Types of Writing



Top Tips

Find out the conventions for different types of writing in particular disciplines:

  1. Check the course and department websites for examples or explanations.
    Useful advice on specific genres: 
    The Book Review or Article Critique, Writing an Annotated Bibliography, The Literature Review, The Comparative Essay, Writing about History, Writing in the Sciences, and The Lab Report.         

  2. Seek guidance from your professor.

  3. Look for handbooks and guides on how to write in specific disciplines.

  4. Undertake research on different types of documents by looking at what is available on the internet. For example, putting in the words “discussion papers for conferences” brings up a wide variety of discussion papers for a conference audience.

  5. Writing in Engineering, University of Toronto. Rhetorical patterns.

Top Tips Handout

Enhance your Wellness

Writing for extended periods of time requires energy, attention and concentration. Giving yourself a short break may reboot your thinking. Get outdoors, have a nutritious snack, connect with a friend. Or consider a brief mindfulness moment. Check out this short video called “One Moment Meditation: How to Meditate in a Moment”.

For more wellness resources, see https://services.viu.ca/counselling/health-wellness-resources.

Student Support Areas

Connect Concepts

Types of Writing Concept Map

Value for Me?

It can be hard to get started on a piece of writing when it’s in an unfamiliar genre or discipline. For example, if you’re used to writing lab reports, you might not know how to get started on a thesis-driven essay.

You will find that each discipline has its own special norms and customs when it comes to text and information structure.

Technology Integration

Studious -planner
Productivity app

iAnnotate PDF
PDFs are a staple of an student’s academic life - highlighting text, writing notes, circling, marking, and more options.

OfficeSuite Pro 7 (PDF & HD)
Write a paper, create a presentation, or make a spreadsheet.