Distinctive features of interpretive writing


Interpretive writing is very common in journalism especially in newspaper writing and they tend to take different forms and different names.

Sometimes they are confusing because they are used interchangeably. They can, however, be categorized into five major types as follows;

1. Editorials

They are always brief, between 300-500 words. Here is where the media expresses their policy, opinion etc.

Must be written by editors of a particular media and it uses the first person plural (we) because it is written by the organization.

2. Column

Unlike editorial, but like opinion editorials, usually signed, written by the same person and are regular (weekly or bi-weekly) and with a title. Some columnists react with insight, outrage and humour to political events and social controversies.

3. Opinion Editorials

Usually written by qualified (experts), experienced and prominent people, especially politicians, celebrities and academicians. They are not regularly like editorials but are occasional.

4. Reviews

Are usually found on feature pages., are written to study, evaluate and interpret a work of art.

The most interesting feature with reviews is that they are written with a critical voice that speaks to both elite and ordinary readers: less theoretical but simply help readers to answer questions such as- is this thing worth my time and money? Thumb up or thumb down?

5. Editorial cartoon

Usually found on the editorial page and they combine art and commentary.

They normally lampoon public figures by turning them into exaggerated caricatures


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