Throughout college, students write thesis papers, research outlines, and immense amounts of essays. They describe, analyze, and evaluate specific topics and issues and attempt to make their writing stand out. A research paper has to be reinforced by facts and quotations. An essay comprises a combination of facts and the author’s interpretation of the matter.
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Writing is a part of many academic disciplines. It helps develop critical thinking and helps put thoughts in logical order. Two very different styles—descriptive and critical—are also the most popular ones. They share structural elements common for all papers but otherwise are dissimilar.
A descriptive text aims to be simple and informative, comprising a step-by-step analysis of an issue. The name of this writing type is quite self-explanatory. Here, a complex problem gets explained through evidence, facts, and statistics.
A critical work, in its turn, analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, and methods employed in an original work. It could be a critical analysis of a peer’s paper, a literary piece, or a scientific theory, depending on the area.
Both writing kinds demand profound knowledge of the matter. A critical one also presupposes having knowledge of the field in general.
The main aim of critical writing is to show deep knowledge of the subject through its evaluation. Thus, it does not simply describe a theory/work but weighs it against other theories, works, or items of the same kind.
To give a full assessment, one needs to indicate the strengths and weaknesses of either the object in question (article, book, film, etc.) or the methods used to create it.
Descriptive essays show the general picture to the reader. Such papers pursue a goal to see a detailed picture of the subject and give information. Moreover, they should not, in any case, contain any evaluation.
Skills Acquired Through Writing
Besides basic writing skills, the two types of pencraft help develop a couple more competencies.
Descriptive essays focus on a single object or a group of similar ones and provide their overall description. They help develop:
Critical papers need the writer to master critical thinking, basic command of logical analysis, and aptitude for studying the chosen subject as an element of the whole field.
As stated above, the two types share certain similarities in their structural aspects. Yet, the differences are too essential to omit them.
The structure of critical texts does not differ much from classical introduction-main-body-conclusion type of writing. Yet, such essays open with a summary of the original text’s key points rather than some vague introduction.
The summary is usually followed by a detailed analysis of all aspects of the article, for instance. The analysis should include explanations of whether (and how) the author managed to achieve their goals.
Descriptive texts follow the traditional structure. Usually, the writer introduces the described item, theory, or idea immediately. Yet, there is an option to smoothly immerse the reader into the subject, while critical essays must follow a strict pattern.
The linguistic means used in the two kinds of essays differ as well. Critical writing has more evaluative and quantitative adjectives than descriptive ones. The latter is more common for descriptive narratives. The overall flow of these works is different due to the ultimate goals they help achieve.
The first type also has fewer personal pronouns. Also, it usually uses different sources to strengthen the analysis. This feature ensures an academic approach to writing and makes the final text sound distant and less subjective.
The descriptive text needs to draw attention to the matter. This side goal is achieved through the use of various figures of speech, from similes to hyperboles.
As writing guides suggest, any essay should end with a conclusion that gives closure to the narration. The final part of a descriptive text summarizes everything noted by the author and gives rather broad conclusions.
The conclusion of a critical essay needs to show the links between the studied elements and their effect on the field, time, or whatever their common background may be.
To Sum It Up
When writing any type of essay, it is best to remember that it is not a novel. Pick a few basic arguments to cover the topic and make the point clear.
Define features specific to the assigned paper using the information from this article and study the subject. These are keys to successful essay writing. Meanwhile, you can acquire “deep understanding of the subject” in 30 minutes spent browsing the internet.