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What is academic writing?

By definition, academic writing is a type of writing done for academic projects. It involves engaging in a conversation with people but not in a regular way. Academic writing means analyzing concepts and employing deductive reasoning, formal tone, and third-person perspective in paper. It is about what you believe and how evidence has shaped that belief.

Here are the main features of academic writing:

  • ✔️ Formal and objective;
  • ✔️ Organized;
  • ✔️ Tightly-Knit;
  • ✔️ Rigor.

So, it means you should avoid in academic writing the following:

  • ❌ Subjective tone;
  • ❌ Long sentences;
  • ❌ Ambiguous and emotional language.

Types of academic writing

There are many types of academic writing. Each of them is chosen for certain reason. Moreover, each kind of academic writing has its goal, structure, and language characteristics.

Essay An essay is a piece of writing that offers an idea or argument and usually between 1,500 and 2,000 words long. Typically, an essay uses research and analysis to persuade the reader of a point of view. To support their point, the researcher provides background information on the topic. Academic essayists frequently publish their work in peer-reviewed publications.
Research article A research article is a detailed study of the author’s original research. It outlines the author’s methodologies in detail to demonstrate how they came to a result. It usually has a supplemental data and resources to support the study findings. These articles are submitted to scientific peer-reviewed publications.
Thesis A thesis, often called a dissertation, is a type of academic writing that explains the author’s study of a particular subject. Master’s or Ph.D. students will have to write a thesis at the conclusion of their course at some point in their studies. It is typically based on previous research to offer fresh insights or hypotheses on the subject. These are long texts with a word count of 6,000 to 20,000 words. Many writers choose to break up their main ideas with chapters in their thesis.
Lab Report A lab experiment that addresses a scientific subject is described and analyzed in a lab report. Like journal articles, lab reports help you not only share your work with others but also organize and analyze your data.
Annotated Bibliography An annotated bibliography is a collection of references to sources used in work. Each citation is followed with an annotation, which is a short (typically around 150 words) descriptive and analytical text. The annotation’s objective is to tell the reader about the sources’ relevancy, correctness, and reliability.
Literary analysis A literary analysis analyses a piece of literature, such as a book, a short story, or a poem. Authors of literary analyses persuade readers of their perspective on a literary topic. This analysis frequently provides sufficient background and evidence for the author’s claim. It concentrates on a single aspect of a literary work, such as a character or a concept.

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Main academic writing features

Academic writing, by definition, uses a more formal voice than daily conversation. The following are four key norms to follow to achieve the appropriate formalism in your writing:

  • Formal tone.

Academic writing employs a specific set of linguistic devices to make your work accurate and informative, keep things simple, and demonstrate creditability.

  • ✔️ In the following chapter, we will discuss how the experiment was performed.
  • ❌ In the following chapter, we will talk about how the experiment was carried out.
  • Objectivity.

Academic writing emphasizes arguments and evidence while placing the person who makes claims in the background. Personal pronouns, like 'I,' 'you,' and 'we,' are typically avoided because they are associated with subjective perspectives affected by individual interests or biases.

  • ✔️ Changes in Antarctic ice layers can be used to demonstrate the truth of global warming.
  • We can prove that global warming is real by analyzing changes in Antarctic ice layers.

The first statement appears to be a personal viewpoint. Instead of employing a personal pronoun to establish an objective distance from the topic, try using a passive verb and focusing on the subject. Still, some types of academic writing may allow first-person pronouns. So, you need to discuss this matter with your professor.

  • Rigor.

The researcher is supposed to be precise in both choices of language and reasoning. After carefully presenting ideas or claims, they are reinforced, clarified, illustrated, and reasoned.

Secondary sources should be used to lay the groundwork for your approach by providing background knowledge, concepts, and theories. Any material or information that you have gathered to support your arguments or test your claims are considered primary sources. Texts that you are analyzing, survey results, empirical studies, and other primary sources are all possible.

  • ✔️ Survey respondents did not show interest in the subject.
  • All people did not like this thing.

Technical vocabulary or jargon is widespread and often required in academic writing, which is aimed at other researchers in related disciplines. On the other hand, jargon should be used to make your text clear and informative, not complicate it. Use jargon when the following situations apply:

  • It offers a more accurate meaning than a non-specialist phrase of similar meaning.
  • Other academics in your discipline use the word frequently.
  • Organization.

Academic writing flows smoothly and logically from one segment to the next. The genre of your text is a fantastic place to start. The framework is simple to identify once you have settled on the genre. Examining common organizational structures can be beneficial. The reader will be able to comprehend the organization of your work and where you are going with your claim if you use signal words.

Make use of signal words to:

  • ✔️ Add more information, for example: furthermore, additionally, etc.
  • ✔️ Compare two relevant points, for example: similarly, in comparison.
  • ✔️ Show opposing points of view, for example: however, in comparison, and yet.
  • ✔️ Demonstrate the consequence or conclusion, for example, as a result.

These four characteristics are interconnected, and when combined, they create a piece of writing that is both ‘intellectual’ and demanding for academic readers.

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Things to avoid in academic writing

  • Subjective tone.

Words that express emotions, opinions, or personal views are used in a subjective tone. Academic writing uses an objective tone. It is unbiased or neutral because it does not express any emotions for or against an issue.

The goal of academic writing is to have a neutral, objective tone. As a result, you should strive to avoid using first-person pronouns like 'I,' 'me,' and 'mine,' which center on you as an author rather than the subject you are researching.

Using the passive voice is a great solution. For example:

  • ✔️ The key points will be presented.
  • I will summarize the key points.

However, this can make your sentences sound choppy or confusing. As a result, it is better to use the active voice rather than the third person. For instance,

  • ✔️ This paper will present the key points.

The idea is evident here, yet no first-person pronouns are used.

  • Long sentences.

The number of words in a sentence is used in most readability models to determine its complexity. Keep your text's average sentence length between 20 and 25 words. This is a solid basic rule to convey your point while keeping your text readable. The number varies according to the discipline, readers, and writing style.

  • ✔️ From July 17 to August 1, a group of five American correctional officers traveled to Shanghai and Beijing, China. (19 words) Their objective? They aimed to raise awareness of worldwide ideals and principles linked to the safe and humane handling of criminals. (19 words)
  • ❌ From July 17 to August 1, a group of five American correctional officers traveled to Guangzhou, China, to spread knowledge of global norms and principles relating to the safe and humane handling of criminals. (34 words)
  • Ambiguous and emotional words.

As an academic researcher, you must present data clearly and objectively so that the reader can read it and analyze it. There should be no ambiguous language in your research publication. Mention who did what, what proportions were used, and how much time everything took. Avoid words like 'maybe,' 'a bit,' 'some,' 'and so on,' or 'etc.'

  • ✔️ Participants saw each person, vehicle, property, and scene three times.
  • Participants were shown people, vehicles, and other objects, about three times.

Do not use emotive language when you 'write my essay'. Avoid words describing incidents as 'horrific' or 'disgusting' or patients as 'suffering from' a condition. Avoid using emotive phrases. Cite other persons who used similar statements and clearly indicate them in quotations if you wish to stress the gravity of a situation.

  • ✔️ Patients' quality of life is significantly impacted by the condition.
  • ❌ Because of this terrible condition, many patients suffer greatly.

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