4 Types of Writing Every College Student Should Know About

Right from primary school, kids learn that when writing an essay or telling a story, there are certain patterns they should follow. When a child is given the assignment to write an essay, the teacher provides guidelines and clearly defines the topic. As one advances to college, these patterns are precisely categorized into the various types of writing, which include reflective, analytical, expository, and persuasive writing. By understanding these, you get in a position to perform well and excel in your major.

1. Reflective Writing

Concerning commonness, reflective writing takes first place. This is the writing where you are asked to think back on events that have already taken place or experiences you have gone through. Reflected writing is personal in that you apply your voice and help the reader understand the context from your perspective. Because of that, it is encouraged that students utilize the personal pronoun “I”.

With reflective writing, you are not being asked to give an exhausting description of the events, but rather to narrate just enough while elaborating on the vital ideas that shape your convictions. For instance, you can give your interpretation, explaining why you think things happened the way they did as well as the outcomes you observed. Reflective writing does not follow any specific structures, and it allows you to convey ideas your way. Hence, it is one of the simplest writing styles.

Related Article: Types of Academic Writing

2. Analytic Writing

Simply put, this is where you are provided with a text or data and asked to respond to it. In other words, analytical writing is all about providing analyses of other pieces of information. You may be given a section of a book or a case study and asked to elucidate the thesis while giving your claims. With this style, all claims have to be backed with evidence to support them.

To create worthy analyses, you ought to use educational websites and peer-reviewed sources and books as your sources of information. Moreover, complement that with your experience in the matter.

3. Persuasive Writing

Just as the name suggests, persuasive writing involves trying to convince the reader that your opinion is practical and that they should adopt it. It is a more complex essay subject where you dive into a certain popular viewpoint and try to disapprove it. Or, you could take on an unpopular idea and endeavour to show why the reader should welcome it.

What makes persuasive writing a difficult matter is that it sets out to try to change the way people think, which is not an easy task. For instance, you may be trying to illustrate to a lover of meat why it is immoral to slaughter an animal and eat its flesh.

The secret to crafting an effective persuasive essay is to understand the reader. When you already know what they might disagree with, you know the line along which to make your arguments, so they listen. Moreover, you know how to find some middle ground.

4. Expository

In expository essays, you have an idea to inspect and elaborate logically and straightforwardly. After that, you are to come up with an unbiased analysis that is based on existing facts. Like other types of essays, expository writing should have a beginning, a body, and an end. In the beginning, you are to write the thesis clearly and concisely. Then in the paragraphs, you are to provide the reader with facts and details regarding the topic.

The purpose of an expository essay, students believe, is not to discredit what the writer has presented. Neither is it meant to present personal opinions. Instead, the objective is to put forth a strong thesis backed by evidence-based facts.


As you familiarize yourself with these writing styles, it is good to appreciate that often, when crafting long essays, you will not center on just one style. Mostly, you will find yourself having to combine two or more of these writing types.

The reason why writing is such a crucial part of a college education is that it helps you grow your ideas. By doing research and writing on a variety of topics, you deepen your understanding of wide-ranging subjects. The gained knowledge will then assist you not only in passing your exams but also later in your career.