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The Different Types of Academic Assignments

At the tertiary level of education, the academic knowledge of students increases so does the level of assignments. Academic assignments are frequently given to students to test their understanding of the subject and area as a whole.

In general, there are four main types of academic assignments as follows: essays, reports, case studies, and reviews.


An essay is a text that provides the author’s answer and standing on a particular question and issue, respectively. The student is required to choose a particular stance, formulate a thesis statement and present an argument supporting the same. The argument is expected to be backed by evidence from verified academic materials to increase the credibility. The first stage of essay writing is researching on the topic given. Based on the research, you have to choose your standing on the issue. After this, one can start penning the essay in the following structure: Introduction (outline the topic and stance), body (detail the evidence supporting your argument) and conclusion (provide a general comment/judgment on the entire essay).


A report is an investigation of any problem or a procedure such as a scientific experiment. As in a thesis, you are expected to make recommendations. In general, there are two types of reports: business report and scientific and research report. In the former, one has to write a report in such a way that it helps one make apt decisions. In the latter, one has to evaluate and discuss the research executed. A report, irrespective of the type, follows a skeletal structure: executive summary, introduction, the definition of terms, process, findings, and conclusion.

Case studies:

A case study is an analysis that is carried out over a selected period of time. This type of text amasses and presents a detailed account on any chosen subject such as a situation, community or even an organization. Through this analysis, one can understand the reasoning behind the occurrence of a particular event. In turn, one can use the knowledge to solve the proposed problem. In a case study, one has to identify the issue in the abstract and introduction, detail the research methodology used, present the findings drawn, discuss the findings, conclude and make recommendations.


A critical review of an article or a journal is carried out so as to expose oneself to a multitude of works of other authors. While writing an article review the questions to ask yourself are as follows:

  • Who is my reader?

  • Do I and the reader have a common ground of knowledge? If no, what are the terms I have to define beforehand?

  • What is the argument of the article?

  • What is the significance of the article?

  • What is the significance of the review?

  • What is my standing?

  • What is the evidence for my standing?

Contrarily, in the literature review, one examines the important ideas written across literature on the selected area rather than focusing on an individual article. It helps understand the current trends in the area and also the gaps in the same for further research.

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