We use the term genres to describe categories of written texts that have recognizable patterns, syntax, techniques, and/or conventions. This list represents genres students can expect to encounter during their time at Duke. The list is not intended to be inclusive of all genres but rather representative of the most common ones. Click on each genre for detailed information (definition, questions to ask, actions to take, and helpful links).

  1. Abstract (quick tips)
  2. Abstract (UNC)
  3. Academic Email
  4. Annotated Bibliography
  5. Argument Essay
  6. Autobiographical Reflection
  7. Blogs
  8. Book Review
  9. Business Letter (Purdue)
  10. Close Reading
  11. Compare/Contrast: see Relating Multiple Texts
  12. Concert Review
  13. Cover Letter
  14. Creative Non-fiction
  15. Creative Writing
  16. Curriculum Vitae
  17. Essay Exams (Purdue)
  18. Ethnography
  19. Film Review
  20. Grant Proposals (UNC)
  21. Group Essays
  22. Laboratory Report
  23. Letters to the Editor
  24. Literature Review
  25. Memo (for public policy memos, see policy memo)
  26. Mission Statement
  27. Op-ed
  28. Oral Presentations
  29. Performance Review
  30. Personal Statement: Humanities
  31. Personal Statement: Professional School/Scholarship
  32. Poetry Explication
  33. Policy Memo
  34. Presentation: Convert your Paper into a Talk
  35. Program II Duke Application Tips
  36. Relating Multiple Texts
  37. Research and Grant Proposals
  38. Response/Reaction Paper
  39. Resume, Non-academic (click here for a useful list of action verbs from Boston College)
  40. Science Writing
    1. Scientific Article Review
    2. Scientific Writing for Scientists (quick tips)
    3. Scientific Writing for Scientists (longer article from American Scientist)
    4. Scientific Writing for Scientists: Improving Clarity
    5. Scientific Writing for a Popular Audience
    6. Scientific Jargon
  41. Summary
  42. Timed Essays/Essay Exams
  43. Visual Analysis