Proper Language and Sentence Structure for Academic Writing
Ever Wonder What is Academic Writing In the First Place?
Academic writing is the form of writing that students and others in the world of academia use to communicate their knowledge and informed opinions on a variety of subjects. Academic writing is by definition objective, evidence based, accurate, and written from an impersonal point of view.
Notes about the Academic Writing Style
The style that you will use to write academic papers is much different than the style that you would use for personal or business communication. For example, when writing in an academic setting, you would never use contractions. You would also never use slang, jargon, or colloquialisms. The rules of academic writing also require that you avoid filler words, vague words (thing, a lot, more), and phrases that can be replaced with one word. Sexist language should also be avoided. Use police officer instead of police man. Avoid using first person pronouns or gender based pronouns. Use they or their instead of he or she. Writing in the second person (you) is also expressly forbidden. Avoid using filler words. Having a good vocabulary will be beneficial to you, but big words will not impress simply because they are big words.
Understanding The Conventions of Academic Writing
Here are a few rules that may help you to understand what is expected of you when you write a research paper or essay:
- Your writing should be based on solid research
- Your goal when writing a research paper should be expressing what the evidence proves, not manipulating evidence to support your opinion
- Shorter words are often the better choice than longer words
- Paragraphs must always have a main idea sentence
- Your thesis should be clear
- Being concise is extremely important
- Your papers should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion
Help With Academic Writing
Now that you better understand the characteristics of academic writing, let us discuss where you can get writing help both on and off campus. If your campus has a writing center, this is a great place to go and get help with academic writing assignments. The writing center will usually be staffed with assistant instructors or upperclassmen who are willing to volunteer their time to assist you. In some cases, your school's writing center will be internet based. In this case, you can log in to get information on various types of academic papers, rules of citation formats, and to see examples of various papers. If you need additional help, you may be able to find a tutor who can work with you one on one. A final option that many students use at least once are academic writing services. These are services that will write, edit, or proofread your academic papers for you. This is a very good option for students who are truly stuck on an assignment, and who are counting on getting a good grade. You can also use these services to help you to learn more about the proper structure and format of academic papers.