The four main kinds of academic writing are descriptive, analytical, critical and persuasive.

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In several academic texts you will need to use one or more type. For example, in an thesis that is empirical

  • you are going to use critical writing within the literature review to exhibit where there was a gap or opportunity within the existing research
  • the strategy section will be mostly descriptive to summarise the techniques used to collect and analyse information
  • the outcome section should be mostly descriptive and analytical you collected as you report on the data
  • the discussion section is much more analytical, while you relate your findings back to your research questions, and also persuasive, as you propose your interpretations regarding the findings.


The type that is simplest of academic writing is descriptive. Its purpose is always to provide facts or information. An example could be a listing of an article or a report associated with total outcomes of an experiment.

The kinds of instructions for a assignment that is purely descriptive: identify, report, record, summarise and define.


It’s rare for a university-level text to be purely descriptive. Most writing that is academic also analytical. Analytical writing includes descriptive writing, but you also re-organise the known facts and information you describe into categories, groups, parts, types or relationships.

Sometimes, these categories or relationships seem to be the main discipline, sometimes you certainly will create them designed for your text. For example, if you’re comparing two theories, you may break your comparison into several parts, as an example: how each theory relates to social context, how each theory deals with language learning, and just how each theory can be utilized in practice.

The kinds of instructions for an assignment that is analytical: analyse, compare, contrast, relate, examine.

To help make your writing more analytical:

  • spend plenty of time planning. Brainstorm the known facts and ideas, and attempt different ways of grouping them, in accordance with patterns, parts, similarities and differences. You could use colour-coding, flow charts, tree diagrams or tables.
  • create a name when it comes to relationships and categories you find. For instance, advantages and disadvantages.
  • build each section and paragraph around one of several categories that are analytical.
  • result in the structure of your paper clear to your reader, by utilizing topic sentences and a introduction that is clear.
  • In many academic writing, you are required to go one or more step further than analytical writing, to persuasive writing. Persuasive writing has all the features of analytical writing (that is, information plus re-organising the data), with the help of your own point of view. Most essays are persuasive, and there is a persuasive take into account at least the discussion and conclusion of an investigation article.

    Points of view in academic writing may include a quarrel, a recommendation, interpretation of findings or evaluation associated with the work of others. Each claim you make needs to be supported by some evidence, for example a reference to research findings or published sources in persuasive writing.

    The kinds of instructions for a persuasive assignment include: argue, evaluate, discuss, take a situation.

    To aid reach your own point of view in the facts or ideas:

    • read some other researchers’ points of look at this issue. That do you’re feeling is considered the most convincing?
    • seek out patterns into the data or references. Where may be the evidence strongest?
    • list several interpretations that are different. Exactly what are the real-life implications of every one? Which ones will tend to be most useful or beneficial? Those that possess some problems?
    • talk about the facts and ideas with some other person. Do you agree with their point of view?

    To produce your argument:

    • list the different good reasons for your point of view
    • consider the types that are different resources of evidence which you can use to support your point of view
    • consider different ways that your point of view is comparable to, and various from, the points of view of other researchers
    • look for different ways to break your point of view into parts. For example, cost effectiveness, environmental sustainability, scope of real-world application.

    To present your argument, make certain:

    • your text develops a coherent argument where all the individual claims work together to support your overall point of view
    • your reasoning for each claim is clear to your reader
    • your assumptions are valid
    • you have got evidence for virtually any claim you will be making
    • you utilize evidence that is convincing and directly relevant.

    Critical writing is common for research, postgraduate and advanced undergraduate writing. It offers all of the features of persuasive writing, using the added feature of at least one other point of view. While persuasive writing requires you to have your very own point of take on an issue or topic, critical writing requires you to definitely consider at the least two points of view, including your own.

    For instance, you may possibly explain a researcher’s interpretation or argument and then assess the merits associated with argument, or give your own personal alternative interpretation.

    Types of critical writing assignments include a critique of a journal article, or a literature review that identifies the strengths and weaknesses of existing research. The kinds of instructions for critical writing include: critique, debate, disagree, evaluate.

    • accurately summarise all or an element of the work. This can include identifying the main interpretations, assumptions or methodology.
    • have an opinion in regards to the work. Appropriate types of opinion could include pointing out some difficulties with it, proposing an approach that is alternative would be better, and/or defending the job resistant to the critiques of others
    • provide evidence for your point of view. According to the specific assignment and the discipline, different types of evidence may be appropriate, such as logical reasoning, mention of the authoritative sources and/or research data.

    Critical writing requires writing that is strong. You’ll want to thoroughly understand the topic and the issues. You’ll want to develop an essay structure and paragraph structure which allows you to definitely analyse different interpretations and build your argument that is own by evidence.