprises of the writers views or
statements which intend to convince the reader to
agree/accept the writers point of view. Such writings
also include facts and information which promote or
support the writers stance. We can find examples of
such writings in advertisements and political articles.
This type of writing takes the style of a debate in which
the writer first takes a stance and presents supporting
facts/points/evidence. At the same time, the discussion
also includes objections/criticisms of the opposing

Before a writer begins to write, there are certain
prior information or background knowledge he/she
would need to have. Among these are :
Subject matter
The writer needs to have relevant information about the
topic or subject matter he/she wishes to write on. Such
prior knowledge can be gathered from reference books,
journals, discussions with experts, observations or
personal experiences.
The writers purpose will affect the way he/she writes.
For example, does the writer wish to persuade the
reader to purchase the latest model of a particular car
Interaction and a sense of audience
The writer needs to establish his/her audience. The following
questions serve as a guideline:
Who is the target audience?
Are they children, teenagers, young adults, professionals in
the same field, women, hobbyists, general readers?
What is the knowledge level of the targe audience?
Are they beginners, intermediary or advanced level readers?
How to attract the audiences interest?
Should the layout include pictures, charts, diagrams or just
printed words? Perhaps have a catchy (interesting) title.

It is important that a writer needs a repertoire or
collection of language skills to enable him/her to write
effectively. These skills include a range of sentence
patterns, words, knowledge of idiomatic expressions
and phrases.

Chitravelu, N. et al. (2005). ELT Methodology:
Principles and Practice. Oxford Fajar: Selangor.