Generally, Academic writing is relatively formal, factual (impersonal), and technical. It is formal by evading informal or conversational language,
such as contractions or informal vocabulary. It is impersonal and objective by avoiding direct reference to people or feelings,
and instead underscoring objects, realities, and ideas.
What is Academic Writing?
Generally, Academic writing is relatively formal, factual (impersonal), and technical. It is formal by evading informal or conversational language, such as contractions or informal vocabulary. It is impersonal and objective by avoiding direct reference to people or feelings, and instead underscoring objects, realities, and ideas. It is specialized by using vocabulary distinct to the discipline. Disciplines have various styles and structures of writing. For example, some disciplines, such as the humanities, foresee longer paragraphs, which contain topic sentences to show how your argument is structured.
Other disciplines, for example in the sciences, expect short paragraphs, with no topic sentences, which are denser in factual information. To be a good academic writer, you will need to learn the specific styles and structures for your discipline, as well as for each writing task. Some ways to do this are to:
Make your writing more formal through the vocabulary that you use for academic writing: choose formal instead of informal vocabulary. For example, ‘somewhat’ is more formal than a bit, and ‘insufficient’ is more formal than ‘not enough’. Avoid contractions. For example, use ‘did not’ rather than ‘don’t’ Avoid emotional language. For example, instead of strong words such as ‘wonderful’ or ‘terrible’, use more moderate words such as ‘helpful’ or ‘problematic’. Instead of using absolute positives and negatives, such as ‘proof’ or ‘wrong’, use more cautious evaluations,such as ‘strong evidence’ or ‘less convincing’
However academic writing usually needs you to be objective and impersonal (not mentioning personal
feelings),and usually you may still have to present your statement. For example, you may need to:
As well as using formal language, you also need to write technically. This means that you need to develop a large vocabulary for the concepts specific to the discipline or specialization you’re writing for. To do this, take note of the terminology used by your lecturer and tutor, as well as in your readings. Be careful about the meaning of technical terms. Often the same word has a different meaning in another discipline.
Make sure you also understand and use the key categories and relationships in your discipline, that is the way information and ideas are organized into groups. For example, in the discipline of Law, the law is separated into two types: common law and statute law. Knowing these distinctions will help you structure your writing and make it more technical and analytical.