Writing

What Is Subjective Writing (Definition, How To Write + Examples)

Posted: January 4, 2023
Word count: 1,316 (5 min)

Subjective writing is based on personal opinions, views, experience and feelings while objective writing is fact-based and is built on proven information, and data.

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Tomas Laurinavicius

Co-founder & Chief Editor, Best Writing

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What is subjective writing?

Any writing consists of subjective and objective statements. Writers use objective and subjective statements basing on the need and intent of the piece. Subjective or objective indicates the kind of information we are supposed to get from reading a piece.

If the writing is subjective we can expect personal opinion and interpretetion of the information provided, if any.

A writing is subjective when it contains personal opinions, personal feelings and subjective views. The intent of subjective writing is to convey the writer's idea to the reader.

How is subjective writing different from objective writing?

Objective writing as opposed to subjective writing gives facts, data, and avoids personal biases. It avoids expressing any concern, feelings, or anything that is not a proven fact or data.

Let us take this sentence for example.

The umbrella is of my favourite colour orange.

This is a subjective sentence which contains personal feelings. This same sentence in an objective writing would be, "The umbrella is orange in colour." The sentence does not contain any opinions on whether the umbrella is good or bad, or the colour orange is their personal favorite.

The roads have been sweeped two hours ago.

This is an objective statement because it gives nothing but facts.

Subjective writing is qualitative in nature, while objective writing is quantitative in nature. That means, subjective writing describes things that cannot be measured with quantity. Objective statements define specific information that can be measured in quantity. "Two hours", "5 days", "ten miles" are quantitative information. "Favorite", "good/bad" are qualitative words used in subjective writing.

The word objective have different meanings. An objective can be something factual, or it can be used to define a goal. Or it can be a part of a sentence: subject-object. Similarly, the word subjective refers to either subjective information, or the subject of a sentence, subject as a person or topic of discussion or can be used to describe a curricular subject, like Physics.

Subjective writing is opinion driven, while objective writing is fact driven. If one says there will be a subjective assessment of something, then the person's feelings, who is judging, matters. If it is an objective assessment then the said thing will be based on objective criteria and not someone's opinion.

Where is subjective writing used? (Objective vs Subjective)

Subjective writing is the medium of writing in the following types of content.

  • Books: If you are the author of a book, or in the process of writing, it is very natural that you will put your own opinions, personal interpretation, and views into it. In such case, subjective writing is very much required, as your readers want to know and understand your personal views.
  • Personal journals: You private diary is your own space and you are most definitely required to be subjective here. It is a place for your own thoughts, feelings and your own experiences. Therefore, it is not at all important to worry about the objectivity of your content. It is very much given that the writing will have subjective language.
  • Reviews: You can be subjective while writing a book review, or a movie review. It is very personal that you will or will not like a certain book, movie, play, or performance. Or any kind of review for that matter.
  • Everyday conversations: In order to be candid you will tend to be subjective while speaking to a friend, or a family member. It is not possible to speak in facts and figures in an informal conversation.
  • Social media content: Like a personal blog, or journal, you can use subjective writing while making social media content. But it is important to understand the implications because it will be consumed by the masses. Subjective social media content should be made carefully and responsibly.

Writing that you cannot be subjective about are:

  • Reports: Writing reports about growth of a certain business, about an incident for the newspaper, requires you be objective. You cannot put your personal feelings into such works.
  • Scientific journals: Journals that are data and experiment driven has no place for subjective observation or assumptions. All content that is written must be backed up with real data.
  • Records/archives: Records such as census, statistics, or archives cannot have subjectivity. They should be written in objective language.

What are the characteristics of subjective writing?

Subjective writing is biased in nature. Although it may have a objective origin, its nature is to be subjective. For example, if I feel it is very hot today because of global warming, the origin of the thought is objective, that global warming does make the planet hotter, but if that is the reason for me feeling hot today is a topic of much debate.

Subjective writing may not have a clear topic to begin with. It may not try to reach a specific conclusion or even may not intend to. If you are new to writing, it is always good to start with objective writing. Again, this is a personal opinion. Because, objective writing only needs you to record and produce what is already there and not create anything new, or even produce a new point. Recording the venue, time, and number of people at an event is easier, in my opinion, than analysing how good the opera was. Subjective writing carries a responsibility, especially if it will be consumed by a large number of people.

Subjective writing may not have evidence back-up. Technically, one can say anything and they need not produce a data back-up unless it is for an official purpose like a research paper, or legal procedure.

Subjective writing focuses on the person writing it rather than what they are writing. In a way it is more writer-oriented than the reader. Of course it gives subjective information about what the writer thinks about something.

Examples of Subjective Statements

I do not think I can ever be wrong.

The hats in the shop are not perfect in shape.

I do not like the tempo of the song.

The cell phone is not in a colour I like.

The notebook is not thick enough for the kind of writing I want to do.

The office does not care for its employees, that is why they do not change the faulty water cooler.

The farms in that area does not grow much vegetables of my choice.

The candle with pina colada smell is better than the one with stawberry smell.

I met a boy today and I think he is very nice.

I do not think the party in power will do very good this term.

I think the market will inevitably crash.

The girl with the Metallica tshirt is very cool.

My friend has a cute pair of pink shoes.

Academic writing requires a lot of hard work.

Hard news reporting is a very hard job.

I use the best search engines on the internet.

Meera is one of the most talented persons in the class.

Shakespeare's writing style is better than Christopher Marlowe's.

To Kill A Mockingbird is the most important text of the century.

The locality is full of dangerous raccoons.

I am afraid of spiders. They are scary.

Positive reinforcement is a great way to teach children anything.

Blue ink is better than any other ink.

Freddie Mercury is the greatest singer of all time.

Michaelangelo is a better Renaissance artist than Rafael.

Summary

Objective vs subjective is an age-long debate. Subjective writing is based on opinions and objective writing is based on facts. Official and legal matters use objective writing while other texts such as books, blogs, journals, speeches use subjective writing. To be a better writer, it is advised that one always has objective information to back up the statements they are making even if the content is about perception and beliefs.

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