What is Academic Writing? July 26, 2021

What is Academic Writing?

Academic writing is a style of expression that researchers and students use to elaborate the intellectual boundaries of their respective fields. The writing style in this particular category is more about being formal. The readers will encounter this writing style of journals, books, and academic pieces of work.

The writing process of academic content is more or less the same as other types of text. However, there’s a difference in terms of the content structure, style, and usage of terms. It requires a third-person tone instead of the first person; along with that, a formal tone is also one of its characteristics. The methodological framework in this writing style changes with respect to the subject and topic.

The writing appears to be a bit complex. It is due to the fact that the word choice is confined in regard to the subject. Additionally, the colloquial writing style lets the writer use a wide array of expressions, but academic writing limits the vocabulary, and jargon isn’t acceptable in any way around. 

Characteristics of Academic Writing 

Academic writing is linear; it means that there’s a central theme that is ultimately linked with the main argument. There’s no room for repetitions and digressions. The core objective of this writing style is to provide information, not to entertain or amuse the reader.

The content needs to be planned in a well-organized way. The overall tone or the language needs to be accurate and precise. Below you’ll come across some of the major characteristics of academic writing. 

Clarity and Conciseness 

In research papers, there’s a need to convey the meaning of the research work clearly and accurately. You will need to explain all the terminologies that you think readers may be unfamiliar with. If you are using any abbreviations in the content, then you need to explain those abbreviations.

You should also be careful about the vocabulary. The words you use must be clear, and there isn’t any need to formulate jargon. It will only give a vague impression to the readers. Along with that, the writer must use active voice instead of passive voice.

Although there’s the slightest difference, the active voice gives a better perception to the reader. It is due to the fact that inactive phrases, the focus is on the climatic changes, while in passive voice, focus diverts to reefs. Therefore, the writer needs to keep that in mind for building up a better understanding for the reader. 

Formal Tone and Style

A formal tone is quite indispensable in the research papers, and there’s no room for the colloquial style. It helps the writer to show respect to the audience. Additionally, formal writing style also depicts that the writer is quite serious about the topic or the subject he/she is writing about. You would need to provide the arguments in a fairly appropriate way so that the reader may not be confused about any argument or the facts you are stating.

Academic writing is about investigating research problems, without giving out a hypothetical opinion, it requires the writer to state the facts and information that has been proved with various arguments. A formal tone and style will help the writer to make their research paper more convincing and conclusive. 


Grammar is one of the essential elements of writing. Therefore, you can’t take it for granted. If your research work contains grammatical errors, then your work may lose its integrity. You’ll surely lose marks if there are errors in the grammatical formation of your research and academic papers. The language used in academic papers is more formal, and there’s no room to compromise on the grammatical formations.

No institute would tolerate such research work from the students’ end. There are myriad rules of grammar to consider while crafting academic research papers. There’s no doubt that a poorly written paper with plenty of grammatical errors will ruin the overall quality of the work. You would be in need to properly use clauses, punctuation and above all, the speech and tone must be in a flow. 

Features of Academic Writing 


The written formation of any language is generally regarded as to be objective rather than subjective. Therefore, the writing style isn’t obligated to refer to the reader or the writer.


In modern-day English and the prevalence of colloquial writing style has somehow changed the overall theme of writing. However, the academic writing style has changed in some way. Objectivity is an integral characteristic of academic writing. The writer would be in need of providing the information without any ambiguity. Therefore, it is generally accepted that nouns and adjectives are the core essence of this writing framework. There is little space for using verbs and adverbs. 


The vocabulary in academic writing style needs to be accurate, and there’s no room for using vague or slang words that limit the meaning of content. There are narrow specific words in most of the subjects. That’s the reason Linguistics differentiates between phonetics and phonemics. In contrast, general English doesn’t differentiate in that way. The usage of words is highly important as it would alter the meaning of the sentence. It is also due to the fact that there are non-native readers who aren’t able to comprehend the meaning of complex vocabulary. 


