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Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and specific areas of expertise. Characteristics of academic writing include a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a clear focus on the research problem under investigation, and precise word choice. Like specialist languages adopted in other professions, such as, law or medicine, academic writing is designed to convey agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts within a community of scholarly experts and practitioners.
Academic Writing. Writing Center. Colorado Technical College; Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide . New York: Routledge, 2008; Ezza, El-Sadig Y. and Touria Drid. T eaching Academic Writing as a Discipline-Specific Skill in Higher Education . Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2020.
Importance of Good Academic Writing
The accepted form of academic writing in the social sciences can vary considerable depending on the methodological framework and the intended audience. However, most college-level research papers require careful attention to the following stylistic elements:
I. The Big Picture Unlike creative or journalistic writing, the overall structure of academic writing is formal and logical. It must be cohesive and possess a logically organized flow of ideas; this means that the various parts are connected to form a unified whole. There should be narrative links between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader is able to follow your argument. The introduction should include a description of how the rest of the paper is organized and all sources are properly cited throughout the paper.
II. Tone 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. You should, therefore, state the strengths of your arguments confidently, using language that is neutral, not confrontational or dismissive.
III. Diction 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 [dictionary definition] can have very different connotations [implied meanings]. 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 [e.g., the concept of rational choice in political science]. Therefore, use concrete words [not general] that convey a specific meaning. If this cannot be done without confusing the reader, then you need to explain what you mean within the context of how that word or phrase is used within a discipline.
IV. Language The investigation of research problems in the social sciences is often complex and multi- dimensional . 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 ["they," "we," "people," "the organization," etc.], abbreviations like 'i.e.' ["in other words"], 'e.g.' ["for example"], or 'a.k.a.' ["also known as"], and the use of unspecific determinate words ["super," "very," "incredible," "huge," etc.].
V. Punctuation 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 [e.g., multi-disciplinary] or when forming compound phrases [e.g., commander-in-chief]. Finally, understand that semi-colons represent a pause that is longer than a comma, but shorter than a period in a sentence. In general, there are four grammatical uses of semi-colons: when a second clause expands or explains the first clause; to describe a sequence of actions or different aspects of the same topic; placed before clauses which begin with "nevertheless", "therefore", "even so," and "for instance”; and, to mark off a series of phrases or clauses which contain commas. If you are not confident about when to use semi-colons [and most of the time, they are not required for proper punctuation], rewrite using shorter sentences or revise the paragraph.
VI. Academic Conventions Citing sources in the body of your paper and providing a list of references as either footnotes or endnotes is a key feature of academic writing. It is essential to always acknowledge the source of any ideas, research findings, data, paraphrased, or quoted text that you have used in your paper as a defense against allegations of plagiarism. Even more important, the scholarly convention of citing sources allow readers to identify the resources you used in writing your paper so they can independently verify and assess the quality of findings and conclusions based on your review of the literature. Examples of other academic conventions to follow include the appropriate use of headings and subheadings, properly spelling out acronyms when first used in the text, avoiding slang or colloquial language, avoiding emotive language or unsupported declarative statements, avoiding contractions [e.g., isn't], and using first person and second person pronouns only when necessary.
VII. Evidence-Based Reasoning Assignments often ask you to express your own point of view about the research problem. However, what is valued in academic writing is that statements are based on evidence-based reasoning. This refers to possessing a clear understanding of the pertinent body of knowledge and academic debates that exist within, and often external to, your discipline concerning the topic. You need to support your arguments with evidence from scholarly [i.e., academic or peer-reviewed] sources. It should be an objective stance presented as a logical argument; the quality of the evidence you cite will determine the strength of your argument. The objective is to convince the reader of the validity of your thoughts through a well-documented, coherent, and logically structured piece of writing. This is particularly important when proposing solutions to problems or delineating recommended courses of action.
VIII. Thesis-Driven Academic writing is “thesis-driven,” meaning that the starting point is a particular perspective, idea, or position applied to the chosen topic of investigation, such as, establishing, proving, or disproving solutions to the questions applied to investigating the research problem. Note that a problem statement without the research questions does not qualify as academic writing because simply identifying the research problem does not establish for the reader how you will contribute to solving the problem, what aspects you believe are most critical, or suggest a method for gathering information or data to better understand the problem.
IX. Complexity and Higher-Order Thinking Academic writing addresses complex issues that require higher-order thinking skills applied to understanding the research problem [e.g., critical, reflective, logical, and creative thinking as opposed to, for example, descriptive or prescriptive thinking]. 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 during class. This is also one of the main functions of academic writing--examining and explaining the significance of complex ideas as clearly as possible. As a writer, you must adopt the role of a good teacher by summarizing complex information into a well-organized synthesis of ideas, concepts, and recommendations that contribute to a better understanding of the research problem.
