These four types of writing share many elements. Each one requires:
• an analysis of a given topic, i.e. breaking a topic down sufficiently into its important parts;
• a careful selection of the parts / information provided by the analysis to suit both the purpose of the writing and the audience's needs;
• a style of writing that is suited to the audience, i.e. writing that is authoritative, clear, well-structured and lively.
Writing to Analyse
• Analysing means breaking something down into its key parts. This is necessary to allow you to choose which key parts are relevant to the purpose of the writing and to the audience it will have.
• Having selected the key parts, you then need to examine and assess their individual meaning or qualities to learn how they contribute to the whole.
o A piece of analytical writing is usually in the form of an argumentative essay. Writing to Review
• Reviewing requires you, once again, to analyse/break down a given topic to uncover, consider and discuss its key parts. Reviews require writing that is lively and authoritative and which shows good judgment and careful consideration.
o A review is usually written as a magazine or newspaper article with a media audience in mind, i.e. a general adult audience. It's usually subject is a film or TV programme.
o Reviews require a friendly, lively yet also authoritative style. This requires some skill as it combines standard English with careful use of appropriate colloquial language.
Writing to Comment
• Commenting is a more personal and opinionated style of writing; it is, therefore, more subjective than reviewing or explaining.
o You might be asked to write a comment for a magazine or newspaper article or as a speech.
o A commentary needs to be a well-considered personal assessment, one that remains focused tightly throughout on its topic, sticking with just this: it is your individual view of what you consider important about the topic.
o Commentaries must never...