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The Humanities traditionally includes disciplines like Art History, English, Film, Music, Philosophy, and Religion.  The Dartmouth Writing Program website states that "Humanities as a field of study deals with questions for which there are no definitive answers."  Researchers in these fields traditionally work with some sort of text, which can include both visual and written components.  The goal of this work is to provide interpretations, not an objective truth. 

This page contains links to resources for writing genres commonly used by researchers in the Humanities.  Specific disciplines in the Humanities may handle each one in slightly different ways.  


A review examines and evaluates a text, describing what about it works well and what about it could be improved.  This focus on evaluation differs a critique from a traditional book report, which usually summarizes the contents of a text without evaluating them.

Annotated Bibliographies

An annotated bibliography is a list of sources on a particular topic.  In addition to providing the bibliographic information on the source, each entry includes a summary of the source's content and, sometimes, a critique of the source.  Annotated bibliographies are useful for researchers who want to get the sense of the work in a field. 

Literature Reviews

A literature review is an essay designed to present the trends in published research on a particular topic.  It can be a portion of a larger essay or a stand alone piece. 


Many significant research publications begin with an abstract that provides an overview of the research and its findings. Scholars also have to write abstracts in order for their work to be considered for conference presentations or publication. 

Research Proposals

A research proposal presents a plan for conducting a project.  If they are planned and written well, they can make the process of conducting the actual project, and writing up the final results, much easier. 

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