Academic writing tips for college students

Academic writings such as reports, exams, thesis etc are different from other forms of writing. They have their own set of rules that are a must to follow.

Created On: Apr 10, 2020 16:53 IST
 Academic writing tips for college students
Academic writing tips for college students

The skill of writing is a very important part of a student's academics. It is a must have to succeed in the competitive academic world of today. One needs to have a style of writing that communicates their ideas with grace, clarity and power. Academic writing is very different from the day to day informal and creative writing styles that most of us are used to. It involves a lot of research and helps you expand your knowledge base. It also has a very specific set of writing rules and regulations that one needs to follow. It requires  the author to develop a formal style of writing. Essays, thesis, university exams, presentations they all require the student to look at various aspects of the topic and write it following a standard structure or format.

It may seem like a herculean task at first, but it's very easy once you get the hang of it. All you need to do is to follow some basic guidelines mentioned below while writing for academic papers. 

Write according to the intended audience / Understand your topic and audience

Academic writing usually involves audience that are highly educated and well-informed on the topic discussed in the paper. Hence, safe to assume that they need no background or in-depth introduction of the basics. You can straightaway jump to the point and save both yours and your readers time.  Having to read through the basics again and again, would do nothing but lead to their disinterest in reading your work.

Follow Proper Structure

Any piece of academic writing whether it be an essay, a thesis, report, presentations or any other format each one them has a set of writing guidelines to be followed. These guidelines  make for standardized format that makes it easier for the reader to comprehend what you are trying to say. The most basic format of any academic writing is to have a proper intro that introduces the topic, a body where the main content is discussed in details and lastly a conclusion that sums up all the points discussed above. It is advisable to first draw out an outline of what you are going to write.

Build on the past

Before you set out to draft the outline or begin writing your piece of work it's important to go through the previously published matter on the subject. The more you consume the better it would be. For when you have gone through previously written papers it would help you outline your paper better and also give you an understanding of the topics that have been previously covered.

It will help you come up with your main argument and construct your paper with fresh and informative take. You would avoid repeating the same facts as those before you, setting your paper apart and making your efforts worthwhile.

Take a stand

When writing an academic paper especially the one like a thesis, the author is required to take a stand and present a thesis statement. One very effective writing strategy for doing that is to outline the supporting evidence for the statement. An author can produce a compelling and persuasive piece of academic writing by presenting the hypothesis along with the strong arguments for proving the statement's validity.  

Include supporting evidence & references

In any academic paper a person is required to include a complete list of the sources from which he has sourced the information used in his paper. It is important to have a bibliography section where this entire information is included. It allows the audience and especially the fellow researchers and editors to get access to the supporting material used by the author to evaluate conclusions drawn in his paper.

Avoid using literary clichés

As an author of an academic paper you should be very mindful of your tone of voice in the paper. Academic writings are meant to be informative and educational for their audience. Use of creative sentences, flowery language  and over use of literary devices such as the metaphors and analogies can distract the reader. It can lead them to derive a completely different conclusion of your research than what you intended to convey.  It could also affect impact of the important points put forward by you in  the paper. The language for writing academic papers should be in a manner that make it clear, concise and to the point for the readers. 

Editing and Proofreading -

The process of editing and proofreading it essential to all form of writing whether it be creative writing or academic writing. While editing your academic writing you should be very mindful of both the content and the format. Two to three edits can help an author polish his work and reduce or eliminate any unnecessary points in his paper.  Proofreading on the other hand will help save him the embarrassment of having made any small stupid mistakes like that of spelling or grammar.  If an author feels that their editing and proofreading skills are not up to the mark , they can also hire professionals to the same for them.

Follow these guidelines responsibly and you will witness a great change in the quality of your academic works. Your writing skills are bound to experience a boost by observing these simple methods. 

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