UMGC Library

Research Tutorial: Academic Writing

Academic Writing

Academic Writing is the style of writing most UMGC classes will demand. It focuses on finding and presenting research to support a point of view and explaining differing points of view. The main sources for research are: 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 asked 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.