4 Types of Academic Writing Every Student Needs to Know

by / ⠀Blog Marketing / October 31, 2023
Academic Writing

If there is one skill that you will need in your academic journey is the A-1 writing skill. For this, you must thoroughly understand the types of academic writing. Whether it’s a high school essay, college debate, or university seminar, you will be using one of the academic types of writing.

The pillars of academic writing are the four types – Descriptive, Analytical, Persuasive, and Critical, which will give you the scope to express as per the context. Whether you decide to craft academic papers alone or order an essay writing service from specialists with years of experience in the field, it’s critical to understand the specifics and purpose behind those four. Despite their multiple common features, the concept of each academic paper type is unique; knowledge of this concept and following it is what determines the success of your writing assignment.

But to know the types, learning the concept isn’t sufficient. To be a pro, you have to go beyond learning the concept. What about its usage? So, instead of looking for an academic writing service like MyAssignmentHelp.com, it’s time to learn something practical.

Read this article to explore the areas of descriptive, analytical, persuasive, and critical writing.

Descriptive Writing 

Descriptive writing is reporting, defining, or documenting facts or information. It is where you summarize or describe an event, situation, occurrence, case study, or phenomenon that arises in practically every academic essay.

Here, using all five senses while describing phenomena or occurrences is crucial. So, use vivid, pertinent, and appropriate language, such as “stallion” instead of “horse.”

Key Characteristics: 

  • The descriptive style uses vivid language to evoke strong feelings in the reader’s five senses.
  • Writers can use metaphors and similes in figurative language to make the reader feel like they are being described.
  • One can use terminology that is understandable and pertinent to your main theme.

Pro Tips –

  • Avoid obvious descriptions
  • Include all the five senses expressing words
  • Employ words that surprise
  • Use metaphorical language.
  • Consider the person providing the descriptions.
  • Avoid over-describing things.

 Here are a few instances of descriptive writing:

  • Summary – Any piece where you summarize a book chapter, TV show, or article in descriptive style as long as it doesn’t include any further context or commentary.
  • Definition – Briefly describe an item, situation, or location.
  • Creative Writing – You express a situation with creative diction – ‘The tree branches were breaking and shattering under the force of the strong breeze, which was rustling the orange and crimson leaves.’
  • Storytelling – These narratives can contain sensory information and a simple storyline.

Analytical Writing

Analytical writing is where you examine the importance of specifics or facts and make a claim or argument supported by data. The goal is to use evaluation and critical analysis to reveal an idea’s underlying meaning. Mainly, the “Why?”, “How?” and “So what?” questions are addressed in analytical writing.

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Analytical writing is typically used to examine or critique a book, film, problem, concept, or procedure. Also, one of the most crucial things to remember when writing an analytical essay is to divide your subject into manageable chunks and examine each to reveal a bigger picture.

Key Characteristics: 

  • Analytical writing is well-organized and has a distinct outline.
  • As a writer, you must support your claim with data, facts, numbers, case studies, etc.
  • Analytical writing must begin with a statement of thesis.

Pro Tips:

  • Always select one perspective.
  • Write a thesis statement in the ‘introduction’ paragraph’s conclusion.
  • Make concise topic sentences in each paragraph
  • Fill your essay with examples along with claims.
  • Make room for opposing viewpoints.
  • Put your analysis into a summary in the last paragraph.

 Here is an approach to analytical writing:

Here is a Prompt –  An examination of the significance of a minor character in the novel the class just finished is due from a student in a college English course.

  • To begin with, choose the character that you wish to write about.
  • Determine the essential qualities of the character that set them apart from the others. These can be behavioral patterns or physical traits like habitual body language or looks.
  • Consider the following: What can we learn about the character from these cumulative traits? When do they carry out specific tasks? When they do these things, who is with them?
  • Create a thesis statement that summarizes the point you will make in the paper.

Persuasive Writing

There are some similarities between analytical and persuasive writing, but there is one key distinction. Persuasive writing combines all the elements of analytical writing with your viewpoint to rearrange the material.

In persuasive writing, you persuade the readers that your particular view or stance on a given problem is appropriate through an argument, recommendation, or interpretation.

Every argument must be backed up with data and an analysis of opposing viewpoints. This type of writing requires you to present a logical argument, analysis, or discussion to persuade the reader.

