What is Academic Writing and How Does a Person Do It?

Most people have engaged in academic writing at one time or another, whether they realize it or not. According to kingessays,  Academic writing certainly is performed by scholars, professors, and instructors, but students engage in academic writing as well. So what is academic writing specifically, and what are some of the “rules” when it comes to academic writing?

What Are Some Types of Academic Writing?

It may be difficult to determine exactly what academic writing is by searching online, but it’s not impossible. That said, there are several ways in which students engage in academic writing. One of the most common forms of student academic writing is the essay. The essay can take many forms, and students usually begin learning how to write an essay early in their academic careers, long before high school. Some types of essays include term papers, research papers, argumentative essays, compare and contrast essays, and more.

Students may engage in other forms of academic writing as well, including writing annotated bibliographies, book reports, explications, abstracts, and more. Any form of writing a student must engage in for a class is considered academic writing (even composing answers to short essay exams).

Graduate students will usually engage in further academic writing pursuits. Many students pursuing a master’s or a doctorate will need to complete some sort of large writing project, whether it is a thesis or a dissertation. These types of writing projects often involve lots of time and research and are often large bodies of work. Most universities require this sort of project as part of their graduation requirements.

What Do Instructors Expect of Academic Writers?

There are no hard-and-fast rules because every instructor is different, but there are some specific standards that students may want to adhere to especially if we are talking about online learning:

  • Writing formally. What does this mean exactly? It means writing in a neutral tone, which involves writing in the third person. One can write this way, even when trying to sway his reader to his point of view. It also involves writing clearly and honestly and referring to experts in the field when necessary.
  • Write using a manual of style. Most instructors will expect students to refer to outside research, and many instructors will expect students to use a specific style for incorporating research. While there are many styles to choose from (MLA, APA, and Chicago, to name a few), students will want to use the style their instructor prefers. If the instructor doesn’t have a preference, a student will want to be consistent with whatever style she chooses.
  • Academic writing should look good. Believe it or not, some students just don’t realize that their papers should always be typed. Most styles will even go so far as to tell students how large margins should be and if a title page should be included. But a paper that doesn’t incorporate research should, at the very least, still be typed and double spaced.
  • Likely, an instructor has already informed his opinion on the subject the student is writing about. An instructor does not want to read page after page of summary; rather, an instructor is reading a student’s writing to determine the student’s critical thinking about the subject. In other words, how much has the student analyzed the subject, integrated it into the knowledge and ideas she already has, questioned its value and credibility? The instructor hopes to see the student work with and manipulate the knowledge she is gaining; most professors do not want to read regurgitated, recited information.

Every instructor will have his further expectations of students, but if a student at least adheres to the ideas here, she will be on the right track.

Academic Writing is Not Unlike Other Types of Writing

Certainly, composing an email or writing a blog is a less formal, uninhibited way of writing, and creative writing is completely different as well. But everyone will have a time in her life when she must write academically, whether she is a high school student, undergraduate, or pursuing her Ph.D. And in between these extremes falls journalism and business writing, both formal as well. If a person knows how to write academically, she will likely have few problems with writing in other areas of her life.

About the author: Jared Watney is a professional writer on kingessays.com. Besides, he is a passionate stories writer. In this case, he dreams of self-publishing his book. Moreover, Jared started drawing images for it by himself.