In lots of academic texts you will have to use one or more type. As an example, in an thesis that is empirical
- you are going to use critical writing into the literature review to show where there is a gap or opportunity into the existing research
- the techniques section will be mostly descriptive to summarise the techniques used to collect and analyse information
- the results section will likely to be mostly descriptive and analytical you collected as you report on the data
- 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 report of the outcomes of an experiment.
The kinds of instructions for a purely descriptive assignment include: 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, you also re-organise the known facts and information you describe into categories, groups, parts, types or relationships.
Sometimes, these categories or relationships already are the main discipline, sometimes you certainly will create them specifically for your text. For example, if you’re comparing two theories, you may break your comparison into several parts, for instance: how each theory relates to social context, how each theory deals with language learning, and exactly how each theory may be used in practice.
The kinds of instructions for an assignment that is analytical: analyse, compare, contrast, relate, examine.
To produce your writing more analytical:
- spend sufficient time planning. Brainstorm the known facts and ideas, and try other 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. Continue reading “The four main types of academic writing are descriptive, analytical, persuasive and critical.”