4.2 Writing at university

The knowledge you'll acquire at university is shaped by the research practices within the academic disciplines. These research practices vary from discipline to discipline and influence how knowledge is represented through writing. For instance, essays are more common in the Arts and Social Sciences and reports are found more often in the Physical and Life Sciences.

Depending on the subject area you're studying, you'll probably meet some new writing genres and text types and find they have different features from the writing you did at school. Click on the text types below to learn more.

If you want to become a more skilled writer it is important that you understand the purpose and features of the type of text you need to write. The genre of the text will largely determine the choices you'll have to make about style, structure and language. However, if you are unsure about details of the type of text you are required to write, always check with your lecturer or tutor.

Explore the links below to learn more about how you can structure your assignments.

Further reading

• Essay writing (University of Auckland) 
Business report (University of Auckland) 
Lab report (University of Auckland)
• Literature review - MedSci (University of Auckland)
• Literature review (University of North Carolina C.H) 

 • Annotated bibliography (Massey University)
 • Critical review of an article (University of Auckland)
 • Reflective writing (University of Auckland)
 • Legal writing (University of Sydney)
 • Case study (University of South Wales)
 • E-mail communication (University of North Carolina C.H)

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