This question could be looked
at from many perspectives, but a good place to start would be to define what it
is. Academic writing normally refers to a style of expression that researchers
use to define their specific areas of expertise. There are also many
characteristics of academic writing, which include a formal tone, the use of
third-person rather than in first person which normally seems to be the case.
Another characteristic is there is usually a clear focus on the research
problem that is being investigated, and also the use of precise word choice.
One major characteristic that academic writing portrays is coming up with an
agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts for a group of scholarly
experts. This massively comes in handy for professions with specialist
languages, e.g. law or medicine. (Hartley, 2008)
Another question posed under
the topic of What is academic writing? Is what is the importance of it? The
answer to that is there are many factors that show the importance of academic
writing. One being The Big Picture. Take journalistic writing or fiction
writing as an example of other styles of writing, unlike these styles of
writing academic writing is formal and logical. Academic writing must be
cohesive and usually possesses a logically organised flow of ideas; this
therefore means the various parts are connected to form a unified whole. More
characteristics of academic writing include all sources being properly cited
and narrative links between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader is able
to follow your argument.
Another importance of
academic writing is the Tone. Throughout your piece of academic writing it is
essential that you present the various arguments of others fairly and also the
use of appropriate narrative tone. When presenting a standpoint in an argument
that you may disagree with, you must describe the argument accurately and
without the use of biased language. As an author, you are therefore expected to
investigate the research problem from an authoritative viewpoint. Therefore,
you should state the strengths of your argument confidently, but using neutral
language. Confrontational/dismissive language is frowned upon.
Language is definitely one of
the most important factors in academic writing. The use of well-structured
paragraphs and clear topic sentences will thus allow the reader to follow your
line of thinking without much difficulty. The language you use must also be
formal and expressed precisely about what you want it to mean. One thing to
avoid when writing a piece of academic writing is vague expressions, they may
not be precise/specific enough for the reader to derive the exact meaning of
what you intend.
When citing sources in your
paper it is essential that you do this correctly. It is important to always
acknowledge the source of any ideas, data findings or quoted text that you
have. Having correct referencing in your piece of academic writing is imperative.
The purpose of doing this is that it’s your defence against any allegations of
plagiarism. Another importance of citing and referencing correctly is that it
also allows the reader to see the sources you used and not only that but also
verify your findings and conclusions to their satisfaction.
When doing an assignment,
they often ask you to express your own viewpoint about the research problem. To
validate your viewpoint, you need one thing and that is evidence-based
arguments. They are essential in your piece of academic writing. In academic writing,
opinions that are based on sound understanding and evidence is valued highly, when
stating your opinion in your piece of academic writing you need to back it up
with evidence and the best place to find sound evidence are scholarly sources.
The quality of your evidence will determine the strength of your argument, the
more honourable the source of evidence the more reliable your piece of academic
writing becomes. The challenge of you as a writer is to convince the reader of
your opinion through a well-documented and logically structured piece of work.
Academic writing is thesis
driven, this means that the starting point is a particular idea or thesis
applied to the research problem for example a more detailed question within a
generalised research topic. Examples include things such as disproving or
establishing solutions posed to the more refined question for the generalised
topic. Just describing or writing about a generalised topic without posing
specific questions does not count as academic writing.
One main importance of
academic writing is to essentially dumb down a complex idea, to explain that
complex idea as clearly as possible. This is called higher-order thinking, and
this is usually used to describe abstract ideas that can’t easily be explained
by showing images or acted out.
Hartley, J., 2008.
Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide. Colarado:
Murray, R. & Moore, S., 2006. The Handbook of
Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach.:Open University Press.
Nygaard, L. P., 2015. Writing for Scholars: A Practical
Guide to Making Sense and Being Heard.. 2nd ed. Los Angeles : Sage
Silvia, P., 2007. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide
to Productive Academic Writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological