8 Most Common Writing Tasks Every Student Will Face

Writing is one of the essential skills that everyone should possess. So, all students inevitably face writing tasks in all academic institutions – from primary schools to universities. These tasks vary a lot and get more complex every year. Still, there are some assignments that are more common than others. 

To give you an overview of the most popular writing assignments that students typically have to deal with, we’ve put together this list. Here, you’ll find the tasks along with their descriptions. 


Essays are undoubtedly the most common writing tasks students get starting from primary school. Of course, a primary school essay is quite different from a college essay, so there is a lot of confusion as to what exactly an essay is. 

Roughly, all academic papers can be called essays. But that is, of course, a huge overgeneralization. Oxford dictionary defines an essay as “a short piece of writing on a particular subject”, without going into detail. 

In practice, students starting from high school usually get to write five-paragraph essays that consist of an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

There also are many types of essays. The most common are:

  • narrative;
  • descriptive;
  • argumentative; 
  • expository. 

However, these are not all the types – there are many more. If you find it difficult to sort them out, you can always get help from essay service professionals. Qualified writers at such services know all the nuances and will provide you with a perfect example paper.

It is also crucial to ask questions if you don’t quite understand your task before you even start doing it. Ask your teacher to specify all the details along with the exact essay type, and the writing process will become much easier! 

Book Reports 

Book reports are easy assignments that are usually given to K-12 students who are just learning how to express their thoughts adequately in writing. A book report is typically a retelling of the plot with a focus on the events that happen, the characters, and the main idea. 

However, it doesn’t mean that book reports are never assigned in college. Sometimes they are, but college-level book reports must be more complex and have a higher word count.

Generally, all book reports can also be considered five-paragraph essays as they also consist of five paragraphs. These are:

  • Introduction;
  • Book summary;
  • Characters’ descriptions;
  • Plot narrative;
  • Conclusion.

Book reports are not considered to be difficult assignments. Still, there’s one thing students have to remember: before starting to write anything, it’s essential to actually read the book. 

Book Reviews 

Book reviews are often confused with book reports. But in fact, these are two different types of assignments. Book reviews are typically more complex and, therefore, are usually assigned to college students. They also appear in media and academic journals as professional works. 

These assignments are very popular in schools everywhere, including the US and Canada. If French is your native language, the task can be daunting. In this case, a simple “essay writing service Canada” request can solve the problem.

If you’re writing on your own, keep in mind that the difference between a book review and a book report is that a review is less detailed. There is usually no summary of the plot, as it’s intended to give a general overview of what the book is like, its strong and weak points, and if it’s worth reading at all. 

Close Reading Assignments 

One more book-related common task is called close reading. It can be assigned to students of all levels – from the 1st graders to graduate students. As there’s practically no getting away from it, every student should know what it is and how to do it. 

Close reading is basically the analysis of a short text excerpt. When writing it, students should analyze the details and explain how this excerpt relates to the entire text and what effect the details produce. 

Annotated Bibliography 

A bibliography is a list of sources used during research, while an annotated bibliography is the same list provided with short source annotations. 

Annotations can differ depending on the concrete assignment. Generally, they are aimed to do the following (all together or one at a time):

  • summarize;
  • evaluate; 
  • reflect. 

Annotated bibliographies are usually assigned to college students, but sometimes middle and high school pupils get this task, too. 

Research Papers 

Research papers are complex tasks usually assigned to college and university students. They imply not only having a deep knowledge of the subject but also conducting extensive research. This should be done with the use of multiple sources, all of which should be valid and, preferably, peer-reviewed. 

The term, however, is rather broad, as the research and analysis methods can differ. There are analytical, argumentative, descriptive, and other types of research papers. Roughly speaking, a research paper is also an essay, and, therefore, is usually written in pretty much the same manner. 

Case Studies 

Case studies are often confused with research papers as they indeed have a lot in common. However, there are subtle differences. 

The main difference is that a research paper is much broader than a case study. When writing the former, a student should use multiple sources and conduct extensive research, while with the latter, the focus remains on one company only. 

Generalizations are also not acceptable in case studies, while in research papers they are allowed. Case studies, as well as research papers, are usually assigned to college and university students as they require advanced research and critical thinking skills. 

Annotated Bibliography

Wrapping Up 

These were some of the most common writing task types that most students face. Of course, there are more, but they are not quite as popular. But even these are enough to feel intimidated by the amount and complexity of the writing work in all educational institutions. 

However, these tasks won’t seem as daunting once you learn how to do them and get some practice. The earlier you start doing that – the better! 

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