Expository Writing vs. Technical Writing

Expository writing and technical writing make up the majority of the text that we see in our everyday lives. There is a big difference between the two. Expository writing shares thoughts, opinions, and fleshed-out concepts, while technical writing is usually aimed to get someone to follow directions or understand a procedure.

Expository Writing: Why It Is Used

Expository writing is understood to be the standard academic analytical writing that is used in a lot of academic settings. Exposing and analyzing trends in prose is the stylistic technique of expository writing, and when compared with technical writing, it can be much more digressive, creative, and artistic.

It is a style of choice for persuading someone to agree with a certain opinion or to style an argument. The facts are not of the primary importance in expository writing – although they are a critical part of the genre, most of the emphasis is on deriving how something works through analysis, explanation, and exposition.

Essays for your standard English and Philosophy classes are often in the style of expository writing. These papers can be easily understood by laypeople and can be extremely opinionated or creative in nature.

Technical Writing: Its Purposes and Aims

Simply put, technical writing is used as efficient and clear way of explaining a product or technical aspect of production and how it works. Although the average many cannot understand this style and all of the jargon involved in this genre, technical writing is the preferred style by many industries.

Technical writing is meant to get facts across to its reader base. It is commonly read by a group of people with a shared, advanced knowledge of a particular subject. These essays are focused on explaining something or some process in an industry, such as the product manufacturing procedure, the testing protocols, and giving the facts of an industry report.

Instead of constructing an argument to share facts, like expository writing, technical writing is geared towards clearly and succinctly giving the data in an impersonal way. You can count on technical writing to sound more like a textbook than an expository essay.

Comparing Expository and Technical Writing

Technical writing is often data-based, while expository writing is focused on proving an argument to be true, or exposing information that will be part of a persuasive essay.

Technical writing is often ridden with jargon and other vocabulary and is intended to be understood by a smaller audience with a special knowledge base. Expository writing is meant to be understood by a wider audience and is meant to convince people that your opinions and analysis are qualitatively right and logically sound.

Writing Styles and Their Purposes

If you are looking to start a career in the writing world, it is important to learn how to manipulate your writing style to fit the needs of a client. As a student your professor is your “client.”

If you are a student, you will need to know whether your assignments are to be written in a technical way, such as a lab report or an analytical mathematics paper, or in an expository way, such as an English Essay or Philosophical paper. Ask your professor if you are confused about what style he or she is looking for in the classroom.

If you are a writer, you will find yourself writing using a blend of genres in the writing world.

  • You might be involved in freelancing or copy writing in which, at times, you are trying to reach a targeted audience with technical writing for an advertisement.
  • At other times, you market the same product using expository writing.

In these cases, it isn’t about expository writing vs technical writing, but about blending the two or using them in conjunction with one another for effective marketing.

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