Academic Writing. Writing Center. Colorado Technical College; Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide . New York: Routledge, 2008; Murray, Rowena and Sarah Moore. The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach . New York: Open University Press, 2006; Johnson, Roy. Improve Your Writing Skills . Manchester, UK: Clifton Press, 1995; Nygaard, Lynn P. Writing for Scholars: A Practical Guide to Making Sense and Being Heard . Second edition. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2015; Silvia, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007; Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice. Writing Center, Wheaton College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
Understanding Academic Writing and Its Jargon
The very definition of research jargon is language specific to a particular community of practitioner-researchers . 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. For example, the idea of being rational may hold the same general meaning in both political science and psychology, but its application to understanding and explaining phenomena within the research domain of a each discipline may have subtle differences based upon how scholars in that discipline apply the concept to the theories and practice of their work.
Given this, it is important that specialist terminology [i.e., jargon] must be used accurately and applied under the appropriate conditions . Subject-specific dictionaries are the best places to confirm the meaning of terms within the context of a specific discipline. These can be found by either searching in the USC Libraries catalog by entering the disciplinary and the word dictionary [e.g., sociology and dictionary] or using a database such as Credo Reference [a curated collection of subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, guides from highly regarded publishers] . It is appropriate for you to use specialist language within your field of study, but you should avoid using such language when writing for non-academic or general audiences.
Problems with Opaque Writing
A common criticism of scholars is that they can utilize needlessly complex syntax or overly expansive vocabulary that is impenetrable or not well-defined. When writing, avoid problems associated with opaque writing by keeping in mind the following:
1. Excessive use of specialized terminology . Yes, it is appropriate for you to use specialist language and a formal style of expression in academic writing, but it does not mean using "big words" just for the sake of doing so. Overuse of complex or obscure words or writing complicated sentence constructions gives readers the impression that your paper is more about style than substance; it leads the reader to question if you really know what you are talking about. Focus on creating clear, concise, and elegant prose that minimizes reliance on specialized terminology.
2. Inappropriate use of specialized terminology . Because you are dealing with concepts, research, and data within your discipline, you need to use the technical language appropriate to that area of study. However, nothing will undermine the validity of your study quicker than the inappropriate application of a term or concept. Avoid using terms whose meaning you are unsure of--do not just guess or assume! Consult the meaning of terms in specialized, discipline-specific dictionaries by searching the USC Libraries catalog or the Credo Reference database [see above].
Additional Problems to Avoid
In addition to understanding the use of specialized language, there are other aspects of academic writing in the social sciences that you should be aware of. These problems include:
- Personal nouns . Excessive use of personal nouns [e.g., I, me, you, us] may lead the reader to believe the study was overly subjective. These words can be interpreted as being used only to avoid presenting empirical evidence about the research problem. Limit the use of personal nouns to descriptions of things you actually did [e.g., "I interviewed ten teachers about classroom management techniques..."]. Note that personal nouns are generally found in the discussion section of a paper because this is where you as the author/researcher interpret and describe your work.
- Directives . Avoid directives that demand the reader to "do this" or "do that." Directives should be framed as evidence-based recommendations or goals leading to specific outcomes. Note that an exception to this can be found in various forms of action research that involve evidence-based advocacy for social justice or transformative change. Within this area of the social sciences, authors may offer directives for action in a declarative tone of urgency.
- Informal, conversational tone using slang and idioms . Academic writing relies on excellent grammar and precise word structure. Your narrative should not include regional dialects or slang terms because they can be open to interpretation. Your writing should be direct and concise using standard English.
- Wordiness. Focus on being concise, straightforward, and developing a narrative that does not have confusing language . By doing so, you help eliminate the possibility of the reader misinterpreting the design and purpose of your study.
- Vague expressions (e.g., "they," "we," "people," "the company," "that area," etc.). Being concise in your writing also includes avoiding vague references to persons, places, or things. While proofreading your paper, be sure to look for and edit any vague or imprecise statements that lack context or specificity.
- Numbered lists and bulleted items . The use of bulleted items or lists should be used only if the narrative dictates a need for clarity. For example, it is fine to state, "The four main problems with hedge funds are:" and then list them as 1, 2, 3, 4. However, in academic writing, this must then be followed by detailed explanation and analysis of each item. Given this, the question you should ask yourself while proofreading is: why begin with a list in the first place rather than just starting with systematic analysis of each item arranged in separate paragraphs? Also, be careful using numbers because they can imply a ranked order of priority or importance. If none exists, use bullets and avoid checkmarks or other symbols.
