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A History and Overview of Common Forms of Writing
History of Writing systems
There are various kinds of writing systems that have been developed around the world throughout the history of civilizations. For example, the togographic base system for all writing is word–centric. Yet, there are a variety of different writing systems across different civilizations. The system of syllabaries as seen in Japanese is syllable-based. The alphabet-based system that we are all familiar with emerged much later. Featural scripts were developed during the Mesopotamian era when cuneiform script was formulated. Chinese scripting was first found as markings on turtle shells and is perhaps the first instance of the written form. Another famous historical instance of Writing can be seen in the pictorial depictions called hieroglyphics in Egypt and the indecipherable script of the Indus Valley civilization.
Relevance of Writing Today
In this information age, writing is the primary way of disseminating information. Writing has no barriers and is used as a tool to spread information, educate the masses and express sentiment. Writing can be an entirely private activity as when you opt to keep a journal or write a poem in your spare time. Writing is also a serious profession and the streams that require writers are endless. Be it creative Writing, technical Writing, or journalistic Writing there are umpteen writers and even companies that create content on a daily basis. Writing is big business and writers write bestsellers, poetry, screenplays, news letters, web content and ad copy.
Creative writing deals with the literary genres of poetry, short story writing, drama and screen play Writing. These creative writing genres require that the writer be entirely original and imaginative. Creative writing classes are quite popular these days and are churning out writers of repute. However, creative writing is mostly something that cannot be taught and emerges from the writer’s own unique experiences and talents. The writer alone has control of the text that he or she writes and sprinkles with his own thoughts and metaphors. Great writing seldom uses cliches or jargon.
Technical writing does not require the same kind of imagination needed for creative writing. Technical writing is expository writing that is usually persuasive to convey information and persuade a client for business purposes. Technical Writing involves creating documentation for particular products or services. The writing style should be simple and devoid of jargon. Technical writing mainly involves with creating brochures, computer manuals and textbooks. Skills like knowledge of FrameMaker and QuarkXPress; graphic design and page layout capabilities; and HTML are an asset for technical writers.
Journalistic Writing is all about simple and straight forward reporting. The craft required to report a story for the daily newspaper, the gossip columns in tabloids and glossy magazines requires very clear and simple writing abilities. All journalistic writing has an element of investigation. Reporters track down their stories and write about it in as comprehensive manner as possible. There are no frills and metaphors. Journalistic writing also requires adherence to certain standards and avoidance of inflammatory statements so that media outlets avoid libel and report news accurately.