Oftentimes, students approach writing tasks without clearly defining the goal of the prompt. We’ve learned the black and white distinctions between fiction and non-fiction. Classification of genres has also categorized various works of writing. However, a student’s purpose for writing will ultimately dictate the language of the text.
For example, how one composes a persuasive essay is much different than how he or she will approach an essay that compares two texts. In the first prompt, the student must choose a viewpoint and his/her purpose is to convince the audience of a particular opinion. In contrast, the analysis intended to compare two texts lays out the commonalities and differences that two authors present without taking a stance. Ultimately, the utilization of emotion, statistics, additional research, etc. will depend on the goal of the writing prompt.