Academic Writing – 7 Awesome Tips for Students
December 27, 2022
Academic writing, also known as scholarly writing, is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications. As a student, you must adhere to different writing formats in any academic work. The most distinguishing factor about academic writing is the lack of 1st personal pronoun usage unless one works on a reflection paper or a paper that needs a direct opinion.
In this article, we will explore the different features of academic writing and the different types of academic writing you are likely to encounter as a student.
Table of Contents
Features of Academic Writing
- Has a formal tone: academic works are written in a formal tone. The formal tone is used to display a high level of knowledge and professionalism in the given subject area.
- Has different citation styles: nearly all academic writing tasks require one to follow a specific citation style. The main formatting or citation styles that are used in academic writing are:
- MLA Style: it is mainly used for humanities and is well known as Modern Language Association (MLA) style.
- APA Style: it is mainly used in social sciences-related academic writing. APA is well known as American Psychological Association (APA) and is used in courses like psychology and sociology.
- Chicago Style: it is mainly used in history courses. This style requires the usage of footnotes.
- Not personal – no first pronoun usage: in academic writing, a third-person point of view is used. In doing so, neutrality and lack of biasness are achieved, thus establishing credibility in the piece of paper.
- Well structured – each paper has a specific formatting style, such as APA, MLA, and Chicago.
- Free from errors: academic writing is free from citations and grammatical mistakes.
- Consistent and accurate: students are required to write academic work that is consistent and accurate to help establish credibility in the piece of writing.
Types of Academic Writing
As earlier stated, there are different types of academic writing. As a student, you will be required to have a profound knowledge of these academic writing styles to keep up your grades because writing is the main method of academic communication.
Some of the most common types of academic writing for high school, college, and university graduates are:
An essay is a short piece of writing in response to a given topic and commonly a question provided by an instructor. There are different types of essays, and the instructor often directs the word limit. Essay range from 300 to 2000 words. In order to convey an argument in an essay, a student is required to research and analyze different materials.
2. Research Paper
A research paper is an expanded essay that gives a student or writer a chance to present their interpretation or evaluation of a specific argument. In doing so, the writer draws on what other scholars have to say about a given topic and offers a unique perspective. Some of the common examples of types of research papers are analytical research papers, argumentative research papers, compare and contrast papers, cause and effect papers, and experimental research papers.
3. Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is a list of sources that you use in research with “annotations” for each source. An annotation is a summary or evaluation of a given source to present the central argument or content and how one will use it in research.
4. Literary Analysis
A literary analysis critically examines a literary work to demonstrate why an author used specific ideas, word choices, or writing structures to convey their message to the audience. The most common literary works are fictional and non-fictional novels, poems, and manuscripts. Some common examples of literary analysis essays are:
- Role of women in Sundiata
- Gender Roles and Racism in “Othello”
- Events and Journeys in “The Epic of Gilgamesh”
- Moral Codes in O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”
5. Lab Report
A lab report is a piece of writing that describes a laboratory experiment by presenting its introduction, aims, methods, results, and conclusions. Lab reports are used to explore a specific scientific concept as it requires students to conduct research, formulate a hypothesis, review different kinds of literature, conduct the experiment, evaluate the results and communicate them concisely and precisely.
6. Dissertations and thesis
A dissertation or a thesis is a large piece of writing or project that students must complete at the end of their degree. In most cases, students can pick their own dissertation topic to work on.
7. Research Proposal
A research proposal is an outline that presents a potential topic for a research project or a dissertation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is meant by academic writing?
Academic writing, also known as scholarly writing, is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications.
What is the main focus of academic writing?
The main focus of academic writing is to provide content in a clear and precise manner in a formal and well-structured style.