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What Students Need to Know About Academic Writing

Most students transition to college without mastering the art of writing quality academic papers. A few months into their freshman year, they realize that academic writing is the most important skill they can possess as it plays a major role in their grades and overall academic performance. Unfortunately, most assignments are challenging, especially for those who have not yet grasped academic scholarship’s intricate rules. Whether you enjoy writing or not, you must create exceptional papers in line with English grammar and syntax requirements. This article summarizes what you need to know about academic writing and how to write impressive papers for college. 

What Is Academic Writing?

Academic writing is one of the most frustrating forms as it involves following specific standards and regulations. This is the form of writing we do in school or specific fields of study. It involves choosing a topic, formulating a thesis statement, and analyzing issues based on strict conventions and guidelines provided by your particular discipline. It is unbiased, objective, and concise. 

Understand that academic writing is all about the style and approach used. This type of scholarly communication is clear, formal, and always supported using credible evidence. The formal tone and style used in academic writing mean that writers shouldn’t provide too long sentences and avoid too much jargon. In most cases, academic writing aims to share information and provide a deeper understanding of a subject. 

Elements of Academic Writing

Academic writing is a shock to most students as the expectations and conventions in college-level writing tend to be much more different when compared to high-school-level writing. The good news is that writing in academia is a skill that anyone can learn with practice. Students must keep working on their craft and master the crucial dos and don’ts of academic writing. It also helps to understand the following elements of academic writing. 

  • Formal Tone 

One of the most important elements of academic writing is using a formal tone. This type of paper is professional and objective as it should present information and support arguments logically. Avoid using the first- or second-person tone when writing your assignments, as it is not objective. Using the third-person voice allows you to work with facts, which is crucial for successful academic writing. Students who struggle with this element of academic writing are encouraged to seek a professional essay writing service

  • Clear Structure and Organization 

Another vital element of successful academic writing is a clear structure and organization. Experts indicate that, in some instances, academic writing covers complex and difficult-to-comprehend issues. So it is imperative to articulate the meanings behind the information highlighted clearly. One can achieve this through well-organized paragraphs that contain topic sentences, accurate evidence and examples, and thesis statements. 

While research papers must cover empirical facts, writers should present overarching arguments and themes to give meaning to the facts and statistical information presented. Also, academic papers should contain clear introductions and conclusions.

  • Accurate Citations 

Academic writing indeed requires originality and creativity. However, students need to use credible evidence and examples to support their arguments and give credence to their analyses. In other words, students must gather information and use evidence in their work. Remember to cite all sources used to create or inform your writing. When you use other people’s work to support your original argument, give credit where credit is due. Clarify the expected citation style and use it consistently throughout the text.

Types of Academic Writing

Academic writing can be analytical, descriptive, persuasive, and critical. Each of these variants has unique language features and purposes. In some instances, however, students must use more than one type of academic writing. For instance, in a research report, you may use critical writing for the literature review, while the methodology section will be mostly descriptive. 

Descriptive academic writing is relatively simple and is intended to present information or facts. Some instances where students use descriptive writing is when asked to create article summaries and write reports for the outcomes of an experiment.

In analytical writing, the writer may include some elements of descriptive presentation but also re-organize the information into categories, parts, relationships, or groups. For instance, when asked to compare two items, you need to consider how the items are similar as well as some dissimilarities. You will also have to spend time planning the work and creating relationships or categories. 

The third type of academic writing is persuasive, where the student presents an opinion or position and tries to influence others to adopt the position or belief. In persuasive writing, the author tries to convince the reader to embrace a stance. Other than conventional writing skills, persuasive texts can also rely on logical arguments, personal experience, and emotional appeal. 

For critical writing, the student must analyze and evaluate information from several sources to create coherent arguments. Most students make the mistake of assuming that all the information they encounter online or in books is true and accurate. You don’t have to agree with everything you read during your research. Critical writing summarizes all or part of a source and presents an opinion about the work. The student also needs to offer evidence for the views presented. 

Academic Writing Tips 

Effective academic writing is a skill that takes time to master and execute. To ace all your projects, understand that the writing starts way early before you even sit in front of your computer. Here are a few writing tips for creating papers in academia:

  • Read and Understand the Requirements 

Seasoned writers know that you cannot create great papers if you do not understand what the tasks require. The most successful students go through their assignment details multiple times, clarifying instructions and interpreting project questions. What does the professor want you to do for the task? How many sources are expected? How long should the paper be? Once you understand the instructions in the prompt, you can start thinking about how to get started on the work. 

  • Brainstorm and Create an Outline

Brainstorming in academic writing helps students generate points for the writing process. It entails thinking about the subject in the assignment prompt and writing down ideas as they come to you. Everything you can think of concerning the topic is important and should be written down. You can then develop your points further into an outline. Outlining will make your work easier and prepare you for the research and writing processes. 

  • Choose a Good Topic 

Topic selection is another critical part of the prewriting stage. Professors sometimes standardize projects by issuing topics for students to work on. The learners must thoroughly research the topic and provide a well-reasoned argument. In most cases, however, students can choose their topics.

When choosing topics for academic writing, make sure your selection is relevant to the assignment. Consider your audience’s needs as well as your individual preferences. Also, evaluate your sources to ensure you have information to support your writing. 

  • Write First and Edit Later 

The first draft you write for your academic paper will not be your last. You must create multiple drafts and refine your writing before the document is ready for assessment. When creating your initial copy, focus on getting your content right and following the proper structure. After offering evidence and logical reasoning for your document, wrap things up by carefully editing the paper for typos and grammar mistakes. 

The Bottom Line 

This article offers background information on academic writing and tips to help students create top papers. The secret to successful academic writing is careful research and analysis. Also, follow a formal and objective tone for the rest of your paper. In terms of structure, academic papers should have an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. 

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