What Is Academic Writing? Do’s and Don’ts for Students

Academic writing is a formal style of writing that is used by the academic community. For example, academic writing is used by universities and academic journals. If you want to publish your article in a peer-reviewed journal, you should stick with the academic style. Students need to use the academic style when writing research papers, dissertations, literature reviews, essays, and other types of academic assignments.

In the opinion of betterwritingservices.com, the vast majority of American students avoid the stress of writing academic papers and prefer to buy them online from legitimate essay writing companies.

In this article, we will consider some specific features of academic writing in more detail and take a look at the main dos and don’ts of formal writing.

The Key Features of Academic Writing

First of all, academic writing should be unbiased and formal. All your claims must be based on evidence, and you cannot build your arguments around your personal opinions or assumptions. You can make your writing unbiased by presenting research results accurately, acknowledging the limitations of your own research, and addressing opposite viewpoints. The formal style of writing requires you to make your paper consistent in terms of logic and structure. Besides, you should avoid colloquialisms, clichés, and contractions.

Academic writing should also be precise and clear, which means that you must avoid vague phrases and statements that can be interpreted in different ways. Besides, you should avoid words like “perhaps” or “likely” because your arguments should be specific, and you should present them with confidence. We recommend that you read academic journals to familiarize yourself with the writing style and vocabulary.

Last but not least, academic writing must be well-structured and well-focused. Your arguments and all the information that you provide must be perfectly relevant to your general topic. The overall structure may vary depending on the type of paper and word count, but the structure of the content should meet some common requirements so that your paper will be easy to comprehend. For instance, each of your paragraphs should focus on a specific idea expressed in a topic sentence. Use transitional phrases to connect different paragraphs and include transitional words in sentences to indicate the connection between different ideas.

As you can see, academic writing is all about precision, clarity, and credibility. Therefore, you should also select reputable sources. While you might feel tempted to use any sources that support your opinion, you must make sure that your sources are actually credible and relevant. Use your university library and academic databases. Don’t forget to cite your sources according to the necessary citation format.

The Do’s

 

  • Write clearly
    Even though your academic papers might be dedicated to complex topics, you should make sure that they are easy to read. Your readers should understand exactly what you’re saying. Always start paragraphs with topic sentences and keep your sentences brief. Avoid complex terms if you can deliver the same information in a simpler way.

 

 

  • Stay objective
    Academic writing must be based on facts and logic. It should also be precise and not influenced by emotions. You need to present information in an objective and impersonal way. To stay objective, you must only use reliable academic sources and support all of your arguments with data. Avoid clichés because they will damage the overall clarity and make your writing less specific. Besides, you should only write in the third person.

 

 

  • Use various sentence structures
    Academic writing can easily become boring, especially when your audience needs to read the same long sentences over and over again. Moreover, long, overcomplicated sentences may make your audience think that you’re unable to formulate your ideas in an easy-to-understand way. In contrast, if you use short sentences only, you won’t let your readers reflect on the overall meaning, creating a sense of a rush. We recommend that you choose a well-balanced approach, using both long and short sentences.

 

 

  • Use technical vocabulary
    All academic subjects have a certain jargon, and you can use it to communicate your thoughts precisely. However, you should only use specific terms when you actually need them. Don’t try to impress your readers with complex words because this way, you will just make your text difficult to read.

 

The Don’ts

 

  • Avoid a personal language
    Although you may use the first person when writing admission and narrative essays, the use of the first person is generally prohibited in academic writing. Besides, one of your main goals is to stay objective so there’s no place for your personal perspective.

 

 

  • Avoid colloquialisms
    When writing academic papers, you should be especially careful with your word choice. While conversational English enables you to use some slang words and informal phrases, you should never use them in academic writing. We recommend that you read your paper once you’ve finished writing, and replace any colloquial language with appropriate forms.

 

 

  • Don’t use the wrong verb tense
    Students often change the verb tense by mistake, switching from one tense to another, even though different actions may take place within the same timeframe. You should always be careful with the verb tense because it indicates whether something happened in the past, present, or future. We recommend that you always check the verb tense when editing your papers.

 

 

  • Avoid inappropriate fonts and formatting
    When it comes to formatting, you should follow clear guidelines. There are different formatting styles used in academic writing, such as APA, Chicago, MLA, Harvard, and others. Every style has certain requirements regarding margins, fonts, and other details of formatting. Before you start to write your academic paper, make sure to check the rules of the required citation style and determine what fonts you can use, as well as what your headings, citations, and main content should look like.

