In expressive writing, a writer uses prose to reflect on an issue, emotion or experience. There are many types of expressive writing. In a journal, a writer can reflect on what’s currently going on in his life. Writing memoirs allows a writer reflect on past experiences and events, and perhaps see something that happened to him in the past from a different perspective. An opinion piece allows a writer to reflect on a specific subject, and explain and clarify his opinion regarding that subject.
Journaling is one of the most common and familiar types of expressive writing. A journaler will set aside time, perhaps at the end of the day, to write about what is going on in his life in her journal or diary. Writing in a journal or diary can have many benefits. The activity gives a journaler a place to work out her problems, allowing him to think things through on paper. Keeping a journal also gives the journaler a place to get out pent up emotions, and express feelings and opinions he might not feel comfortable talking about to other people. Professional and aspiring writers also find keeping a journal to be beneficial, since writing every day is one way to develop and sharpen basic writing skills.
Memoirs are similar to journals in that the writer uses prose to reflect on his personal feelings and experiences. Instead of being about the present, however, memoirs are about the past. In this type of expressive writing, the writer writes about past events and experiences. Many times, a writer will find that writing about past events, even things that happened years or decades ago, can help him to remember those events more clearly. Writing a memoir can also help a writer see events in a new way, and even resolve issues that resulted from those events.
Opinion pieces and think pieces make up another class of expressive writing. In an opinion piece, a writer takes a subject and tries to clearly express how he feels about that subject. This kind of expressive writing encourages a writer to think about things he never considered before, and might even help him to form a solid opinion on a subject. Students are often assigned to write think pieces in school, whether to help them improve writing skills, or as a way to help them learn about particular subject. Many newspapers and magazines publish opinion pieces sent in by readers.