Academic Writing — A Complete Guide for Beginners

What is academic writing? In simplest words, academic writing is a style of writing used in the academic field and adopted by academic institutions or scholarly publications. You might encounter academic writing in peer-review journals, books, articles, and you are expected to write your manuscripts, dissertations, essays, or thesis in the academic style. Academics and students use this style to convey complex ideas and theories clearly and precisely to their readers. Therefore, as a student, especially for the ones getting higher education, it is needed for you to learn this way of writing and adopt it.


Academic Writing — A Complete Guide for Beginners

This brief guide gives some essential information about academic writing for beginners and discusses prime academic writing characteristics. To give you an opportunity to practice proofreading, we have left a few spelling, punctuation, or grammatical errors in the text. See if you can spot them! If you spot the errors correctly, you will be entitled to a 10% discount.

As a student, you must have heard your teachers emphasize writing style and how your work should be written in the academic style. So, what exactly is academic writing? In simplest words, academic writing is a style of writing used in the academic field and adopted by academic institutions or scholarly publications. You might encounter academic writing in peer-review journals, books, articles, and you are expected to write your manuscripts, dissertations, essays, or thesis in the academic style.

Academics and students use this style to convey complex ideas and theories clearly and precisely to their readers. Therefore, as a student, especially for the ones getting higher education, it is needed for you to learn this way of writing and adopt it.

How is academic writing different?

Let us first start by understanding how it is different from your conventional way of writing. There are various factors that can help in distinguishing it from other writing forms.

1. Based on the language

Under this factor, academic work can only be written in formal language, without using common terms, slang, colloquialisms, and so on. On that note, scholarly writing barely uses first-person pronouns. 

Although there is no universal rule against the use of the first person in academic writing, researchers and students are mostly discouraged from using the first-person pronouns and we in their writing. One of the common reasons is that your target group may regard such writing as being subjective, whereas science is all about objectivity.

2. Based on the structure

While the conventional writing style does not follow any typical format and structuring, there are strict rules and regulations for academic work. There are even different sets and style guides for academic writing.

3. Based on reader

Academic writing differs from the rest based on the readers. In fact, readers and audiences are one of the prime determinants of the tone, formality, or language that is to be used in a work. The way you talk to your parents and friends will differ vastly from how you address your teachers or the principal. Similarly, when your audience consists of people of high authority or fellow peers, you need to use academic writing.

Prime characteristics of academic writing

1. Unbiased and formal tone

As mentioned above, academic work is strictly formal. There should not be any traces of informal tone or casual words. If any slang or casual phrases are used, it will only be for the sake of reference or emphasis. 

Also, your tone should be neutral and unbiased. Even when presenting your viewpoint, you should present them matter-of-factly instead of being biased. Therefore, there should be explanations and evidence behind your reasoning, but your writing should not directly deem your opposition’s opinion wrong.

In academic writing, writers should strive to avoid discriminatory references or sexism in language. Therefore, while it may not be incorrect to make reference to one gender on behalf of all, for example, "his", or "her", this is normally avoided by the use of the "plural" pronoun "their"

2. Factual and based on evidence

Academic writing is not based on emotions or philosophy. Instead, it is highly focused on logical and factual-driven reasoning. Facts and evidence should support your main motive of the writing. The main motive of scholarly writing is to discuss, evaluate, investigate, or prove a point.

Academic writing

3. Cited and formatted

Academic writing is all about citations and references. When working on an academic piece, your work should have all the relevant sources and citations, proving that your evidence and reasoning are taken from valid places. This helps your work gain more authenticity while allowing your readers to trace your findings back to their origin. Also, depending on the citation style you are using, your work may have different styles and formatting. So, that is another thing to look out for.

Few tips for academic writing

Lastly, we will wrap our article up by discussing a few tips on making your writing better. You may not be perfect from the very beginning, and you will need some time to adjust. However, with practice, you will soon be able to write in the academic format without any issues. So, with that in mind, here are a few tips to get better at academic work: 

  • Always focus on the structuring of your work. A good piece of academic writing will be well structured and well constructed.

  • Be concise and precise while you are writing. Scholarly writing prefers clear, to-the-point writing. Therefore, whatever you are stating should be clear, with relevant evidence and reasoning backing it up.

  • Refer to style guides while you are writing. Ask the responsible authority about the style guide they prefer and stick to it.

  • Lastly, always edit and proofread your work before you submit your work or publish them. Editing and proofreading are crucial steps in the process of writing and should not be overlooked. If you cannot do it yourself, you can always rely on editing and proofreading services.

If you need us to make your Ph.D. thesis or manuscript shine, contact us unhesitatingly!

Best Edit & Proof expert editors and proofreaders focus on offering manuscripts with proper tone, content, and style of academic writing, and also provide an upscale editing and proofreading service for you. If you consider our pieces of advice, you will witness a notable increase in the chance for your research manuscript to be accepted by the publishers. We work together as an academic writing style guide by bestowing subject-area editing and proofreading around several categorized writing styles. With the group of our expert editors, you will always find us all set to help you identify the tone and style that your manuscript needs to get a nod from the publishers.

Thesis/dissertation/manuscript formatting service

You can also avail of our assistance if you are looking for editors who can format your manuscript, or just check on the particular styles for the formatting task as per the guidelines provided to you, e.g., APA, MLA, or Chicago/Turabian styles. Best Edit & Proof editors and proofreaders provide all sorts of academic writing help, including editing and proofreading services, using our user-friendly website, and a streamlined ordering process.

Get a free quote for editing and proofreading now!

Visit our order page if you want our subject-area editors or language experts to work on your manuscript to improve its tone and style and give it a perfect academic tone and style through proper editing and proofreading. The process of submitting a paper is very easy and quick. Click here to find out how it works.

Our pricing is based on the type of service you avail of here, be it editing or proofreading. We charge on the basis of the word count of your manuscript that you submit for editing and proofreading and the turnaround time it takes to get it done. If you want to get an instant price quote for your project, copy and paste your document or enter your word count into our pricing calculator.

Academic writing

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