Glossary

Writing assignments can be pretty challenging. Not to get lost in the great deep sea of terms, categories, types of writings one has to define clearly all the necessary data for a successful research and productive writing. That’s why we’ve created glossary of main terms used during writing assignments of all types. This will help you not to get lost in the great world of writing and will give a clear view on all types of writings possible. Study with us and thank you for using WritingsCentre.com.

This type of essay is generally a short written piece that forms part of an application for a college or university course. Admission essays come in different types – letters stating one’s intention, personal statements, statements of purpose and so on.
An essay of this type takes a broad topic and breaks it down into subtopics, providing an analysis of each subtopic and offering an opinion on it. The process generally involves explaining how each component part of the broader topic relates to the other parts.
Letters of this type are business-like in nature and they are an applicant’s method of corresponding with a company or organization, an educational institution, or any type of review board, committee or panel. A letter of application is generally submitted by a candidate when they want to apply for a college or university course, a job, a grant or a scholarship.
Also known as an article critique or summary, this is a literary critique that evaluates and analyzes the key points of an article. An article review can be formal, partly formal or informal,
A bibliography is a reference list that covers articles, books and various documents. Each entry in the list contains a short (approximately 150 words) explanation or description of the reference, its purpose and how it is used. The aim of the annotated entry is to let the reader(s) know that the cited sources are accurate, relevant and of good quality.
Essentially, a book review is a brief description of a specific book and the writer’s opinion of that book. The purpose of a review is to critically evaluate the book’s content with solid examples to back up the review writer’s opinions.
A brainstorming session is usually held to generate as many ideas (in words or phrases) as possible on a given subject, ideas that can subsequently be reviewed and selected or discarded.
These are documents that are developed to identify and define particular goals concerning the start-up and/or development of a business or a specific project. The plan sets out the steps needed to achieve specified goals and it should indicate the budgetary requirements for each stage. Generally, business plans are developed for newly founded businesses or within one that intend to significantly change its operation(s).
A capstone project is a weighty academic paper required of final-term students. The paper should describe a specific problem and propose a solution. Essentially, a project of this type should demonstrate all the knowledge and skills the writer has accumulated from different classes and subjects during their years of study.
A style of academic paper, often based on scientific or naturalistic investigations, case studies are usually undertaken to examine the quality of performance in various field studies or research projects. Being of an investigative nature, the writer is expected to read, observe, examine, inquire, test and produce a report on certain processes and their outcome.
This is a style of essay that provides an explanation as to how certain events or conditions have or cause various effects. Put another way, the task of the writer is to demonstrate how specific actions have consequences. Mostly, the writer will need to show how several events or actions have a single effect, or how a single event or action can have multiple effects.
This is a type of academic essay that compares two items or more. The essay can be more comparative in nature or it can place more emphasis on contrast, depending on how much the writer focuses on the likenesses or differences of the items in question.
This is a broad term for homework or scholarly work undertaken separate from attending class, doing a specific assignment, or preparing for final exams. Very often, coursework involves a research project based on the student’s particular course of study. The aim is for the student to demonstrate their ability to carry out research work and analyze data in both an empirical and theoretical manner.
A cover letter is a form of correspondence that a candidate submits with their CV or resume as part of a job application or inquiry about a job. Generally, a cover letter should not exceed one page in length and its aim is to present the writer in the best light possible. This type of letter should not repeat any information already provided in the applicant’s resume.
This form of academic essay is usually classic in nature – made up of an introductory paragraph, a few body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph. It is usually based on a specific text, which the writer should interpret and analyze. While critical essays are often mistaken for reviews, the former are more similar in style to formal essays. They should be based on academic observations and any factual information should be properly referenced.
The purpose of this type of essay is to explain in detail what a particular term means. The writer should also support their description with facts and/or examples. Explanations like these are required where terms are abstract, special, are in dispute or where there is no generally available meaning. For example, the way some people define words such as ‘abuse’ or ‘slavery’ can be quite different.
