The Various Types of Academic Writing and How to Approach Them

Academic writing is broadly categorized into four types, each with its unique objectives, structural and linguistic specifications.

If you’re a college or university student, you must have already come across a few assignment projects and will be doing a lot more until the completion of your diploma or degree program.

Whatever academic stage you’re currently at, here’s an insight into the four major types of academic writing. Read on.

Types of Academic Writing


This is the most basic and simplest type of academic writing. As the name suggests, it is characterised by a description or statement of facts, figures, or general or specific information.

In other words, descriptive writing gives one the flexibility to narrate an elaborate account of their perception of an event, an object, a person, or an experience, etc.


analytics-academic writing

Analytical writing is a significant component of most academic assignments. Unlike descriptive writing which mostly revolves around stating a fact, event or experience, analytical writing requires you to make comparisons between two entities on certain grounds or categories. One is required to assess, examine and compare and then present their inferences.


Persuasive Writing-academic writing


In addition to descriptive information and comparative analysis, persuasive writing requires their point of view about the subject to be included. This is a more research-intensive form of academic writing, compared to its descriptive and analytical counterparts. It requires you to put forth your claims towards the end of the assignment and support by research-based facts, figures and evidence.


Critical writing can best be described as a more advanced and research-intensive form of analytical writing. You are required to discuss more than one point of views – which should include yours too.

Contradictory to persuasive writing where one point of view is defended, in critical writing, you discuss the strengths and weaknesses, merits and demerits of a viewpoint, debate with counterarguments, explain how the counterarguments are valid or invalid, and then present an alternative interpretation.

How to Approach the Different Writing Types

No matter it’s a descriptive, analytical, persuasive, or critical essay you’re working on, keep the following tips in mind to do a better job at it:

  • A thorough and in-depth understanding of the topic and its underlying and associated issues is a must. Start with research, and allocate ample time for information gathering.
  • Get as specific as you can while choosing a topic. The broader the scope of the topic, more difficult it will become to tie up your findings in conclusion.
  • Start with a plan. Create a skeleton of your essay and associate each segment or category with a deadline. This will help keep you on the track and ensure smooth and timely completion of the assignment.
  • Keep your style sheet in check. Take time to understand the format and specifications to apply them throughout.

So, there you have it – an insight into the different types of academic writing. We hope you find it useful. Let us know in the comments section below.