Difference Between Technical Writing and Literary Writing

Main Difference –  Technical Writing vs Literary Writing

Technical writing and Literary writing are two important writing styles used by writers depending on the subject matter, purpose and intended audience. The main difference between technical writing and literary writing is that, literary language is the writing style used in literary work while technical writing is a style used in writing for a particular field. Let us first briefly analyze theses two styles separately before discussing the difference between technical writing and literary writing.

What is Literary Writing

Literary writing is a style of writing that is used in creative and literary work; this is the style of writing that is used in fiction. Examples for literary writing includes poems, novels, short stories, dramas etc. The most significant difference between literary writing and other styles of writing is that the language used in literary writing uses many literary figures. Observe the below-given stanza to observe this feature.

“I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

                                                                        Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”                                                                                       

(First stanza from William Wordsworth’s “I wandered Lonely As a Cloud”)


difference between technical writing and literary writing

A Novel, an example for literary writing


What is Technical Writing

Technical writing is a style of writing used in delivering technical information regarding a particular subject. Here, the intended audience should have a certain knowledge about the subject in order to understand the technical jargon and the meaning of the text. Technical writing is the style of writing that is mostly observed in Non-fiction. Examples for technical writing include essays, manuals, reports etc. This style of writing is direct and simple. If we were to express the idea conveyed in the above poem in technical writing, we’d simply say. “The narrator was walking alone, when he saw a patch of daffodils near the lake.”

technical vs. literary writing

A Manual, an example for Technical Writing

Let us now look at the differences between technical writing and literary writing,

Difference Between Technical Writing and Literary Writing


Technical writing: Technical writing is a process of managing technical information in a way that allow people to take actions.

Literary writing: Literary writing is a creating innovative, creative work, such as poems or novels, and compilations or volumes of creative work.


Technical Writing: Written to inform, instruct readers about a certain thing.

Literary Writing: Written to entertain, amuse readers.


Technical Writing:  The language used in technical writing is direct, factual, and straightforward.

Literary Writing: The language used in literary writing is creative, imaginative and uses literary techniques like hyperbole, personification, similes, metaphors, etc.


Technical Writing: Technical Writing appeals to the mind.

Literary Writing: Literary Writing appeals to emotions.


Technical Writing: Technical writing has technical vocabulary, simple sentences, impersonal, objective tone.

Literary Writing: Literary writing might have complex sentence structure and linguistic aspects like dialects, ambiguity, etc.


Technical Writing: Technical writing is written for those who are knowledgeable about that particular subject area.

Literary Writing: Literary writing is written for general readers.

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.