In academic writing, there’s a need to make a decision on your stance on a specific subject. You also need to have a firm grip over the strength of claims that you are making. It works in different ways for different subjects. Linguistic researchers name this technique hedging. Generally, it is believed that academic writing is based upon providing facts and information, which is true to a certain extent. Nevertheless, academic writing is also an important feature of cautious language, which is known as hedging or vague language. 


Academic writing is well-planned and needs a clear consideration from the writer’s end. The writing phase initiates after thorough research and planning have come to an end. There’s a need for a specific purpose and reason for crafting academic papers. Academic research requires extracting relevant information from books, journals, articles, and other helping material. Therefore, before starting the research phase, the writer needs to plan out the entire strategy. 


The writer needs to be conscious about building up the relationship with various segments of the content. There is a need to develop the arguments in a clear linkage with each other. Your arguments should be concise and precise and must be explicit. It helps the readers to grab a clear understanding of the overall essence of the research work.

Types of Academic Writing

Academic writing isn’t confined to a singular dimension. There are several types of this form of writing. The writing style for all of them differs, especially the content structure and formation. There’s a need to know about the types of academic writing, especially if you have just enrolled in a university.

You would need to develop strong writing skills to get yourself to stand out from the rest. Academic writing isn’t easy and requires strong analytical skills. If you are an experienced writer, then you would already be familiar with the types of writing that fall under the umbrella of academic research writing. However, one thing is common in all types, and that is the reflective nature. The content needs to be reflective and insightful. There must not be any ambiguities that might destroy the true essence of it. Below you’ll find some of the types of academic writing. 


Academic writing, especially in terms of essays, is about fashioning coherent ideas and thoughts into strong arguments. The essays are, in their core essence, linear. They do not move from a single idea and keep the reader intact with the core idea or the thought by accompanying it with viable arguments.

If you are able to successfully structure an essay, you’ll surely be able to grab the reader’s attention. This type of academic writing requires the writer to formulate ideas and thoughts in a clear way. You need to answer different questions that commonly arise. An essay needs to be mapped out with clear planning and consideration. Therefore, you need to make sure that the content in an essay is clear. The writer also needs to take care of the sentence structure and avoid grammatical errors. 

Research Papers

The research paper is the most common form of academic writing. It requires the researchers to accumulate a considerable chunk of facts and information for them. You would need to take a stand and topic for providing support to the argument.

Firstly, you would have to define the research question and then open up the strings of a conundrum with great care so that the reader must go through the papers in a flow. A research paper could also be regarded as an extended version of an essay. However, it requires your own interpretation, evaluation with strong logical arguments. You would have deliberately found out what the experts have to say on that particular topic. It also requires surveying a field of knowledge. The research voyage sometimes becomes hectic and requires extra effort to conclude with robust arguments. 

Thesis and Dissertation 

A thesis is the core baseline in higher studies and requires the writer to come up with his/her own findings. It is a form of document that is essential for the candidate to attain a professional or academic degree. A thesis requires the students to come up with findings that could support their arguments.

You cannot leave any stone under the wraps and have to explore all the dimensions that could be created from single or multiple ends. There’s no room to compromise on the quality and make the content vague in its core essence. Whereas a dissertation is also more or less the same. However, the dissertation takes place in doctoral studies. Therefore, if you are looking to pursue higher studies, you need to learn the basics of writing an effective thesis and dissertation. 

Bottom Line 

Academic writing is necessary for anyone who is looking to pursue higher studies. In the modern world, with a high level of education standards, you wouldn’t be able to pass out your degree without having a strong grip on it. Along with that, academic and research papers are also essential in professional and practical life.

For example, if you are working in a particular field and require professional help, then academic research papers could also help you a lot in this regard. However, you need to build a strong understanding of academic writing to succeed in your career. In this blog post, we have outlined the basics of academic writing. Stay tuned to our blog section for more interesting stuff. 

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