Academic Writing

Academic Writing

Academic writing refers to any formal written work done in the academic context. Often, students use academic writing to convey ideas, engage in scholarly discussions and present arguments. Some characteristics of academic writing include precise word choice, evidence-based arguments, an impersonal tone and logical organization. Some functions of academic writing include persuading, informing and analyzing in a manner that allows the reader to engage critically in a scholarly conversation.

What are some examples of academic writing?

Though there are various examples of academic writing, literary analysis, research paper, and dissertation are some of the most common. A literary analysis evaluates, makes an argument and examines a literary piece. Just as the name suggests, this writing goes past just summarizing the literary work.  It involves the keen reading of a text or texts and normally focuses on a particular theme or characteristic.

A research paper relies on external information to make an argument or support a thesis statement. They are written various all areas of academic disciplines. They are critical, analytical, and evaluative. Some common sources of external information for a research paper include secondary sources (journals, peer-reviewed articles, book, etc.) and primary sources (historical records). To write a research paper, one synthesizes information from these external sources and presents them as per their understanding.

A third example of academic writing is a dissertation or sometimes called thesis. This is a document submitted to the university after concluding a doctoral or degree program. It is often a book-length of the writer’s research work.

What are the characteristics of academic writing?

Though most academic writing disciplines have unique stylistic approaches, they all share some common characteristics. These characteristics are discussed in detail.

A logical structure: Naturally, all academic paper must follow a straightforward and logical structure. In the simplest form, academic papers include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The primary aim of writing the introduction is to provide background information, state the thesis and lay the direction and scope of the essay. The body paragraphs provide information which supports the thesis statement.

Each body paragraph starts with a topic sentence and elaborates on this topic sentence in a way that supports the main idea of the paper. The conclusion restates the thesis statement, summarizes the body paragraphs and gives implications of the findings. Every paragraph and sentence is logically connected to the next to present a clear argument, evaluation, or critical analysis.

Limited and clear focus: The writer of an academic paper established the focus of the paper early by writing the thesis statement or the research question. Each sentence and paragraph links to the established thesis statement or research question. Though the paper may contain contextual or background details, the primary purpose of all content is to support the thesis statement or research question.

Impersonal tone: Academic papers seek to communicate logical arguments from an objective perspective. Therefore, they often avoid biased, inflammatory or emotional language. Whether the writer personally agrees or disagree with the idea, he/she should present the information objectively and accurately.

Evidence-based arguments: All types of academic papers require a properly informed argument, evaluation, or analysis. Each statement should be supported by evidence which could be quotations from primary texts or scholarly sources. Providing evidence in academic writing offers credibility to arguments.

What is paper writing?

Paper writing refers to any form of writing done to meet the requirement of an academic institution, let us say a university or college. Besides, paper writing is used for publications that researchers and teachers read or even presented at conferences. Therefore, we can broadly define paper writing as any writing assignment provided in an academic context.

Paper writing is one of the most common tasks students are given at school. Paper writing is a reflection of how well students have understood the basic course material, how analytical they have been in the material used and the level of extra work they had put into researching the paper’s topic. It is obvious that the paper must be written properly for the marker can appreciate the ideas presented.

Paper writing is not an opinion piece, a blog or a commentary. It starts with a thesis statement that aims to persuade the marker of an idea or a solution to an issue based on evidence. Therefore, paper writing is not a personal opinion.

Paper writing articulates the significance of the paper organized with sufficient detail so that the reader may appreciate the work. Strong papers often use formal academic rhetoric.

What is the aim/purpose of academic writing?

For a long time, academic writing has played a central role for students across the globe. University and schoolteachers spend much time trying to transfer their knowledge and teach students to produce academic papers.

In higher education, academic writing plays a major role both in course retention and in student knowledge assessment. Therefore, we cannot underscore the significance of academic writing. Research indicates that academic writing fosters the ability of students to express themselves through the ability to communicate and understand the language used. It defines the primary essence of education and a pre-requisite to work in whatever field.

From a teacher’s perspective, when students write their work well and present their arguments precisely and logically, marking becomes easier. Therefore, the purpose of academic writing is reciprocal; it does benefit not only the student but also the staff.

What is the objective of writing?

Just as other kinds of writing, the objective of academic writing is to communicate. For students, writing is the only window to their thoughts. As such, students must understand how best to write in a manner that convinces the audience. The audience must be able to understand what the student is talking about. Often, the act of writing clarifies the student’s thoughts and using your words is an act of creativity and originality. Normally, whenever the writer describes something in his/her own words, it displays some level of creativity, critical evaluation, and originality. The objective of doing all these is to compare, analyze, summarize, criticize, predict and synthesis the thought in writing.

What is the difference between a copy editor and a proofreader?

The editing process involves copy editing and proofreading. However, people simply confuse the two editorial processes. It is important to understand how they differ. The most visible difference between them is the tasks involved in each of them.

Copyediting involves checking the written paper for spelling, grammar, style, and punctuation before it is sent for proofreading. Also, a copy editor may rewrite the piece if it is necessary. This helps fix any issues with wordiness, jargons, and transitions and also ensure that writing style suits the publication. This task is called revision. So the work of a copy editor is to revise the written piece.

After revising, the work is sent to the proofreader who searches for typographical errors. The name “proofreader” originates from the fact that the individual works with a facsimile of the almost finished product, which is at times called a proof. A proofreader does not make major changes to the text. Instead, he/she looks for minor formatting errors and texts and confirms whether the material qualifies for publication.

Copy editing and proofreading are two different tasks although the terms are wrongly used interchangeably. Overall, a copy editor does a qualitative task, and a proofreading task is more of quantitative. However, due to the close overlap of the two tasks, a person who performs well in one will succeed at the other too; many people end up doing both jobs.

Why is it so hard for me to write an essay?

Throughout my time in school, I have always written mediocre essays. Though I would produce some goods essays once in a while, mostly, I earned very poor grades from my essays. Personally, writing a good essay has been boring, and I understand how hard it is to write a good one.

The biggest reason why it is hard for me to write an essay is that I often focus on the external rewards notably my teacher’s approval and getting a passing grade. The problem is that by focusing on these external approvals, it not only makes essay writing less fun but also makes it significantly harder for me. Focusing on external approval makes me shutter my subconscious mind, which is the source of my creativity. Practically, this implies that when I am trying to write a perfect A-grade essay, I am shutting down most of my best resources.

Writing an essay is specifically hard for me because I have no previous experience of writing essays. Naturally, I do not have a clue where to start from, the kind of information I need to put in the essay and where to get the information. In fact, before attempting the essay, I am often unsure which sources are credible and which ones are not. There is a process of generating a good essay, and for me, sticking to this process has already proven to be a hard task.