- Descriptive writing . Describing a research problem is an important means of contextualizing a study. In fact, some description or background information may be needed because you can not assume the reader knows the key aspects of the topic. However, the content of your paper should focus on methodology, the analysis and interpretation of findings, and their implications as they apply to the research problem rather than background information and descriptions of tangential issues.
- Personal experience. Drawing upon personal experience [e.g., traveling abroad; caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease] can be an effective way of introducing the research problem or engaging your readers in understanding its significance. Use personal experience only as an example, though, because academic writing relies on evidence-based research. To do otherwise is simply story-telling.
NOTE: Rules concerning excellent grammar and precise word structure do not apply when quoting someone. A quote should be inserted in the text of your paper exactly as it was stated. If the quote is especially vague or hard to understand, consider paraphrasing it or using a different quote to convey the same meaning. Consider inserting the term "sic" in brackets after the quoted text to indicate that the quotation has been transcribed exactly as found in the original source, but the source had grammar, spelling, or other errors. The adverb sic informs the reader that the errors are not yours.
Academic Writing. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Academic Writing Style. First-Year Seminar Handbook. Mercer University; Bem, Daryl J. Writing the Empirical Journal Article. Cornell University; College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Murray, Rowena and Sarah Moore. The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach . New York: Open University Press, 2006; Johnson, Eileen S. “Action Research.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education . Edited by George W. Noblit and Joseph R. Neikirk. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020); Oppenheimer, Daniel M. "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly." Applied Cognitive Psychology 20 (2006): 139-156; Ezza, El-Sadig Y. and Touria Drid. T eaching Academic Writing as a Discipline-Specific Skill in Higher Education . Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2020; Pernawan, Ari. Common Flaws in Students' Research Proposals. English Education Department. Yogyakarta State University; Style. College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Invention: Five Qualities of Good Writing. The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012; What Is an Academic Paper? Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.
Structure and Writing Style
I. Improving Academic Writing
To improve your academic writing skills, you should focus your efforts on three key areas: 1. Clear Writing . The act of thinking about precedes the process of writing about. Good writers spend sufficient time distilling information and reviewing major points from the literature they have reviewed before creating their work. Writing detailed outlines can help you clearly organize your thoughts. Effective academic writing begins with solid planning, so manage your time carefully. 2. Excellent Grammar . Needless to say, English grammar can be difficult and complex; even the best scholars take many years before they have a command of the major points of good grammar. Take the time to learn the major and minor points of good grammar. Spend time practicing writing and seek detailed feedback from professors. Take advantage of the Writing Center on campus if you need help. Proper punctuation and good proofreading skills can significantly improve academic writing [see sub-tab for proofreading you paper ].
Refer to these three basic resources to help your grammar and writing skills:
- A good writing reference book, such as, Strunk and White’s book, The Elements of Style or the St. Martin's Handbook ;
- A college-level dictionary, such as, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary ;
- The latest edition of Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form .
3. Consistent Stylistic Approach . Whether your professor expresses a preference to use MLA, APA or the Chicago Manual of Style or not, choose one style manual and stick to it. Each of these style manuals provide rules on how to write out numbers, references, citations, footnotes, and lists. Consistent adherence to a style of writing helps with the narrative flow of your paper and improves its readability. Note that some disciplines require a particular style [e.g., education uses APA] so as you write more papers within your major, your familiarity with it will improve.
II. Evaluating Quality of Writing
A useful approach for evaluating the quality of your academic writing is to consider the following issues from the perspective of the reader. While proofreading your final draft, critically assess the following elements in your writing.
- It is shaped around one clear research problem, and it explains what that problem is from the outset.
- Your paper tells the reader why the problem is important and why people should know about it.
- You have accurately and thoroughly informed the reader what has already been published about this problem or others related to it and noted important gaps in the research.
- You have provided evidence to support your argument that the reader finds convincing.
- The paper includes a description of how and why particular evidence was collected and analyzed, and why specific theoretical arguments or concepts were used.
- The paper is made up of paragraphs, each containing only one controlling idea.
- You indicate how each section of the paper addresses the research problem.
- You have considered counter-arguments or counter-examples where they are relevant.
- Arguments, evidence, and their significance have been presented in the conclusion.
- Limitations of your research have been explained as evidence of the potential need for further study.
- The narrative flows in a clear, accurate, and well-organized way.
