6 Useful Tips To Improve Your Academic Writing
Academic writing is one of the leading types of writing today. So, what can you do to improve your skills in it?
Academic writing is difficult, which is why academic writers are rare. While students have to commit to it while they’re in school/college, professionals seldom choose this path. In 2021, there were only around 50 thousand academic writers in the United States.
So, if you decide to become one of those, how can you ensure you’re a good one? What skills do you need to ensure you’re a good academic writer? Today, we’ll be understanding three main things:
- What academic writing is
- What are its types
- 6 tips to improve your academic writing skills
So, let’s get started.
What Is Academic Writing?
Academic writing is a genre of academic literature. It is used to communicate research and scholarly work in the fields of science, social sciences, medicine, and humanities. Academic writing is often expected to follow formal guidelines for citation and referencing.
Most academic papers are based on:
- Research from other sources that have already been published
- On original data or theories generated by the author(s)
- Some disciplines require authors to produce original research as part of their degree program
The first step in writing an academic paper is choosing a topic you are interested in or knowledgeable about. The second step would be doing some background reading on the topic you have selected to develop a thesis statement that summarizes your position on the subject.
The third step would be to find suitable sources for your academic argument, research, or opinion. While most people think academic writing is only for students, in reality, this type of writing is usually done by scientists, researchers, and also students.
The main goal of this type of writing is to communicate research findings or to persuade the reader about a specific topic. That’s why academic writers must follow certain rules when writing their papers.
They also need to use scientific/formal language, avoid slang words, and ensure that their sentences are not too long because it would be difficult for the reader to read them.
3 Main Types of Academic Writing
In order to become a better academic writer, it’s important to understand that there are three main types of academic writing. And each one is vastly different from another; here they are:
Descriptive writing is a form of academic writing that reports or records an event or situation. Descriptive academic writing gives a clear, accurate, and detailed account of what you describe. It should not include any interpretation or analysis.
Descriptive essays can be used in many different disciplines such as history, sociology, psychology, etc. Descriptive essays are also sometimes called “report” or “record” essays because they provide information about something that has happened.
Analytical academic writing is a type of writing that requires the author to analyze and compare information to come up with a conclusion. An analytical academic paper usually consists of three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction typically answers the following questions:
- What is the problem? Why is it important?
- What are the different perspectives on this issue?
The body usually consists of three parts: argument, evidence, and counterargument. It also includes supporting evidence for each point in the argument. Finally, the conclusion summarizes what has been said in the paper and provides a final opinion on the topic.
The goal of persuasive academic writing is to convince the reader of the validity of an argument. It is often used in academic journals, where the writer’s goal is to convince other academics that their work has merit.
Persuasive writing can also be used in marketing, where it might be trying to convince a customer to buy a product or service. That’s why it’s essential to understand how you can write persuasive academic writing and what techniques you can use to persuade your audience.
Persuasive writing has two main goals:
- Convince your audience that your argument is valid
- Convince your audience that they should care about what you are saying
Therefore, it needs evidence and logic to make an idea feel more convincing.
6 Useful Tips To Improve Academic Writing
Writing good academic content depends on your research, understanding of the topic, and the various writing types mentioned above. However, there are a few other things you need to tend to, and these six valuable tips will help you target those aspects. So, let’s begin:
1. Learn Formal vs. Informal
The difference between a blog you’d read online and an academic research paper would be the language. In a blog, you’d often read content as if you’re talking to someone because it’s conversational.
However, academic content needs to be formal, so you need to differentiate it from informal. For instance:
- Use “capable of” instead of “can”
- Try “persuade” instead of “talk into”
So, make sure you understand formal vs. informal as it’s one of the critical ingredients in academic writing.
2. Learn How to Summarize
You might be thinking about summarizing an article in general, like writing a summary. However, learning how to summarize for academic articles is more than just that. It requires you to:
- Convey vast ideas briefly
- Help the reader understand detailed aspects with shorter text
- Ability to write conclusions
In other words, there’s no space for the reader’s interpretation or dangling subjects in academic writing. Finish writing what you started and sum it all up.
3. Rephrase To Remove Plagiarism or Improve Tone & Flow
A rephrasing tool needs to be in the arsenal of an academic writer. The two main reasons you need a rephraser are to remove plagiarism and to improve content tone and flow. Here’s how:
The first thing you need to do is check for plagiarism, and once you do, you need to fire up the paraphrase tool and upload your content into it like this:
Once done, paraphrase your text to remove any plagiarism:
Does this guarantee removal of plagiarism? The only way to be sure is by checking for plagiarism again. However, you’d also have to cite the original source to avoid any claims of duplicity.
Improving Tone & Flow:
Now, improving tone and flow requires you to look at the top-left of Paraphraser.io’s rephrasing tool:
Now, each one of these tones can help you with specific content fluency. We suggest you try each one to find the one that’s more akin to your writing style.
4. Be Concise
Concise and precise writing works in any field, regardless of your type. It’s not any different in academic writing, so you need to be brief. So, how do you ensure that?
- Avoid redundancy
- Try not to use fluff words
- Be clear in expressions
- Try to avoid clichés
This will ensure your writing is top-notch and up to standards of academic writing around the globe.
5. Be Grammatically Apt
Grammatical correction and punctuation placement need to be immaculate in academic writing. You don’t want your well-researched article to be thrown away because of a silly spelling mistake or missing punctuations.
Try a grammar checker or simply get Grammarly for MS Word if you’re looking to correct errors on the go.
6. Focus On Readability
Much like any other content type, readability is one of the critical aspects of academic writing. In other words, even if your research is impeccable, unreadable content isn’t going to help you get good grades or whatever the porpoise of your academic writing might be.
These six tips can help you become a better academic writer. Granted, you need to tend to research and other basic stuff of academic writing. However, the point of this article was to look at things that are often overlooked. So, tend to these aspects, and you’ll see a clear difference.