What is Academic Writing? What are the Different Types of Academic Writing?

Academic Writing

Developing and enhancing writing capabilities is one of the critical aspects of studying at a university. Students must acknowledge the writing to plan and structure their work and acknowledge references appropriately.

What is academic writing?

Any form of writing which follows a technical, formal, and objective approach for scholarly purposes is called academic writing. It usually contains an outline, an introduction, a body with a thesis or problem statement, arguments, and a conclusion, written in a formal tone. Academic writings generally avoid direct reference to people or things and emphasize the problem statement, objectives, facts, and ideas. According to many famous academic writers, it also uses a vocabulary specific to the discipline.

academic writers,

Different disciplines demand different styles of writing. For instance, while science students use factual information with dense, shorter paragraphs, humanities students write elaborate sentences with in-depth details about a particular topic.

To become the best academic writer, you need to research your discipline and follow the demanded structure for each writing task. Some ways to do so are:

  • By asking for details and more information from your tutor, supervisor, or lecturer
  • Studying different articles of your discipline and researching the prestige journals
  • Referring to the academic writings of the students in your respective discipline

Types of academic writing

There are four main types of professional writing, with specific language features and purposes for each class, which are mentioned below in detail.


This is the simplest form of academic writing, whose purpose is to impart factual information on the topic of discussion. This can include a summary of an article, lab reports, or reports of certain types of experiments, etc. The process of writing descriptive writing follows five simple steps:

  • Identify
  • Report
  • Record
  • Summarize
  • Define



Although descriptive is the simplest type of academic writing, no essay or research can be purely descriptive. Analytical writing is a branch of descriptive writing which includes re-organizing all the facts and gathered information into parts, groups, categories, types of relationships, etc., to deliver well-structured content. The simple steps in writing analytical content are:

  • Analyze
  • Compare
  • Contrast
  • Relate
  • Examine


Any form of academic writing or college writing demands students to go one step further, write their point of view on the problem statement, and deliver a viable solution. This is called persuasive wiring. However, a critical aspect of this is to back each claim and support it with research and information from case studies. Simple steps to follow in this type of writing are:

  • Argue
  • Evaluate
  • Discuss
  • Take a stand


This form of academic writing is common for researchers, advanced graduates, and postgraduate students. While persuasive writing needs at least one point of view of the writer, a critical essay demands a minimum of two points of view. This form of writing involves the following steps:

  • Critique
  • Debate
  • disagree
  • Evaluate
What is Academic Writing? What are the Different Types of Academic Writing?
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