UMGC Library

Research Tutorial

Academic Writing

Academic Writing is the style of writing most UMGC classes will demand. It focuses on finding and presenting research to support your point of view and explaining differing points of view. The main sources for your research will be: class readings, library resources (articles, case studies, books, etc.), and your personal experiences.

For a comprehensive overview of writing in the academic environment, see UMGC's Online Guide to Writing and Research: Writing.

Types of Academic Writing Assignments:

Annotated Bibliography: An annotated bibliography is a list of articles, books, etc., that you plan to use in your research paper. In the list, you briefly summarize and analyze each item. An annotated bibliography is a useful “bridge” between the research and the writing stages of an academic paper.

Research Paper: In a research paper, you use ideas and facts from articles, books, etc., as well as your own ideas, to coherently argue your point of view on your research.

Essay: Essays tend to be shorter writing projects. They may or may not require you to do research.

Article or Book Review: In a review of an article or book, you summarize and analyze the central ideas of the article or book.

Reaction Paper: In a reaction paper, you give your thoughts on a particular issue or idea.

Subject Specific Writing

In addition to these types of common writing assignments, you may also be assigned to write a type of document more specific to your area of study. The links below provide more information about types of writing in different disciplines.

Business (professional, technical writing): includes examples of business letters, memos, and reports.

Communication (journalism and journalistic writing): includes suggestions for writing leads and press releases.

Literature: includes tips for writing about poetry and literature.

Social Sciences: includes guidelines for writing literature reviews and reports.

History: includes tips on writing and research.