Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley
Before writing, people had to store information in their heads. Writing was invented to record information so that it could be passed on to other people. Later it became a means of personal expression.
Writing has changed throughout history. Early writing was created by scratching in clay. Later, ancient Egyptians used feathers or sticks dipped in berry juice. Neither of these forms exists today, and the spread of word processing may one day replace handwriting.
Creative writing is using the imagination to write stories, describe events and places, and express thoughts. It is different from writing that records facts and events, such as history or biography. Creative writing includes poems, plays, short stories, and novels, and may also include diaries.
Literacy is the ability to read, write, and use language. Without this skill, people are at a disadvantage. They cannot find out information from printed sources (such as books or the Internet), and they cannot fill in forms, or write letters, text messages, or emails.