Boscoloa, Pietro, Barbara Arféb, and Mara Quarisaa. “Improving the Quality of Students' Academic Writing: An Intervention Study.” Studies in Higher Education 32 (August 2007): 419-438; Academic Writing. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Academic Writing Style. First-Year Seminar Handbook. Mercer University; Bem, Daryl J. Writing the Empirical Journal Article. Cornell University; Candlin, Christopher. Academic Writing Step-By-Step: A Research-based Approach . Bristol, CT: Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2016; College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Style . College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Invention: Five Qualities of Good Writing. The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012; What Is an Academic Paper? Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.
Considering the Passive Voice in Academic Writing
In the English language, we are able to construct sentences in the following way: 1. "The policies of Congress caused the economic crisis." 2. "The economic crisis was caused by the policies of Congress."
The decision about which sentence to use is governed by whether you want to focus on “Congress” and what they did, or on “the economic crisis” and what caused it. This choice in focus is achieved with the use of either the active or the passive voice. When you want your readers to focus on the "doer" of an action, you can make the "doer"' the subject of the sentence and use the active form of the verb. When you want readers to focus on the person, place, or thing affected by the action, or the action itself, you can make the effect or the action the subject of the sentence by using the passive form of the verb.
Often in academic writing, scholars don't want to focus on who is doing an action, but on who is receiving or experiencing the consequences of that action. The passive voice is useful in academic writing because it allows writers to highlight the most important participants or events within sentences by placing them at the beginning of the sentence.
Use the passive voice when:
- You want to focus on the person, place, or thing affected by the action, or the action itself;
- It is not important who or what did the action;
- You want to be impersonal or more formal.
Form the passive voice by:
- Turning the object of the active sentence into the subject of the passive sentence.
- Changing the verb to a passive form by adding the appropriate form of the verb "to be" and the past participle of the main verb.
NOTE: Consult with your professor about using the passive voice before submitting your research paper. Some strongly discourage its use!
Active and Passive Voice. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Diefenbach, Paul. Future of Digital Media Syllabus. Drexel University; Passive Voice. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.
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Article basics, "a" or "an", no article (generic reference), articles in phrases and idiomatic expressions, related resources, knowledge check: articles.
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Note that this video was created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.
- Mastering the Mechanics: Articles (video transcript)
What is an article?
- Articles ("a," "an," and "the") are determiners or noun markers that function to specify if the noun is general or specific in its reference. Often the article chosen depends on if the writer and the reader understand the reference of the noun.
- The articles "a" and "an" are indefinite articles. They are used with a singular countable noun when the noun referred to is nonspecific or generic.
- The article "the" is a definite article. It is used to show specific reference and can be used with both singular and plural nouns and with both countable and uncountable nouns.
Many languages do not use articles ("a," "an," and "the"), or if they do exist, the way they are used may be different than in English. Multilingual writers often find article usage to be one of the most difficult concepts to learn. Although there are some rules about article usage to help, there are also quite a few exceptions. Therefore, learning to use articles accurately takes a long time. To master article usage, it is necessary to do a great deal of reading, notice how articles are used in published texts, and take notes that can apply back to your own writing.
To get started, please read this blog post on The Argument for Articles .
A few important definitions to keep in mind:
- one horse, two horses
- one chair, two chairs
- one match, two matches
- one child, two children
- one mouse, two mice
Please see this webpage for more about countable and uncountable nouns .
When to Use "A" or "An"
"A" and "an" are used with singular countable nouns when the noun is nonspecific or generic.
- In this sentence, "car " is a singular countable noun that is not specific. It could be any car.
- "University" is a singular countable noun. Although it begins with a vowel, the first sound of the word is /j/ or “y.” Thus, "a" instead of "an" is used. In this sentence, it is also generic (it could be any university with this specialization, not a specific one).
- In this sentence, "apple" is a singular countable noun that is not specific. It could be any apple.
"A" is used when the noun that follows begins with a consonant sound.
- a uniform (Note that "uniform" starts with a vowel, but the first sound is /j/ or a “y” sound. Therefore "a" instead of "an" is used here.)
"An" is used when the noun that follows begins with a vowel sound.
- an elephant
- an American
- an MBA (Note that "MBA" starts with a consonant, but the first sound is /Ɛ/ or a short “e” sound. Therefore, "an" instead of "a" is used here.)
Sometimes "a" or "an" can be used for first mention (the first time the noun is mentioned). Then, in subsequent sentences, the article "the" is used instead.
- In the first sentence (first mention), "a" is used because it is referring to a nonspecified house. In the second sentence, "the" is used because now the house has been specified.
When to Use "The"
"The" is used with both singular and plural nouns and with both countable and uncountable nouns when the noun is specific.
- In this sentence, "book" is a singular, countable noun. It is also specific because of the phrase “that I read last night.” The writer and reader (or speaker and listener) know which book is being referred to.
