Genres of Writing

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 (Introduction)
  8. Blogs (Academic)
  9. Book Review
  10. Business Letter (Purdue)
  11. Close Reading
  12. Compare/Contrast: see Relating Multiple Texts
  13. Concert Review
  14. Cover Letter
  15. Creative Non-fiction
  16. Creative Writing
  17. Curriculum Vitae
  18. Essay Exams (Purdue)
  19. Ethnography
  20. Film Review
  21. Grant Proposals (UNC)
  22. Group Essays
  23. Laboratory Report
  24. Letters to the Editor
  25. Literature Review
  26. Memo
  27. Mission Statement
  28. Op-ed
  29. Oral Presentations
  30. Performance Review
  31. Personal Statement: Humanities
  32. Personal Statement: Professional School/Scholarship
  33. Poetry Explication
  34. Policy Memo
  35. Presentation: Convert your Paper into a Talk
  36. Program II Duke Application Tips
  37. Relating Multiple Texts
  38. Research and Grant Proposals
  39. Response/Reaction Paper
  40. Resume, Non-academic (useful list of action verbs from Boston College)
  41. 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
  42. Summary
  43. Timed Essays/Essay Exams
  44. Visual Analysis