 

Final Thoughts

Academic writing requires you to stick with the formal writing style and to express your thoughts in the most precise and objective way. All students have to be familiar with academic writing and use it when writing assignments. Even though academic writing is much more difficult than informal conversational English, it’s easy to master once you’ve familiarized yourself with some clear rules. We hope that this guide will help you avoid some common mistakes and write academic papers that will be appreciated by professors.

Correct grammar: is it possible in the era of messengers?

Young people communicate through text messages all the time. Many parents try to prevent their offspring from spending too much time online, but it’s hardly going to change any time soon. Another worry that unites preoccupied adults is the kids’ ability to speak and write English properly. The language kids use in their text messages is very different from the language the students are expected to use in their written assignments. So will the future generations learn to write properly or will texting change our language forever? 

One of the most prominent researches in the area was conducted by Clare Wood and Nenagh Kemp at Coventry University in the UK in 2014. While similar studies have been done in the past, it was the first study ever to consider the long-term consequence of frequent texting on the kids’ writing skills. To begin the study, Kemp and Wood asked 83 primary school students, 78 secondary school students, and 49 college students to provide them with all the text messages they’ve sent in the last two days. Consequently, the texts were analyzed to determine how often a particular student uses so-called textisms. After collecting the text messages, researchers asked the students to take several grammar, writing, and reading tests. Besides taking the test at the beginning of the study, the students were also invited to repeat the tests 12 months later. 

The results of the study came as a surprise: there was no correlation shown between frequent use of textisms and poor grammar skills among students. In fact, young people who used textisms more often performed even better than their peers and showed more improvement over the course of a year. While that was true for middle school and high school students, college students who used more textisms did achieve worse results than their colleagues, although the correlation was quite weak. 

So are fluent texters actually better at writing than students who don’t use textisms? It is still quite early to draw such conclusions. However, many scientists have their theories regarding the positive (or at least neutral) effect of texting on writing proficiency. 

According to John McWhorter at Columbia University, we shouldn’t be surprised by the results of the study. He claims that texting has nothing to do with proper writing. Instead, it’s a “spoken” language. Just like no one talks like they write their novels or essays, we aren’t supposed to use the same structures in texting and other forms of writing. One might argue that people used to write letters to each other and still used proper English for interpersonal communication. But texting has its own norms and culture. With texts, we can communicate through writing just as fast as we can communicate through talking. That’s why it calls for innovative language structures. Texting requires a language that is concise and expressive at the same time, which can be achieved by emojis and abbreviations. Punctuation or capitalization, on the other hand, are not helpful at all. 

The authors of the research support McWhorther’s claims and suggest that texting should be viewed as a new way of interaction with the language, not a threat to the old ones. Kemp says that texting can be considered as an additional literacy skill since it’s essentially expressing what you would say in speaking in the written form.

Interestingly enough, there’s also a plausible explanation of why texting has a more positive influence on younger children than on college students. When kids are learning how to write and how to text, they get familiar with the language by playing with it and finding different ways to express their thoughts. Abbreviations and symbols such as emojis are not exactly new kids have always been using them in their written notes and letters. Wood also brings attention to the fact that the majority of texting abbreviations are phonetically based. Therefore, by using them, children are practicing phonics a skill of understanding the relationship between sounds and letters that is widely taught in primary classrooms. So when children write “2” instead of “to/too” or “cya” instead of “see you”, they are unintentionally learning about the connection between sounds and letters that represent them.

If playing with the language really leads to better spelling and grammar among young people, it makes sense that college students who use textisms wouldn’t show as much writing improvement as middle school and high school students. That is because when we get older, we don’t see texting as a way to play with the language and find creative ways to use sounds and letters anymore. When we are adults, we don’t see it as an experiment, but merely a social norm and a way to fit in. 

So as long as the schools keep teaching children formal writing and grammar skills, grammar nazis can stay calm. Although most of the kids seem to understand it without further assistance, teachers should specifically mention when you have to follow all the rules and when it’s not that important. And if your children are struggling with grammar and writing, don’t blame texting. Instead, check out pendrago review that will help them become successful students and proficient writers.