As the name might suggest, this style of essay provides an in-depth description of some item, which may be an object, an event, a place, a situation or even a person. The essay’s primary purpose is to provide a detailed and vivid description of the subject so that the reader gets a real and clear picture of it.
These are lengthy documents based on a piece of research work by an author and their findings. A dissertation is the final stage in obtaining a degree or other professional-style qualification. A paper of this type requires a lot of research using sources of a primary and secondary nature. The paper also demonstrates the writer’s creative thinking skills, their ability to critically analyze research material and sources, and the particular knowledge they have acquired over the course of their studies.
This is the process of reviewing, improving and correcting a written text. Generally, an author edits their own work or gets a professional editor to edit their work so that it is perfect or at least meets expected standards.
Business email is a style of correspondence sent from or received by an organization. Its objective is to inform employees, ask questions, coordinates project activities, or to generally communicate within a business. The tone and structure of business-related email should be formal (opposed to personal email, which can be informal in nature).
An essay is a type of prosaic and precise writing that is often required for personal, scholarly or business purposes. Usually, an essay does not exceed ten pages in length, but some can be fifty pages or more. Essays are a common type of assignment in academic circles and they are usually made up of three primary parts: an introductory paragraph, a few body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
This genre of essay is critical in nature and evaluates specific objects, events or phenomena. The writer critically evaluates the given objects against specific criteria in order to come up with solid evidence that is both balanced and fair. This allows the reader to draw their own conclusions on the subject matter.
This is a written piece that is primarily used in academic environments. The writer examines and/or describes a given process in a thorough manner, undertakes an analysis of a particular concept, examines an event in detail, provides detailed instructions about something or other, or describes a procedure or methodology.
This is the complete and final copy of a written text. A final draft requires the writer to resolve any technical issues and ensure the instructions provided by the publisher or tutor have been precisely adhered to.
A general research paper is a written piece that is longer than a standard essay and one that requires more research effort.
Grammar is the basic structural foundation or the rules that govern how words, phrases and clauses are created and applied in a language.
Sometimes referred to as a grant proposal, a grant application is a written piece one produces in order to obtain funding for some project or other or for a business venture. To create a successful application, the writer needs to prove that their project is worthy and better than any other proposed projects they are competing against.
A lab report is a written piece that fully describes a particular research activity or process, explains how the work was done and why it was undertaken. It also describes the findings and whether these were as expected. A lab report should be succinctly written and the information in it should be fact-based and accurate.
In a review of this type, the writer describes a particular movie and provides an analysis of the content. The reviewer also offers their own opinion of the movie and may make recommendations about it. A movie review can be formal in style or informal. It generally includes information about the cast, production crew, the year it was made, when it premiered, and how it was received by other reviewers and the public.
These are written pieces that review the song(s) or and/or album(s) of a particular musician.
A genre of writing that narrates a given situation or event. This type of essay is essentially a shortened form of novel writing and is only marginally different from writing short stories. The primary aim is to recount a story in a way that both interests and engages the reader.
An outline is the basic plan upon which a written piece is crafted. An outline is generally linked with essay writing and the aim is to provide the writer with an overview and clear direction for their work.
These are brief documents that provide a subjective description of the writer. The language should be both expressive and error-free. Personal statements are often written as part of the application process for colleges and universities. They provide an overview of the applicant’s motivation and goals for taking a particular course or studying at a particular institution.
Essays of this type are based on a specific argument. Hence, they are sometimes referred to as argumentative essays. The writer’s objective is to use various persuasive tools and techniques to convince their reader(s) to agree with their viewpoint.
Reflecting on a piece of poetry (also called a poem review) involves the analysis of the poetic techniques and instruments of the piece as well as an examination of the language and figures employed by the poet. The reviewer may also offer their own views of the poem.
This is the art of explaining and demonstrating particular material using certain tools, techniques and/or equipment. Presentations are generally accompanied by formal or informal speeches.
