How to Write in an Academic Writing Style

There is no big secret about the “Academic Writing Style.” Among the most common tasks are the following:

Notes. Students are offered an article or a book that they have to read and write out the main points. Notes are used directly by the student, but it is important to know how to do them correctly to make them useful.

Report. In the report, it is necessary to present conclusions after studying a topic, the results of an experiment or research.

Project. A small scientific research work on the selected topic. As a rule, the project is developed by a group of students.

Essay. A common name for compositions and abstracts of various volumes (usually 1,000 to 5,000 words). People can write an essay of different kinds and types.

 

Dissertation (Thesis). Bulk work (from 20 000 words) of the highest level, which the student writes before graduating from a higher educational institution.

In addition to the texts mentioned above, there are others. These are scientific articles, letters of recommendation and correspondence in general. Despite the different purpose, volume and level of complexity, they all share similarities described below.

The first and the foremost thing in an academic text is its structure. Essays, reports and simple scientific works consist of an introduction, the main part, and conclusion. The introduction contains the so-called thesis statement, in which one sentence should outline the main idea of the work. In the main part, the author should develop the theme in 2 or 3 paragraphs. In the final part, conclusions are formulated based on the claimed thesis.

In the scientific text, it is necessary to avoid colloquial language, jargonisms (except for professional), phrasal verbs and everyday speech. The academic style is characterized by the corresponding vocabulary. Based on the data of the corpus linguistics, the Academic word list was compiled, that is, the list of words most often encountered in the articles. There’s no need in memorizing the list from A to Z, but you can refer to specially selected patterns (is based on; focus on; is known for …).

You must forget about the contractions (use do not instead of don’t), slang words and expressions, long and illogical sentences. Avoid personal language (I, my, etc.). Never use emotive language; be objective. All the facts should be supported by references to the source; use the conclusions of other people who worked on the topic before.

Express your opinion with simple as well as complex sentences, but they should be easy to understand from the first time. Remember that your primary goal is clarity.