Academic writing is clear, concise, focused, structured, and supported by evidence. Its purpose is to help the reader's comprehension. It has a formal tone and style, but it is not complex and does not require the use of long sentences or complicated vocabulary. These OWL resources will help you with the types of writing you can find while you're in college.
OWL resources range from rhetorical approaches to writing, document organization, and sentence-level work, such as clarity. For specific examples of writing tasks, see our Common Writing Tasks area. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. The four main types of academic writing are descriptive, analytical, persuasive and critical.
Each of these types of writing has specific characteristics and purposes of language. Examples of other academic conventions to follow include proper use of titles and subtitles, spelling acronyms correctly when used for the first time in text, avoiding jargon or colloquial language, avoiding emotive language or unsupported declarative statements, avoiding contractions, and using pronouns first person and second person only when necessary. Specialized language or jargon are common and often necessary in academic writing, which is usually addressed to an audience of other scholars in related fields. Given the relatively specialized nature of academic writing, it can seem overwhelming when you start.
The formal style used in academic writing ensures that research is presented consistently across texts, so that studies can be objectively evaluated and compared with other research. There are words and placements that are used in academic writing more frequently than in non-academic writing, and researchers have developed lists of these words and phrases to help students of academic English, such as the Academic Word List, the Academic Vocabulary List, and the Academic Placement List. Academic writing follows the same writing process as other types of texts, but has specific conventions in terms of content, structure, and style. This page considers what academic writing is, analyzes in detail the main characteristics of academic writing and suggests ways to develop academic writing.
Whether you're writing a research paper, a thesis, or a conference paper, these tips can help you approach your academic writing tasks and projects from the right perspective. While this is not an exhaustive list of all the possible forms that academic writing can take, it does contain the most common types. Yes, it's appropriate that you use specialized language and a formal style of expression in academic writing, but it doesn't mean using big words just for doing so. However, most academic writings share certain key principles aimed at helping to convey information as effectively as possible.
By reading academic journals or texts, you can develop a better understanding of the characteristics that make academic writing different from other forms of writing. In most academic writing, it is required to go at least one step beyond analytical writing, to persuasive writing. Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and specific areas of specialization. While specific requirements may vary depending on the particular form of academic writing or the class or publication for which a work is produced, some characteristics are common to all academic writing.