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Home » What is the Difference Between Rhetoric Writing and Creative Writing?

What is the Difference Between Rhetoric Writing and Creative Writing?

You might be wondering how to describe the difference between rhetoric writing and creative writing.
Well, the short answer is that they are not as different as you think.
While it’s true that they have distinct differences, they also have a lot in common.
So it’s important to understand the differences and similarities in order to write effectively. Let’s explore them.

Rhetoric Writing

Rhetoric writing is a form of argumentative writing that focuses on presenting a position on an issue and supporting it with compelling writing.
This type of writing can be found in speeches, political forums, and other formal compositions.
It often employs the use of logical reasoning and language that is clear and compelling.
It was originally developed as a teaching tool in schools, but it has since found its way into the professional world. Think of the great orators like Edward R. Murrow or Winston Churchill. They were both masters of rhetoric and knew how to use it to the fullest extent.

As you might suspect, rhetoric writing is about presenting your case persuasively and logically, using language that is easy to understand.
The defining feature of this type of writing is that it is goal-oriented—that is, it has a specific purpose. This purpose might be to persuade the reader to believe you, think of you, or do something specific. It can also be used to describe or analyze an issue, person, or phenomenon.

For example, you might use rhetorical questions to make your point. The classic question in this form is: “What is the difference between the three questions that begin each paragraph of James Joyce’s Ulysses?” The first question poses the problem. The second question provides the answer. And the third question provides a clear example of how the answer plays out in practice.

Creative Writing

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have creative writing—the type of writing you would not expect to find in a typical argumentative essay.
This is the kind of writing that allows you to explore a topic from a different perspective, or that finds unique ways to express yourself. It can also be used to question societal norms and assumptions, or it can simply be a way for you to let your imagination run wild.

You might consider creative writing to be free-form prose—that is, the kind of writing that doesn’t necessarily follow a structured pattern. This type of writing can be found in everything from short stories to diary entries, and it often incorporates an element of the unexpected. The term “creative” is often used to describe writers and artists who use their talents to defy conventions and create something new.

While it can be challenging to pin point specific differences between rhetoric writing and creative writing, the general differences are fairly clear. Rhetoric writing is logical and straightforward, while creative writing is more subjective and allows for more imagination. Rhetoric writing tends to be more objective, while creative writing can be more subjective.

Objective vs. Subjective

As noted, the difference between these two types of writing is fairly clear.
Let’s take a quick look at how each one relates to Logic. When you are writing in an objective manner, you are trying to remove any emotion or bias from your writing and present the facts as they are.
On the other hand, when you are writing subjectively, you are allowing your emotions to influence your writing. You might consider this approach to be more creative, but it can also be more erratic and uninformed.

If you are not sure which direction to take your writing in, start with an objective analysis of the situation and then add in your subjective analysis as needed. If you are finding it difficult to write objectively, take a step back and look at the issue from a different perspective. Use your creative energies to pull apart the problems you are facing and find solutions that make sense in your situation. In other words, be both creative and logical.

In some ways, creative writing can be seen as a combination of the two. It incorporates aspects of both forms, and it often presents a unique perspective on a familiar topic. However, even in these cases, the writing is still heavily structured and relies on a logical approach in order to make its point. So while there is certainly room for creativity in writing, there is still a place for structure.

More Than Meets The Eye

Although it might not seem like it at first, the differences between rhetoric writing and creative writing are not as distinct as you would think.
Often times, writers will blend these two types of writing together—that is, they will write something that is considered to be both logical and creative.
This is especially common in diaries and journals, where you might find an entry that is both structured and objective as well as another that is thoroughly subjective. In these cases, the writer will typically employ some type of hybrid word order, which can be difficult to determine. 

Sometimes, you will even encounter a piece of creative writing that is accompanied by a relevant citation. In these cases, the writer is presenting an argument while also demonstrating that they have done some research on the topic. So while they might not always appear to be using the traditional forms of these two types of writing, a lot of the time, they are.

If you are writing in an academic context, it is important to keep in mind that both of these types of writing require you to follow a certain form. For instance, you have to end each piece on a logical note, or you will not be able to follow the general guidelines for a persuasive piece. 

So while it might seem like a creative writing degree would be all about letting your imagination run wild, there is still a lot of structure that goes into this type of writing. 

Uniquely Yours

Finally, it is important to note that even in cases where there is no clear division between the two types of writing, you will find that they still have a unique way of speaking and presenting information.
This is because, for the most part, they were not intended to be used in a vacuum.
Instead, a lot of times these types of writings are used in specific contexts.
So even in cases where you might not be able to pinpoint a clear division between the two, you will still find that they have something special to offer. 

In a nutshell, while it might seem like these two types of writing are opposites, they are not as distinct as you would initially believe. Instead, they have a lot in common and can be used in a variety of situations. So while you might not always need to write creatively in order to write logically, you certainly do not always need to use logical arguments in order to write creatively. The key is to know which one to use based on the situation at hand.