Transactional writing is a term that encompasses lots of different kinds of non-fiction genres in writing. Transactional writing is written with an aim Рthat aim is typically to communicate information and ideas to a person through the text. The purpose of this information will fall into one of four main categories:

  • To persuade- Persuasive text is often used in advertising to convince someone to buy a product or service. A transactional text aimed at persuading will typically set out to tell a person why the product or service is so good and how it can improve their lives. They might include customer testimonials or pushy language, such as limited-time-only offers to make people take the plunge and purchase. Persuasive, transactional writing may also set out to sway a person’s opinion on a particular issue – it’s often used in politics to try and persuade people to vote a certain way.
  • To argue- transactional texts that discuss to get the point across often take the form of a review or political flyer. For example, a reviewer might push a point they made about a book or film and try to persuade you that their point of view is legitimate by arguing their point with evidence. The language of argument may also be used in literature and posters for or against political views or policies. Argumentative language can also be found in speeches, such as debates.
  • To inform- Informative transactional texts give you the facts about something. This could be to entertain or educate someone. Examples of informational texts include leaflets about services and products, newspapers, and magazine articles. Informative, transactional writing also includes letters and emails that you might send to friends, updating them about what you’ve been up to or letting them know important information. An invitation to a birthday party is an informational text – it gives you all the information required to attend the event. Things like giving directions or writing about someone’s life are informative – providing the reader the facts to work from.
  • To advise- Advisory transactional texts give the reader the knowledge they need to decide on something. Advisory texts offer different options and are typically more balanced than persuasive texts. However, they take a lot of research to give the reader all the information they need to decide on something themselves. An example might be writing a magazine article on the best ways to travel to and from school – you could give the pros and cons of a few different methods and provide an opinion as to which you think is the best. Still, ultimately, it’s up to the reader to decide.

How are pieces of transactional writing presented?

Pieces of transactional writing can be presented in a variety of ways. They could be a written letter, email, speech, or leaflet. You can find transactional texts in newspapers and magazines. It could also take the form of a review, for example, a book or film review.

Pieces of transactional writing will follow conventions of language and structure to fulfill their purpose.

Examples of transactional writing that children might be asked to write about include:

  • Friendly and official letters;
  • Diary/journal entry;
  • Invitation;
  • Procedures (instructions and rules);
  • Advertisement posters and notices.
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