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

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

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


The simplest type of academic writing is descriptive. Its purpose is always to provide facts or information. A good example could be a listing of a write-up or a written report associated with total link between an experiment.

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


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

Sometimes, these categories or relationships are usually an element of the discipline, sometimes you are going to create them especially for your text. For instance, if you’re comparing two theories, you might break your comparison into several parts, for instance: how each theory deals with social context, how each theory deals with language learning, and exactly how each theory can be utilized in practice.

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

In order to make your writing more analytical:

  • spend sufficient time planning. Brainstorm the known facts and ideas, and try other ways of grouping them, according to patterns, parts, similarities and differences. You could utilize colour-coding, flow charts, tree diagrams or tables.
  • create a name when it comes to relationships and categories you discover. As an example, advantages and disadvantages.
  • build each section and paragraph around among the analytical categories.
  • make the structure of your paper clear to your reader, simply by using topic sentences and a introduction that is clear.
  • Generally in most writing that is academic you are required to go at least one step further than analytical writing, to persuasive writing. Persuasive writing has all the features of analytical writing (that is, information plus re-organising the information), by the addition of your point that is own of. Most essays are persuasive, and there is a persuasive aspect in at least the discussion and conclusion of an investigation article.

    Points of view in academic writing may include an argument, a recommendation, interpretation of findings or evaluation regarding 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 assignment that is persuasive: argue, evaluate, discuss, take a situation.

    To aid achieve your own point of view regarding the facts or ideas:

    • read several other researchers’ points of view on the subject. Who do you’re feeling is the most convincing?
    • look for patterns in the data or references. Where is the evidence strongest?
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    • list several different interpretations. Which are the real-life implications of each and every one? Which ones are likely to be most beneficial or useful? Those that involve some problems?
    • Discuss the known facts and ideas with another person. Can you agree with their point of view?

    To produce your argument:

    • list the different grounds for your point of view
    • take into account the differing kinds and sourced elements of evidence that can be used to aid your point of view
    • Consider ways that are different your point of view is similar to, and different from, the points of view of other researchers
    • try to find different ways to split your point of view into parts. For example, cost effectiveness, environmental sustainability, scope of real-world application.

    To provide your argument, make sure:

    • your text develops a coherent argument where all of the individual claims come together to aid your overall point of view
    • your reasoning for every claim is obvious to the reader
    • your assumptions are valid
    • you have evidence for almost any claim you make
    • you employ evidence this is certainly convincing and directly relevant.

    Critical writing is common for research, postgraduate and advanced writing that is undergraduate. It has all the features of persuasive writing, utilizing the added feature with a minimum of an added point of view. While persuasive writing requires you to definitely have your own personal point of take on a problem or topic, critical writing requires you to definitely consider at least two points of view, including your own.

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

    Examples 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 the main work. This may include identifying the main interpretations, assumptions or methodology.
    • have a viewpoint concerning the work. Appropriate types of opinion could include pointing out some problems with it, proposing an approach that is alternative could be better, and/or defending the job against the critiques of others
    • provide evidence for your point of view. With respect to the specific assignment and the discipline, several types of evidence might be appropriate, such as for example logical reasoning, mention of authoritative sources and/or research data.

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

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