The process of writing; basic features of writing; styles of writing and paraphrasing.

Basic Features of Academic Writing

There are a few important items to keep in mind when we try to improve the quality of academic writing.

1. Planning

There is a certain amount of planning before you start writing. It does not matter what you write – an essay, a letter or a simple paragraph, you need to be organized.

2. Outline 

A good outline is a must. It will help you formulate your thoughts and will make you understand of various connections between different subject matters. It will enable you to decide what kind of facts to include in your piece of writing.

3. Language

The language in your paper needs to be clear and formal. Words and phrases have to be selected carefully. You should not use jargon, difficult terminology, slang words, acronyms or numerous idioms. Thesaurus is a useful tool. It can  help you to select the correct words or phrases.

4. Approach

Deductive reasoning is a big part of academic writing: in this way you will guide your reader to your conclusion. 

5. Third Person

If you express your point of view in the third person you will meet one of the basic requirements of academic writing:  you will focus on the facts, not on the support of your attitude or opinion.

6. Three Distinct Sections

A text usually has three distinct sections: the introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction you explain some useful and interesting facts or information. The body must be clearly written and arranged in a logical order: cohesion is realized by reiterating key words, using synonyms and transitional words, such as however, such as, therefore, etc. In the conclusion, you put emphasis on the main points and give your recommendations.

7. Common Errors

There is a comprehensive list of Common Errors.

Informal Language vs Formal Language

English language can be informal (spoken, colloquial) and formal (official). We usually use informal language when we communicate with close friends and relatives. We use formal language when we communicate in the workplace, write academic research essays, business letters or formal emails at work.

Click on the following links and watch, listen and learn about differences between informal and formal language:

Formal vs. Informal Writing (watch, listen and learn)

Formal vs Informal Writing: What's the Difference... (watch, listen and learn).

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