A process paper or “how to” guide is essentially a set of instructions that shows users how to do something, how something happens or how something works. A paper of this type can cover any topic, from baking a cake to writing a dissertation or undertaking a scientific experiment. Excellent subject matter knowledge is required because the aim is to provide readers with the know-how to accomplish a certain task by themselves.
A recommendation letter or letter of recommendation is, effectively, a testimonial document that is written to recommend someone for something or to support an application. This letter usually vouches for the skills and personal qualities of the subject and their suitability for a particular job, place at college and so on.
A reference letter is an official statement that is used in business and is submitted by a candidate as proof that the information provided on their CV or resume is true. This type of letter can be used to validate claims that the applicant has certain skills, qualifications and/or experience. An employer may also use it to confirm someone is or was employed by their organization or they may provide a support letter to confirm someone has the necessary skills for some specific task. Reference letters provided by college tutors or professors are used to validate an applicant’s claims about their academic record/qualifications.
This genre of essay describes the writer’s thoughts and feelings about particular phenomena or events. This type of writing is good for sharpening one’s ability to think critically and for developing the skills to formulate and express one’s own opinions on a given topic.
Research is essential for virtually every scholarly assignment. It involves learning about a topic and uncovering information about it. Research is necessary for supporting a writer’s thesis statement, any facts they present, and any conclusions they draw.
An academic project of this type expects the student to undertake a certain amount of empirical and/or theoretical research on a given topic. The size of these papers can vary. A college-style research paper may be up to twenty pages while a thesis paper or dissertation are much lengthier and are completed over a much longer timeframe.
Proposals are concise documents that provide information as to why a certain piece of research work is valid or justified. A writer may use the justification that insufficient information exists about a certain subject that existing information is inconsistent or that doubts have been raised over previous findings.
This is a style of document that a candidate submits with a job application or when inquiring about a vacancy. The information on a resume should be precise and should cover the applicant’s academic record, achievements, work experience, specific skills, personal characteristics and general interests. Often, a resume is submitted with a cover, motivational or recommendation letter.
Reviews are brief summaries or descriptions of an article, book, movie, theatre show and so on. The primary goal is to provide readers with clear information about the subject along with your own opinion and, perhaps, the opinions of others who have under taken critiques.
This is an academic piece requesting scholarship sponsorship to undertake some type of study. Therefore, the aim is to impress the scholarship committee at the institution you are applying to and to show you are a worthy candidate. You should explain your motivation and how you expect to contribute positively to life at the academy/institution.
A speech is usually a short talk or monologue on particular subject matter. The aim is generally to motivate or persuade a targeted audience towards a certain goal or action. Depending on the purpose, a speech may be formal in nature e.g. if it is a lecture or business presentation, or it may be informal e.g. if it is celebrating an anniversary, birthday, retirement and so on.
These are relatively short essays that introduce an applicant to a potential employer or to the admissions board at a university or college. Documents of this type should list the applicant’s educational record, any relevant job experience, their goals/objectives and their motivation for pursuing a certain major or profession.
Summary essays can be divided into two types. The first is a reader summarization that one writes to gain a better understanding of some piece they have just read. The second is the summary essay, a synopsis of an original text that is written for the benefit of others. The aim of the latter is to tell the readers what the source material is about so that they do not have to read the entire piece.
A writer’s style can be described as the way they use words, phrases, language, tone, format and syntax to express themselves.
These are scholarly assignments that involve a small amount of research and are based on the material a student covers over a given term or year. Instructors and examiners use these papers to assess how much the student has learnt, how good they are at researching and how well they can aggregate their overall course material.
These are weighty papers that scholars must produce at the end of their undergraduate or Master’s studies (USA system) or at the end of their postgraduate studies (UK system). A thesis is written to support a candidate’s application for a particular degree course and it generally includes a hypothesis, as developed by the student over the duration of their course.
These statements are usually comprised of one or two sentences that concisely state the main point or key message of a paper. The statement should convey the writer’s stance on the topic and it helps the reader to follow the essay’s argument(s).
A transitional word or phrase is used to ensure ideas flow smoothly from one to another. They also connect different parts within the essay, making the work more legible and easier to follow.