A Taxonomy of Writing

1. Diaries, journals
2. Personal letters, emails
3. Blogposts
4. Newspaper columns
5. Journalism, creative non-fiction (including popular science, travelogues, essays for Harper's or The Atlantic, memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love)
6. Academic writing, humanistic (art and literary criticism, history, philosophy, theology)
7. Academic writing, social scientific* (sociology, economics)
8. Academic writing, scientific (mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry)
9. Legal briefs and papers, legislation, specifications
10. Business or administrative memos and reports
11. Computer programs (scripting, html, coding)
12. Screen plays, plays
13. Advertising copy
14. Sermons, political speeches, papers given at conferences
15. Self-help advice
16. How-to manuals (sports, crafts, spiritual exercises, cookbooks, computer manuals)
17. Letters of reference (yes, a genre all of their own)
18. Reference (dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, travel guides)
19. Poetry, including song lyrics**
20. Novels ("literature", mystery, romance, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, graphic)

Questions: Which of these counts as "real" writing? Does it make any difference if you are thinking of dating a writer? Where do the essays we assign students fit in this list? Have I left anything out?

*By definition, this should also include anthropology and political science, but sometimes these fields are more humanistic. Likewise, psychology. Not sure how to group them.
**Which makes me wonder about music composition as well.


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