What is Academic Writing?

what is academic writing

Academic writing is a structured, backed up by evidence, focused, clear, and concise written content that serves the purpose of making the reader understand. It has a formal style and tone but at the same time, it is not complex and does not require the usage of complicated vocabulary or long sentences.

Each subject discipline requires certain writing techniques and conventions, types of discourses, and vocabulary that you need to be familiar with. However, some characteristics are very general and quite relevant to all types of disciplines. Read below the points written by australian assignment help team.

Characteristics and Features of Academic Writing

There are many distinctive features of academic writing. These are the fundamental things that you need to adhere to in this type of writing. The actual rules are all about proper usage of values, style, word choices, and literary devices. You need to present information and display a clear understanding of a particular subject. Here are some main characteristics of academic writing:

1. Precision

Effective academic writing includes the usage of specific figures and dates. Vague combinations of words like ‘someone said’ and ‘a lot of’ are not considered fine academic writing expressions. Some words that fit the academic context a lot better include ‘year 2019’, ‘1675 miles’, ‘56%’, ‘34 thousand’, etc. These groups of words fit the context much better. But the usage of these expressions requires some academic writing skills.

2. Complexity

If you compare your daily talking to your writing skills, you will notice that written language needs a lot more skill. It is also more sophisticated from the grammatical point-of-view as it utilizes more attributive adjectives and ‘that-to’ complement clauses.

For instance, you can say verbally ‘Violence has changed once quiet American cities; the same will look like ‘the American cities were once quiet, but they changed when the locals became violent’ in academic writing.

3. Formality

The tone used in academic writing tends to be formal. This means that the sentence should not sound casual or conversational. Particularly, you should avoid journalistic, slang, idiomatic, or colloquial expressions and make use of precise vocabulary. Colloquial and informal language tends to be imprecise, so it can often be misinterpreted, especially by non-native English speakers.

4. Evidence

Academic writing needs to be supported by evidence like theories, research, statistics, arguments, quotations, facts, and data. The evidence will show that you have spent time on research, to demonstrate your understanding of the general theories and concepts on the topic, allowed the reader to know what has informed your thinking pattern, and to tell how your ideas fit into it and add more substance to your own ideas. There are many different methods to incorporate other people’s work into your written work like quoting, synthesising, summarizing, and paraphrasing.

5. Accuracy

There is a difference between precision and accuracy. Being accurate in terms of vocabulary is needed for all types of academic papers. In daily conversations, words like ‘funds’, ‘cash’, and ‘money’ can be used interchangeably.

However, in academic writing, you need to be more accurate while using these terms because each one of them has a definite context and meaning. Even though they all seem almost the same, these words have their own specific applications and features.

6. Objectivity

This might prove to be the hardest necessity of academic writing for students as they tend to put their focus on what they believe or feel while writing down their assignments and lose out on the objectivity of the assignment. The main emphasis of academic writing should be to present information rather than jotting down what you think about the issue.

Professors are not exactly interested in your thoughts; they only want to know how much you have studied, how do you back up your information and/or arguments, and how you draw a conclusion. Refrain from using words like ‘me’, ‘I’, ‘in my opinion’, etc.

7. Impersonal

Academic language can be said as impersonal, which means that you do not refer to yourself as the person who has performed the actions. This means that the usage of personal pronouns like ‘we’ and ‘I’ should be avoided.

For instance, instead of writing ‘I will show’, you can write ‘this report will show/according to this report’. However, the conventions of writing vary between units in the same faculty and can be used in some types of assessment tasks.

8. Balance

In assessments, there is rarely a single answer to an assignment or question. Arguments, ideas, and research should always be open for a challenge and you need to make use of the language that acknowledges this. You should never present something as a fact that might not be.

In academic writing, you can make use of boosters and hedges to show your confidence in the claim or argument that you are discussing. Hedges are phrases and words that can be used instead of ‘proves’ or ‘definitely’ like ‘it is possible that’, ‘this suggests’, ‘usually’, etc. Boosters help you measure your conviction or certainty with the help of words like ‘results indicate’, ‘there is a strong correlation’, ‘clearly’, etc.

With the help of the characteristics mentioned above, you will be more productive when handling your school or college assignments. Many students face a difficult time when given tasks like research papers, projects, and writing essays because they are not able to fully comprehend the requirements of academic writings and what they are required to produce. As a result, they end up with bad grades. If you adhere to the aforementioned features, you will most likely not be disappointed with your grades.

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