Most people face the practice of academic writing during their life, especially those who study in educational institutions. For instance, at school we are required to write essays or papers, students deal with course works, academic articles, and theses at the university. Even at work, we experience some kind of academic writing like reports. As you can see there are several types of academic papers. We can highlight the following ones:
- Essay – a short piece of writing with author’s arguments.
- Dissertation or thesis – a document written in order to gain an academic degree.
- Research article – an academic work which is usually published in academic journals.
- Conference paper – a written document or an oral presentation of the speaker at a conference.
- Abstract – a brief summary of a long document.
What makes academic writing specific?
Here are some distinctive features of academic writing:
- Formal tone – The style of academic writing is scientific or publicistic, so only appropriate phrases and words are used.
- Grammar – You should follow rules of grammar and punctuation. Following them, you can avoid unnecessary ambiguity and keep your text understandable.
- Audience – You should pay special attention to people who will read your work. It may be not only lecturers but students as well. Despite the fact that the students are intelligent enough to understand your work, they may not be aware of specific terms and concepts used in it.
- References – That is one of the most distinctive features that varies academic writing from other types of writing. It means that the work includes a citation and referencing of other authors who investigated your topic.
Skills required for academic writing
Academic writing has some requirements for structure, content, style (scientific or publicistic) of the text. Also one should be able to make references and paraphrase, argue or formulate literary sources in a correct way. That’s why there are some skills that should be gained in order to be good at academic writing:
- Ability to create a relevant idea in accordance with an appropriate topic.
- Being able to develop a topic and structure your paperwork.
- Stylistically and grammatically correct wording of the phrase and usage of the words.
- Decent writing technique and constant improvement of it.
- Using scientific sources thoroughly.
- Ability to think critically which is necessary when using information from different books, articles, and the Internet.
Where to start?
The process of academic writing can be divided into several steps in order to make it easier. Here they are:
- Idea and problem – Firstly, you should think about the topic that arouses interest and then develops it into something more extensive.
- Choice of sources – Reading and taking notes of literature according to your topic and collecting information about your research object.
- Structure creation – You should make an outline of your work. It can be some key points which must be reflected in it. Also, approach to an investigation of research object and sciences who investigated it must be included.
- Making conclusions – Your own analysis, ideas, and interpretation must be done. It means that you should contribute to the chosen topic, not only paraphrase already existed material.
Following the structure
Types of academic writing have the similar structure. It includes an introduction, main part, and conclusion. It is significant to follow this format in order to help the reader to follow your argument. Indeed, there are some distinctive features which differentiate, for instance, article structure from thesis structure but in any way they have some common features. So let’s try to understand the general idea of every section.
- Introduction: In this part, you must define the topic of your work and draw a reader’s attention by using a quote of a famous person or raise an interesting question.
- Main part: Text should be written logically and the paragraphs must be arranged in order of importance. Here you must develop issues that were mentioned in the introduction.
- Conclusion: In the conclusion, you sum up key points of your academic paper and suggest further research.
Academic writing is an essential part of higher education. In order to learn its principles, one should make a lot of efforts. Although, it is not very complicated task how it may seem to be. The main thing is not to lose your enthusiasm and inspiration. Remember that the reward will be invaluable – the experience of scientific research and pride of your excellent result.