Academic writing is a very important skill that every student should be equipped with.
The significance of academic writing is numerous, these skills if acquired and used effectively present you as a professional and a polished writer.
For students to develop successful academic writing habits can be indicative of stress and difficulty.
Characteristics of academic writing
The academic writing style is different from that of the usual writing we know of, e.g. the text we write to a friend is different from that of writing an academic essay.
Academic writing is a particular style of writing that comprises of:
- A formal tone or an academic tone
- Good research practice
- Correct format and structure
- Be objective, i.e. use of the third-person perspective
- Focus on the issue or topic with clarity
- Precision in word choice
- Write simply and clearly
- Use tentative language
Use formal tone
To write in a formal style is one of the important academic writing skills. When are writing in a formal style or manner, you must avoid using jargon, abbreviations, and colloquial words.
It is important for a writer to distinguish formal writing from informal writing. Since informal writing is easier as it includes using jargon, using the first-person perspective, talking about one’s feelings and making personal statements and word choice is imprecise.
These are all characteristics of informal writing that can be used more in personal writing such as blogs, diaries, or letters and emails to friends, etc.
Conduct a good research
The sources that are used and cited in your writing must be reliable and high-quality sources that support the arguments you are trying to build.
Citing the sources in academic writing invites the reader for an open assessment of their value and also enables them to seek out the source to dig out more information.
Use the correct format and structure
Following the appropriate format and structure is a crucial part of academic writing, as it can make or break the assignment.
You must know the style expected of you by your teachers, as they may require some specific format in your paper, or they assign you to adhere to one of the accepted forms such as APA, MLA, or Turabian format in your paper writing.
If students find themselves in hot water in the understanding of the formats or else, they can refer to PaperHelp for their expert advice in writing a striking academic paper.
Each writing format seems to be difficult but there is an advantage if used correctly.
These formatting styles make your paper look professional by laying out steps such as how to format the paper, citing evidence, and bibliography, and more.
Overall, each format helps you transform your informal writing into a genuine and well-founded academic paper.
Be objective, not personal
Avoid using the first-person pronoun such as I, me, us you, your, etc. This implies that the writer is using the informal style of writing and states his opinion and feelings rather than talking about the evidence.
For instance, ‘There is a lot of evidence that shows…’
‘It may be shown that…’
Write simply and clearly
Avoid using long words and complex sentences and adhere to using short words where you can, e.g., you can use the word ‘hold’ instead of the word ‘accommodate’.
Use tentative language
Always leave room for doubt, use words such as probably, may, could, possibly instead using words like obviously, definitely, certainly.
The three laws of academic writing
The writers must follow the three laws of academic writing in order to improve their academic writing skills
Prepare rigorously before you proceed to your writing. Go through your notes and sources to read them again. Highlight the text that you think is worth using in your paper, either quote it with a proper citation or paraphrase it.
Detailed outlines written earlier comes in handy when you begin writing your paper. This is all part of planning, if planned well the rest gets easy.
Academic writing with rigorous preparation becomes a well-manageable part of your assignment.
Be ruthless when it comes to proofreading. A good understanding of grammar is very important if you think you are weak in the area then do not worry, start practicing and get help and feedback from your teachers or mentors.
Grammar seems to be dry, complex, and quite difficult for language students or novice writers but one can achieve clarity only through practice.
Dictionary is a useful tool that can be used as a good reference guide that can elaborate and ease the difficulty of grammar you are having while writing.
Be mindful of punctuation, spelling, and word choice. This is what good proofreading is about, it is a skill that contributes to the process of improving your academic writing skills.
Be very careful in following and sticking to the format you are required to follow. Whether your teacher asks you to use MLA or APA or Turabian style or Chicago style just stick to it religiously.
Each writing style guides you with a clear description of how to write references, citations, bibliography, and more.
Some useful tips for your writing process:
- You can make the writing process easier to manage by applying time management skills.
- Set your goals both long and short term, this enables the students to stay focus and motivated.
- Make the most of the variety of university resources to help students in acquiring academic skills such as writing and with other aspects of a student’s life.
Overview: Strategies for success in writing assignments
- Plan ahead and break your assignments into smaller manageable tasks.
- You must have a clear understanding of the requirement of your assignment, and if necessary consult your instructor for more clarity.
- Make sure you complete each step of your process. You will get a hang of this within a short period of time with lots of practice.
The above-mentioned tips, strategies, and information, if implemented effectively, is key to becoming a successful academic writer.