38 What are other types of academic writing?

Kathy Boylan

There are many different types of writing that you will be asked to create during your academic and professional careers.  Always be clear what your boss or professor expects in an assignment before you begin writing.  Below is just a sample of the various assignments you may be given:

Personal/reflective writing assignment–personal expression about an experience, event, situation, or information.

Expository writing assignment–writing that explains, describes, or informs.

Case study–a written report about a situation, group, or person that one has studied.

Review–summarizing as well as analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a piece of writing, a show, or an event.

Technical report–clear, detailed report of the procedures undertaken and the results obtained during a scientific or technical procedure.

Lab report–writing that details the steps taken and the results of a scientific experiment.

Book report–writing that summarizes the contents of a book as well as some commentary concerning the writer’s opinion of the book.

Critical analysis/critique–writing an informed review and an analysis of the significance of a piece of writing or an event.

Bibliography–writing a full list of all resources consulted during a research project.

Annotated bibliography–writing not only a list of all resources consulted for a research project, but also including a summary and analysis of each resource.

Literature review–writing that focuses on a specific research topic and the critical aspects of the literature consulted during the research process.

Research paper–the final product following an extended period of research, critical thinking, and composition that encompasses the writer’s own ideas supported by a combination of primary and secondary sources.

E-mail–writing in electronic mail

Web writing–writing web content, which needs to be direct, concise, and credible.

Oral presentation of written report–developing an effective summary of a project to be delivered in front of an audience; may include visual aids.

Midterm/final exam essay–exams often include short essay questions that need to be written in a short amount of time.

Resume & other ‘business’ writing–writing that must communicate pertinent information in a concise, easy-to-read format.

Key Takeaways

  • All writers rely on steps and strategies to begin the writing process.
  • The steps in the writing process are prewriting, drafting, revising, editing/proofreading, and publishing.
  • Prewriting is the transfer of ideas from abstract thoughts into words, phrases, and sentences on paper.
  • A good topic interests the writer, appeals to the audience, and fits the purpose of the assignment.  Writers often choose a general topic first and then narrow the focus to a more specific topic.
  • A strong thesis statement is key to having a focused and unified essay.
  • Rough drafts are opportunities to get ideas down onto paper to get a first look at how your ideas will work together.
  • Revising improves your writing as far as supporting ideas, organization, sentence flow, and word choices.
  • Editing spots and corrects any errors in grammar, mechanics, spelling, and formatting.
  • Regardless of the type of assignment you may be given in college or in work, it benefits you to follow a writing process, to put in the work necessary to understand your subject and audience, and to communicate your ideas confidently and coherently.



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Let's Get Writing! Copyright © 2018 by Kathy Boylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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