Key Features of Academic Writing
Read the article below and do further research to answer the questions that follow: Features of academic writing
Academic writing should have a clear structure. The structure will often derive from theÂ genre of writing. For example, aÂ reportÂ will have an introduction (including the aim or aims), a method section, a discussion section and so on, while anÂ essayÂ will have an introduction (including aÂ thesis statement), clear body paragraphs withÂ topic sentences, and a conclusion. The writing should beÂ coherent, with logical progression throughout, andÂ cohesive, with the different parts of the writing clearly connected. CarefulÂ planningÂ before writing is essential to ensure that the final product will be well structured, with a clear focus and logical progression of ideas.
Opinions and arguments in academic writing should be supported by evidence. Often the writing will be based on information from experts in the field, and as such, it will be important toÂ referenceÂ the information appropriately, for example via the use ofÂ in-text citationsÂ and aÂ reference section.
Academic writing does more than just describe. As an academic writer, you should not simply accept everything you read as fact. You need to analyse and evaluate the information you are writing about, in other words make judgements about it, before you decide whether and how to integrate it into your own writing. This is known asÂ critical writing. Critical writing requires a great deal ofÂ researchÂ in order for the writer to develop a deep enough understanding of the topic to be truly critical about it.
Academic writing should be balanced. This means giving consideration to all sides of the issue and avoiding bias. As noted above, all research, evidence and arguments can be challenged, and it is important for the academic writer to show their stance on a particular topic, in other words how strong their claims are. This can be done usingÂ hedges, for example phases such asÂ the evidence suggests...Â orÂ this could be caused by..., orÂ boosters, that is, phrases such asÂ clearlyÂ orÂ the research indicates.
Academic writing should use clear and precise language to ensure the reader understands the meaning. This includes the use ofÂ technical (i.e. subject-specific) vocabulary, which should be used when it conveys the meaning more precisely than a similar non-technical term. Sometimes such technical vocabulary may needÂ defining, though only if the term is not commonly used by others in the same discipline and will therefore not be readily understood by the reader.
Academic writing is objective. In other words, the emphasis is placed on the arguments and information, rather than on the writer. As a result, academic writing tends to use nouns and noun phrases more than verbs and adverbs. It also tends to use moreÂ passive structures, rather than active voice, for exampleÂ The water was heatedÂ rather thanÂ I heated the water.
Finally, academic writing is more formal than everyday writing. It tends to use longer words and moreÂ complex sentences, whileÂ avoiding contractions and colloquial or informal words or expressionsÂ that might be common in spoken English. There areÂ words and collocations which are used in academic writingÂ more frequently than in non-academic writing, and researchers have developed lists to help students of academic English, such as theÂ Academic Word List, theÂ Academic Vocabulary List, and theÂ Academic Collocation List.
EAP Foundation (2021) What is Academic Writing - EAP Foundation, 5 June. Available at: https://www.eapfoundation.com/writing/what/Â (Accessed 9 August 2021)
Choose seven of the features of academic writing mentioned in the article above and discuss why they are important.
Welcome to foundation year! You are currently studying âStudy Skills for Higher Educationâ which is a course designed to help students to study more effectively and to achieve higher results in written assignments and exams.
Identify seven key skills which are commonly taught in this course and discuss why they are important for students.
You are advised to support your discussion with at least ten sources published during the last ten years.