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09/04/2019

What’s the difference between technical and recreational writing?

QUESTION
What’s the difference between technical and recreational writing?
I have to read different articles for a summer assignment and need to answer that question. What is the difference? What would an opinionated editorial piece be considered?

ANSWER
Generally, technical writing describes how something is done or accomplished in a step-by-step manner. Recipes constitute one example of technical writing: when a baker prepares a cake, how many ingredients should be included and in what order? Another illustration appears in the form of operating directions included with a new electronic gadget. Clarity remains an important objective of technical writing.

By contrast, the descriptive term “recreational writing” usually refers to writing composed as fun. (There is also a field of writing known as “travel writing” when authors discuss various vacation locales or trips, and sometimes this area receives the designation “recreational writing” also.) Entries in a diary might constitute recreational writing. Usually poetry and literary works fall within that broad category. If you craft a fictional novel or a play or a movie script for instance, you are essentially creating a literary work of recreational writing.

An “opinionated editorial piece” would probably fall more closely within the scope of recreational writing than technical writing. That type of essay might also be termed a “thought” piece. Many professional writers earn their livings by contributing editorial essays which express their points of view about contemporary issues for example.