Different Kinds of Writing

Level: Basic

You will be asked to do different kinds of writing on your course. Academic essays, reports, short emails, reflective pieces all require different styles and approaches.

Before you start a piece of work, you will need to know what kind of writing you are embarking on. The key pieces of information are the audience you are writing for, and the purpose of the piece.

For an essay or piece of formal course work:

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For a report

We usually write reports because we want something, e.g. to prove a case, or to gain funding for a project. To ensure we get what we want we need to ensure our reports are ofillustration high quality. It is the vehicle of your message.

People who read reports usually receive many of them. Your report needs to get their attention, and keep it! The reader of your report is usually very busy, your report must be either be brief or contain signposts which direct the reader to the section of your report which is most relevant to them.

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Reflective Writing

Reflective writing can be an unstructured, private and personal process for yourself, or a structured, analytical public product for others  Reflective writing is not usually used when writing essays or reports, but when creating diaries or logs of practice or placements. Personal Development Planning requires a reflective style.

Both Academic and Reflective Writing It will be linked to specific genres of writing, e.g critical incidents and journals It will refer to personal behaviour, reactions or feelings of self or others and include observation and evaluation It may be quite descriptive It may be quite informal and closer to everyday speech, using first and second person.

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Topics for further study:

  • Academic Style
  • Reflective Writing
  • Report Writing
  • Writing an essay
  • Paragraphs


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Last updated on: 6th December 2006