Besides checking the type of assignment, you should also look at the format. Short papers are usually analytical and thesis-driven, while longer papers may be based on research and analysis. If you are not sure what type of writing to use, pay attention to the verbs in the paper. They can also give you hints about the appropriate approach. Often, the verbs can indicate which approach to take. For example, if the instructions say that you need to analyze a literary text, you should analyze the literary work to find its strengths and weaknesses.