Academic writing is an integral part of your studies. It is a way of showing that you have understood and can apply the knowledge you have acquired. Academic writing is done in a variety of different contexts.

You can be instructed to do a piece of academic writing to present an argument with evidence to back up your standpoint. You might have to analyze certain information and present your analysis in the form of a written piece.

These are the main types of academic writing you would need to master during the course of your education:

A Research Paper

To complete a research paper, you need to find information that is applicable to your topic.

You collate and synthesize this research to support your thesis or position. Or you can use it to argue a point and persuade your reader.

Research items are data, primary sources (records, books, etc.), or secondary sources (written academic pieces).

Barbara Streak from EssayWritingLand says, ‘’Learning to do research and then present it in your writing is a critical skill. It demonstrates a sound understanding of the subject matter.’’ She adds, ‘’It also shows you are capable of having an opinion and justifying it.’’

A Dissertation

You present a dissertation at the end of your Ph.D. program. It is also known as a thesis. This is a much longer piece of academic writing.

Your dissertation is a summary of your research and findings during your postgraduate studies.

Literary Analysis

An analysis such as this requires you to read a literary piece before evaluating and examining it in detail. The analysis may focus on the literature in its entirety, or only one aspect of it such as a certain character.

A literary analysis also features an opinion and argument about the literary work.

What are the Characteristics of Academic Writing?

Academic writing is a specific style. There is room for an individual to express themselves creatively, but there are also certain conventions that must be observed.

Learning to write within a certain framework trains your mind to say what you want to say to how you need to say it.

These conventions include, but are not limited to:

The Use of Evidence

A written academic piece will be poorly accepted if it doesn’t contain evidence to support the writer’s findings, opinion, or argument.

You need to learn how to cite sources and acknowledge quotations from others. Using research as evidence in your academic writing lends it credibility.

The Structure

Usually, an academic writing piece is divided into an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

The introduction provides the foundation for the paper. It lays out the background behind the written piece, the thesis the writer intends to argue, and the scope of the essay.

In the body of the essay, the writer lays out the arguments and evidence to support the thesis. It is divided into paragraphs. Each argument or piece of evidence gets its own paragraph.

The conclusion offers the reader a summary of the points in the body and highlight’s the writer’s findings.

The Focus

One of the most important things you learn to do when acquiring academic writing skills is to stick to the topic. Every statement or assertion in the essay must relate to the thesis.

Going off at a tangent is not welcomed in academic writing.

Even if you include some background information or additional date, you have to relate it to the thesis of the essay.

The Tone

Academic writing tends to be impersonal and formal in terms of tone. The point is to be objective. Your feelings and opinions are an important part of the essay.

But you do not express them with inflammatory or emotive language that could offend the reader. Rather, you rely on factual evidence and logical reasoning.

5 Ways Academic Writing Prepares You for the Workplace

If you think that you leave your academic writing skills behind once you get your qualification, think again. These skills will have you in good standing in the workplace as well.

This will become even more apparent if you get into a position of leadership and management.

To be an effective leader or manager, communication is a critical skill. If you cannot communicate properly, you will not be taken seriously.

This is where your college academic writing skills will come to the forefront.

1. You Have Learned to Argue with Reasoning

When a team member questions a decision or instruction, you can apply logic to explain. Your brain is wired to substantiate your decisions with logic, not with bluster and “Because I said so.”

2. You Can Communicate Without Informal Language

As a leader or manager, you need to command the respect of those around you. Using informal language might make you seem cool and laid back, but it won’t help when it’s crunch time.

Being able to put your point across in clear, unequivocal terms garners you more respect in the long run.

3. Your Written Communication Skills Have Been Honed With the Papers You’ve Written

This means you can write correspondence and reports with ease.

Since leadership and management require administrative tasks, being good at writing helps to save time.

4. You Have Learned to Place Sufficient Emphasis on Evidence

Your team will respect you if you draw your observations from hard data and information.

If you can’t answer questions and provide evidence, you’ll lose their respect.

5. You Know How to Focus on Facts

This helps you put irrelevancies aside, and keeps yourself and your team on track.

You can, in a heartbeat, distinguish what is necessary and what is superfluous. When you are focused, you can keep your team members focused.

The opportunities presented in learning academic writing skills can carry you far in your career. They can set you apart from others when the time comes for giving promotions.

Bear in mind that your academic writing skills do not only apply in the academic world.

Make the most of getting to learn them. You can continue to take advantage of them long after you have graduated.

How Can Academic Writing Improve Your Leadership?

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Paula Hicks
Paula Hicks is an experienced journalist and writer. She spends her time teaching young journalists and works as an Editor at