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All You Need to Know about Academic Writing: Quick Guide

Academic writing differs from other fields by applying its own rules and practices that include the format, organization, style, and structure of the paper. You should stick to a certain way of presenting your ideas and make sure that all of them are supported by relevant literature and reliable online sources. Compared to personal writing, academic papers deal with important topics, their theories and causes and follow the traditional grammar, punctuation and spelling rules. So what is the concept of academic writing and its main goal?

Concept of Academic Writing

Academic writing is required to fulfill college assignments and publish works that are read by other researchers and presented at conferences. It is clear, structured, focused on a certain topic and backed up by evidence. The main purpose of academic writing is to help the reader understand the problem: it requires formal style but at the same time, it is not too complex and occupied with long sentences and specific vocabulary.

Academic writing can be described as:

  • planned (it answers the question and shows the understanding of the topic);
  • formal (it uses appropriate language, style, and tone);
  • structured (it has a clear logical order, the material is balanced);
  • proved (it is supported by evidence and accurately referenced).

To academic writing we refer translations, book reports, articles, research papers, journals, dissertations, etc.

Main Characteristics

There are certain things you should remember when it comes to academic writing. Here are the key characteristics:

  1. Planning – you need to plan your writing and be as organized and analytical as possible;
  2. Style and language – you should use formal style, avoid slang words, abbreviations, jargon or any clichés. The language needs to be clear and precise, so it is useful to check a dictionary or any other relevant sources;
  3. Outline – it helps you formulate your ideas and determine the information that should be included in your paper;
  4. Approach – the readers of your paper should follow the path you created for them and at the end come to your conclusions so the analytical approach is a must;
  5. Point of view – you should not express your personal opinion unless you are asked to.

In general, a lot of planning, analysis and organization are the basis for academic papers.

General Structure

The academic paper consists of three basic parts: introduction, the main body, and conclusion. In the introduction, you should catch the readers’ attention, present your thesis statements and topic. You may start with the several questions, maybe some interesting quote, facts or information and a definition of the term used in your paper. Then goes the main body: all the paragraphs should be written clearly and put in the logical order. Within each paragraph, you need to repeat the important words and underline their value. In conclusion, give the summary of all the points described and emphasize the most important moments.

No matter what type of academic paper you are working at, you need to be coherent and convincing: your explanations should be clear and accurate so that readers could understand the main problem and value of your paper. The main difference between personal and academic writing lies in the requirements to citation and referencing: all the sources should be accurately cited.