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What is academic writing?

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This question could be looked at from many perspectives, but a good place to start would be to define what it is. Academic writing normally refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define their specific areas of expertise. There are also many characteristics of academic writing, which include a formal tone, the use of third-person rather than in the first person which normally seems to be the case. Another characteristic is there is usually a clear focus on the research problem that is being investigated, and also the use of precise word choice. One major characteristic that academic writing portrays is coming up with an agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts for a group of scholarly experts. This massively comes in handy for professions with specialist languages, e.g. law or medicine. (Hartley, 2008)

Another question posed under the topic of What is academic writing? Is what is the importance of it? The answer to that is there are many factors that show the importance of academic writing. One is The Big Picture. Take journalistic writing or fiction writing as an example of other styles of writing, unlike these styles of writing academic writing is formal and logical. Academic writing must be cohesive and usually possesses a logically organized flow of ideas; this, therefore, means the various parts are connected to form a unified whole. More characteristics of academic writing include all sources being properly cited and narrative links between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader is able to follow your argument.

Another importance of academic writing is the Tone. Throughout your piece of academic writing, it is essential that you present the various arguments of others fairly and also the use of appropriate narrative tone. When presenting a standpoint in an argument that you may disagree with, you must describe the argument accurately and without the use of biased language. As an author, you are therefore expected to investigate the research problem from an authoritative viewpoint. Therefore, you should state the strengths of your argument confidently, but using neutral language. Confrontational/dismissive language is frowned upon.

Language is definitely one of the most important factors in academic writing. The use of well-structured paragraphs and clear topic sentences will thus allow the reader to follow your line of thinking without much difficulty. The language you use must also be formal and expressed precisely about what you want it to mean. One thing to avoid when writing a piece of academic writing is vague expressions, they may not be precise/specific enough for the reader to derive the exact meaning of what you intend.

When citing sources in your paper it is essential that you do this correctly. It is important to always acknowledge the source of any ideas, data findings or quoted text that you have. Having correct referencing in your piece of academic writing is imperative. The purpose of doing this is that it’s your defense against any allegations of plagiarism. Another importance of citing and referencing correctly is that it also allows the reader to see the sources you used and not only that but also verify your findings and conclusions to their satisfaction.

When doing an assignment, they often ask you to express your own viewpoint about the research problem. To validate your viewpoint, you need one thing and that is evidence-based arguments. They are essential in your piece of academic writing. In academic writing, opinions that are based on sound understanding and evidence is valued highly, when stating your opinion in your piece of academic writing you need to back it up with evidence and the best place to find sound evidence are scholarly sources. The quality of your evidence will determine the strength of your argument, the more honorable the source of evidence the more reliable your piece of academic writing becomes. The challenge of you as a writer is to convince the reader of your opinion through a well-documented and logically structured piece of work.

Academic writing is thesis-driven, this means that the starting point is a particular idea or thesis applied to the research problem, for example, a more detailed question within a generalized research topic. Examples include things such as disproving or establishing solutions posed to the more refined question for the generalized topic. Just describing or writing about a generalized topic without posing specific questions do not count as academic writing.

One main importance of academic writing is to essentially dumb down a complex idea, to explain that complex idea as clearly as possible. This is called higher-order thinking, and this is usually used to describe abstract ideas that can’t easily be explained by showing images or acted out.

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