Academic writing is pretty mechanical and linear, and all you have to do is follow a set of rules. And unlike fiction writing, you don’t have to worry about plot continuity, story setting or character development.
Writing a thesis or dissertation should be easy, yet graduate students still struggle with their research papers or assignments, especially in the first year.
And why is that? Academic writing is more than just clubbing together the research from different sources, and you need to add your perspective in the paper to make it authentic and credible.
Academic writing rules can only take you so far in your curriculum. Most students and even tenured professors have learned about academic writing only through trial and error. You wouldn’t know unless you don’t start writing!
If you are a college student looking for quick and easy tips to improve your academic writing, this is the right place for you!
Here are lifesaving academic writing tips that you should implement in your papers ASAP!
1. State the objective of writing the paper clearly
The abstract summarises your research where you state the intent and purpose of writing the paper. Keep this section limited to 200 words.
When you clearly state the objective of writing the paper, the reader knows what they can expect beforehand. Do not test the patience of your reader with a general introduction. Get straight to the point and discuss the main issues that you will cover in your paper.
Students often make the mistake of writing a synopsis of their paper in the introduction of the article. Remember, the introduction is about contextualising your research and setting the background for your topic.
The objective of writing the paper must come before the introduction in the abstract. In the abstract, you must state whether the report contains experiments, a literature review, graphs, statistical surveys etc.
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2. Always use concrete examples.
Students often confuse academic writing with using wordy paragraphs that go around the topic and include as much data as possible. This makes your paper incomprehensible and difficult to read.
Academic papers aim at simplifying complicated concepts and should help students present their arguments in a structured manner.
Using concrete, real-life examples to substantiate your arguments is an excellent way to keep your research grounded and authentic. The reader can easily understand abstract concepts in your paper when they are clarified using practical examples.
Always begin the examples in a separate paragraph, start with “for instance” or “for example” to attract the reader’s attention.
3. Don’t just state the statistics; give your interpretation as well.
If your research paper requires a statistical report or survey, you should devote a para to explain the stats.
Students often assume that including a graph or chart in their paper is self-explanatory. In reality, the professor wants to check how well you understand your research topic.
Include a para that explains the graph, the findings derived from the research and your interpretation of their findings. The reader wants to know what the results mean.
4. Add structure and maintain consistency in your paper.
Academic writing follows a set structure; talk to your professor about the writing style and citation style in your paper.
Most literary or theory-based papers use MLA or Harvard referencing styles. Griffith and APA referencing styles are more apt for scientific studies.
Also, maintain consistency in your academic paper. There should be a logical flow in your writing that connects one section to the other in a way that makes sense.
Don’t hesitate to add subsections of subheadings in your paper if that makes your writing more coherent and easy to read.
Connect these paras with transitional phrases such as “However”, “In contrast to”, “To this end,” or “In sum,” etc. These phrases connect what has been presented earlier to what will be delivered next.
5. Keep it simple.
A lifesaving tip for students struggling with academic writing: Do not express more than one or two ideas in a single.
Keep the sentences short and to the point. I know academic writing sometimes calls for wordy, lengthy sentences, but you can always break it into multiple sentences.
Another tip: Start sentences with old information, and end with new information. This gives your sentence a much-needed structure and coherence. Ensure that one sentence seamlessly transitions into another; this makes your paper easier to read.
The Bottom Line
As a graduate student, your academic journey has only begun. Depending on your curriculum, you’ll have to write many academic papers, project reports and dissertations in the years to come.
You should start implementing these tips to improve your academic writing style. You can always reach out to professionals to guide you through your first assignment.
Reach out to our team of subject matter experts who can help you write well researched, plagiarism-free papers to get that perfect grade!
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