Differences and Examples of Analytical and Descriptive Writing

Analytical and Descriptive Writing

There are many writing genres, for example analytical and descriptive to name two. The different writing genres are used to do different things. Analytical writing for example is used to make a detailed examination of something in order to understand its nature and its essential features. As for descriptive writing it gives a picture to the reader of what is being said. There is more description so the reader can see what is going on without having to be there. With all essays it is important to know which style of writing is being asked of the writer. This paper will discuss the difference between both writing styles, the elements of each style, the appropriate use, and give an example of analytical and descriptive writing.

Difference between analytical and descriptive writing

Analytical writing is a simple, direct and to the point writing style. It is a way to get the point across so that readers find what is important and why without having to read all the detail. The writer analyzes the information for the reader allowing him or her to find the answer to what is important and why. This type of writing is important in many ways it is used in higher education, the workplace and in a student’s personal life. According to the Kentucky Department of Education (2010) the mental skills involved in this type of writing help students develop as critical thinkers and as learners. The communication skills developed through analytical writing help students solve problems, extend our understanding of subjects, and make changes that can benefit our society.

Besides analytical writing there is descriptive writing. This type of writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writers experience (The Writing Site, 2008). With this kind of writing the writer uses descriptive details to describe what they are discussing or talking about. Using the five senses is a way to get the reader engaged. Humans use their five senses to understand the world around them so adding sensory detail into a descriptive paper will engage the reader.

Elements of Analytical and Descriptive Writing

Some elements of analytical writing are being precise and straight to the point. Not giving details and letting the reader know what is important and why. Explanation and argumentation are other elements of analytical writing. Before explaining the topic the writer should have reliable information from different sources. This type of writing is not descriptive or argumentative, it requires for the writer to present and analyze something and come up with a solution.

Some elements of descriptive writing are using descriptive details to support your topic and allow the reader to connect and visualize what you are writing about. Some other elements include using rich, vivid, and lively detail, figurative language such as simile, hyperbole, metaphor, symbolism and personification, and showing rather than telling through the use of active verbs and precise modifiers (The Writing Site, 2008).
Appropriate Use of Each Style

Each writing style is used in different ways and therefore the writer must decide what type of style the paper calls for and who their audience is. With an analytical paper the writer must choose what his or her topic is find published research sources, analyze it and decide what is important and why. Besides an analytical paper there is also the descriptive paper.

A descriptive essay provides a detailed and vivid experience to the reader. They use detailed observations and descriptions and stay away from statistics and facts. So it depends on what time of paper is asked of the writer.

Paragraph Example of Each Style of Writing

An example of a paragraph in an analytical essay:
According to the Department of Education it is important to continue to develop and support a world class educational system. This includes providing highly qualified and effective teachers who are prepared in teaching the children of tomorrow.

An example of a paragraph in a descriptive essay:
As I leaned back and rested my head against the top of the chair, my eyelids began to feel heavy, and the edges of the empty plate in front of me blended in with the white tablecloth.

Kentucky Department of Education (2010). Retrieved March 24, 2011, from

The Writing Site (2008). Retrieved March 24, 2011, from http://www.thewritingsite.org/resources/genre/descriptive.asp