College writing, also called academic writing, teaches critical thinking and writing skills useful both in class and in other areas of life. College courses demand many different kinds of writing using a variety of strategies for different audiences. Sometimes your instructor will assign a topic and define the audience; sometimes you will have to define the topic and audience yourself.
You will write many different types of assignments throughout your college career. Each type of assignment has specific requirements for content and format. The process of completing these assignments teaches you about the series of decisions you must make as you forge the link between your information and your audience. Click on the arrows below for some assignment types typically assigned in college.
Most college writing emphasizes the knowledge you gain in class and through research. This makes such writing different from your previous writing and perhaps more challenging. Instructors may expect your essays to contain more research and to show that you are capable of effectively evaluating those sources. You might be expected to incorporate sophisticated expository techniques, such as argument and persuasion, and to avoid flawed thinking, such as false assumptions and leaps in logic. You will often use the skills you learn in college writing throughout your life.