Academic Writing academic papers and Publishing: A Practical Guide. Unlike fiction or journalistic writing, the overall structure of academic writing is formal and logical. There should be narrative links between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader is able to follow your argument. The overall tone refers to the attitude conveyed in a piece of writing.
Throughout your paper, it is important that you present the arguments of others fairly and with an appropriate narrative tone. When presenting a position or argument that you disagree with, describe this argument accurately and without loaded or biased language. In academic writing, the author is expected to investigate the research problem from an authoritative point of view. Diction refers to the choice of words you use. Awareness of the words you use is important because words that have almost the same denotation can have very different connotations . This is particularly true in academic writing because words and terminology can evolve a nuanced meaning that describes a particular idea, concept, or phenomenon derived from the epistemological culture of that discipline . Therefore, use concrete words that convey a specific meaning.
Therefore, it is important that you use unambiguous language. Well-structured paragraphs and clear topic sentences enable a reader to follow your line of thinking without difficulty. Your language should be concise, formal, and express precisely what you want it to mean. Do not use vague expressions that are not specific or precise enough for the reader to derive exact meaning , abbreviations like ‘i. Scholars rely on precise words and language to establish the narrative tone of their work and, therefore, punctuation marks are used very deliberately. For example, exclamation points are rarely used to express a heightened tone because it can come across as unsophisticated or over-excited. Dashes should be limited to the insertion of an explanatory comment in a sentence, while hyphens should be limited to connecting prefixes to words or when forming compound phrases .
Citing sources in the body of your paper and providing a list of references as either footnotes or endnotes is a very important aspect of academic writing. It is essential to always acknowledge the source of any ideas, research findings, data, or quoted text that you have used in your paper as a defense against allegations of plagiarism. Assignments often ask you to express your own point of view about the research problem. However, what is valued in academic writing is that opinions are based on what is often termed, evidence-based reasoning, a sound understanding of the pertinent body of knowledge and academic debates that exist within, and often external to, your discipline. You need to support your opinion with evidence from scholarly sources. It should be an objective stance presented as a logical argument. Academic writing addresses complex issues that require higher-order thinking skills applied to understanding the research problem .
Higher-order thinking skills include cognitive processes that are used to comprehend, solve problems, and express concepts or that describe abstract ideas that cannot be easily acted out, pointed to, or shown with images. Think of your writing this way: One of the most important attributes of a good teacher is the ability to explain complexity in a way that is understandable and relatable to the topic being presented. This is also one of the main functions of academic writing—examining and explaining the significance of complex ideas as clearly as possible. The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach. The very definition of jargon is language specific to a particular sub-group of people. Therefore, in modern university life, jargon represents the specific language and meaning assigned to words and phrases specific to a discipline or area of study.