Academic writing involves the process of communicating a thesis to an academic audience. It means that your essay must contain a clear position on the issue you are writing about, and it must use information from reliable sources to support this thesis.
What is Academic Writing?
Academic writing is any form of writing used as part of an academic course or academic study. This type of writing is typically meant to be original research that has not been written by anyone else, and it must demonstrate understanding of concepts in a subject area. You do not need to summarize the work of others.
Problems Addressed in Academic Writing?
Academic writing requires you to analyze other people's research, determine what is helpful for your work, and properly cite the sources you used. It can be challenging to craft a well-researched paper that uses reliable sources and presents an original argument.
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What Type of Writing is Most Common in an Academic Course?
In most academic courses, you will have different types of writing assignments during the course. These include:
- Research papers
These papers involve the process of gathering information from reliable sources and using those sources to craft a new argument.
- Term papers
A term paper often covers one area in great detail, such as a specific topic or an author's entire body of work. In most cases, you will be writing a term paper for a class during your undergraduate education.
- Book reviews
Many courses require you to read several books and present the information in a review. It requires learning more about any nuances of the book's content, its author, and its fit into existing scholarship on the subject area.
In many cases, you will need to read several books for a class. When preparing a book review, you should read each book and summarize the contents of each chapter. You will also need to describe how the book fits into the existing scholarship on this subject. You might also be asked to provide your critical analysis of the author's writing style or even their argument.
Each assignment is designed to help you learn more about the subject area that you are studying.
What Type of Writing Should You Use?
It can be confusing to know which type of writing assignment is best for each topic in your class. While you do not need to know all of these different types of academic writing, understanding the difference between them can help you approach your writing assignments with confidence.
Papers need to be original work that has not been published elsewhere. The expectation is to research the topic on your own, determine which points of view are most valuable for your work, and avoid simply summarizing information from textbooks or other people's research.
For many assignments, you will have a specific question to answer. For example, you might need to determine whether or not an author is credible based on the writing they published in a book review. These papers should include a thesis statement and descriptive evidence from your reading of sources.
While it can be confusing to learn which type of writing you should use, there is one guiding principle that can help:
- Academic writing involves the process of communicating a thesis to an academic audience. You need to indicate why your research is valuable for other people interested in the same topic as you.
How Can You Approach Academic Writing?
Academic writing is a skill that you can develop over time. Start with a topic idea and do your research to understand the context of your work. Then, determine an argument that supports your point of view and support it with evidence from the sources you read. Your analysis should provide new insight into the topic area or fill a gap in existing scholarship.
Follow these steps to write a well-researched paper:
1. Choose a topic you are interested in learning more about and has not been written about extensively already.
2. Do your research on the topic area, focusing on writing from other sources rather than an online search engine.
3. Develop a thesis that supports your argument. Make sure that the thesis is original and based on your thoughts or research.
4. Use evidence from your research to write an outline for each of the chapters in your paper. It will help you organize the information you have gathered during your research, determine which points are most critical to your argument, and prioritize the order in which you will present your information.
5. Follow your outline by writing each section of the paper (introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion) rather than starting with the introduction or ending with the conclusion.
6. Proofread multiple times to ensure that there are no grammatical errors or typos in your paper.
7. Polish your final draft by using the strategies below to ensure that you have written a high-quality piece of work:
- First, identify any new information or ideas you might add by further researching the topic area.
- Then, think about how your argument is strengthened by including this new information.
- Finally, think about how your paper might be strengthened by addressing any gaps in existing scholarship (scholarly articles or books) that you might have overlooked in the course of your research.
These strategies will help you to develop your academic writing skills and write a high-quality paper. If you are still struggling with academic writing, try seeking assistance from a professor or online educational helper.