Key Characteristics:

  • Outline the components of your problem that you hope to solve in detail.
  • Provide evidence, such as statistics or other well-researched data, to support your claims.
  • Possesses a well-structured argument that is developed linearly, going from least to most significant
  • It has a compelling ending that convinces the reader of your viewpoint.

 Pro Tips:

  •  After reading some additional materials, write arguments that make sense.
  • Provide solid and reliable justifications and supporting data.
  • You have to be concise and clear in your explanations. Analyze every argument clearly and rationally.
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Here is an example approach to persuasive writing –

Topic Prompt – Alternative therapies like chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy are legitimate types of healthcare that can be used in addition to conventional medicine.

  • You can provide facts and research to support your claim that complementary and alternative medicine is a valid field of study. Identify the advantages and disadvantages of your position.
  • Next, recognize the opposite viewpoint – Traditional medicine cannot be replaced, and alternative medical practices like chiropractic adjustments and meditation are not legitimate forms of healthcare.
  • After that, offer a study that backs up this opposing viewpoint.
  • Consider the possible advantages and disadvantages of the other point of view.
  • Lastly, come back to the start. This means referring back to your main point to clarify how the other side’s position is inferior to your own. So, give plausible counterarguments to your claim, as this will validate your work.

Critical Writing

Persuasive writing shares all of its characteristics and elements with critical writing. While you write at least two points of view, including your own, in critical writing, you write your point of view in persuasive writing.

You shouldn’t cite just one source in your critical writing to support your claims. Using just one source has a major drawback: what if most other writers say something quite different from what your source says? It follows that while writing critically, you must consider multiple points of view.

Instead of only taking the information from sources at face value, you must also assess and scrutinize it. The purpose of doing this is to build an argument.

Key Characteristics: 

  • Critical writing argues for or against accepting the conclusions of other authors.
  • It explains your position and provides proof to back it up.
  • You must also admit the limitations of your evidence and conclusion.

Pro Tips:

  • Summarize each section of your article.
  • Write your thoughts on the subject, highlighting flaws, outlining a superior substitute strategy, and defending the piece against other people’s criticisms.
  • Make a list of facts – like logical arguments, citations to reliable sources, and research data – that adequately support your opinions.

Here is an illustration of a critical writing strategy –

  • Choose an interesting topic to start your critical writing adventure.
  • Assemble a list of scholarly and well-researched sources pertinent to the subject.
  • After obtaining the required materials, carefully study each argument and assess its advantages and disadvantages. Then, provide your analysis. Think about the areas in which these arguments could be reinforced with additional study or thought, as well as the points in which they are solid and supported by reliable, credible data.
  • After reading through and analyzing several sources and their points of view, take a position on the subject you have selected.
  • Offer data and studies to back up your well-informed claim. Similar to writing persuasively, recognizing the advantages and disadvantages of your position will improve the work as a whole.
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Areas of Academic Writing to Focus On

Academic Research

Strong arguments necessitate in-depth study and comprehension of a subject; hence, competent academic writers must ensure that the data they use is precise, understandable, and pertinent to the subject matter. You can also use research to get evidence to back up any claims you make. Researching to increase your understanding is a skill that can be used in various professional settings. So, ensure you only use trustworthy information from approved and verified sites.

Formulating an Argument

Creating and defending an argument is a crucial communication skill since it enables people to see things from your point of view. So, you must provide proof or reasoned arguments that back up your statements and directly connect with your case. Also, this can provide you greater confidence when presenting your work to higher-ups and suggesting adjustments to the working environment.

Recognizing Your Readers

Any individual or collection of individuals who read your work is your audience. This could apply to professors, friends, and even stakeholders in a work setting. Hence, it is necessary to adjust your writing style accordingly. You must emphasize a formal tone, as it is the dominating tone in academic and professional fields.

Format and Structure

Moreover, academic writing requires a great deal of organization. Usually, in most academic writing, you attempt to make a single, coherent point that will tie your entire essay together. So, organize the remainder of your argument around this point. After all, the secret to creating an efficient writing style and organization is to stay focused on your core objectives. You must also emphasize the technical aspect. This means you must know the right use of alignment, referencing format, font style, and even paragraph spacing.

Final Words

Academic writing is a skill that every student must have, irrespective of their subject preferences, course modules, and career. It’s about knowing a high vocabulary and how to use the same language in different tones and express your ideas.

So, apply the suggestions above and see how your instructor gets impressed instantly!


Featured image provided by Mikhail Nilov; Pexels; Thanks!


About The Author

Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.


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