- In this sentence, "books" is a plural, countable noun. It is also specific because of the phrase “for this class.” The writer and reader (or speaker and listener) know which books are being referred to.
- In this sentence, "advice" is an uncountable noun. However, it is specific because of the phrase “you gave me.” It is clear which piece of advice was helpful.
Here are some more specific rules:
"The" is used in the following categories of proper nouns:
- Museums and art galleries : the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Art
- Buildings : the Empire State Building, the Willis Tower
- Seas and oceans : the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean
- Rivers : the Mississippi, the Nile
- Deserts : the Sahara Desert, the Sonora Desert
- Periods and events in history: the Dark Ages, the Civil War
- Bridges: the London Bridge, the Mackinac Bridge
- Parts of a country : the South, the Upper Midwest
In general, use "the" with plural proper nouns.
- the Great Lakes
- the Rockies (as in the Rocky Mountains)
"The" is often used with proper nouns that include an “of” phrase.
- the United States of America
- the University of Minnesota
- the International Swimming Hall of Fame
Use "the" when the noun being referred to is unique because of our understanding of the world.
- The Earth moves around the sun.
- Wolves howl at the moon.
Use "the" when a noun can be made specific from a previous mention in the text. This is also known as second or subsequent mention.
- My son bought a cat. I am looking after the cat while he is on vacation.
- I read a good book. The book was about how to use articles correctly in English.
"The" is used with superlative adjectives, which are necessarily unique (the first, the second, the biggest, the smallest, the next, the only, etc.).
- It was the first study to address the issue.
- She was the weakest participant.
- He was the only person to drop out of the study.
Biber et al. (1999) found that "the" is about twice as common as "a" or "an" in academic writing. This may be because writers at this level often focus on overall ideas and categories ( generic reference , usually no article) and on specific references (definite reference, the article "the").
- Biber, D., Johansson, S., Leech, G., Conrad, S., & Finegan, E. (1999). Longman grammar of written and spoken English . Pearson.
Writers sometimes struggle with the choice to include an article or to leave it out altogether. Keep in mind that if the noun is singular, countable, and nonspecific or generic (e.g., book, author), the articles "a" and "an" may be used. However, if the noun is countable and plural (e.g.., "research studies") or uncountable (e.g., "information") and it is being used in a nonspecific or generic way, no article is used.
Here are some more specifics:
- I bought new pens and pencils at the store. (general, not specific ones)
- Cats have big eyes that can see in the dark. (cats in general, all of them)
- Babies cry a lot. (babies in general, all of them)
- I bought milk and rice at the store. (generic reference)
- We were assigned homework in this class. (generic reference)
- There has been previous research on the topic. (generic reference)
Sometimes article usage in English does not follow a specific rule. These expressions must be memorized instead.
Here are some examples of phrases where article usage is not predictable:
- Destinations: go to the store, go to the bank , but go to school, go to church, go to bed, go home
- Locations: in school, at home, in bed, but in the hospital (in American English)
- Parts of the day: in the morning, in the evening, but at night
- Chores: mow the lawn, do the dishes, do the cleaning
There are also numerous idiomatic expressions in English that contain nouns. Some of these also contain articles while others do not.
Here are just a few examples:
- To give someone a hand
- To be on time
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What Is Academic Writing?
You learn a lot in college, and not all of it can be found in the course catalog. A lot of the skills you acquire you find yourself having to master on your own: managing your time, researching efficiently, and making ramen noodles in a coffee pot.
Another one of the skills you need to master is academic writing . Academic writing isn’t like other types of writing; it’s formal , it’s objective, and for a lot of students just starting college or grad school, it can be daunting.
But once you break down the fundamentals of academic writing and examine them piece by piece, you’ll see they’re nothing to be afraid of. There are rules you need to follow, but once you’ve got those rules down, you’re on your way onto the dean’s list.
Give your papers extra polish Grammarly helps you improve your academic writing Write with Grammarly
Characteristics of academic writing
Perhaps the most prominent characteristic of academic writing is the emphasis on adhering to a style guide . While nearly all content and media outlets use a specific style guide—which is either an already established guide or one of their own creation—correct adherence to a chosen style guide is nonnegotiable with academic writing. In most cases, you’ll lose credit if you don’t adhere to the style guide in your writing.
Two of the main style guides for academic writing are the Modern Language Association (MLA) guide and the American Psychological Association (APA) guide. Others include the American Medical Association (AMA) style guide, the American Chemical Society (ACS) style guide, and the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) . Each of these style guides maintains specific rules for how to format and punctuate your writing as well as how to cite the sources you use.
Beyond the style guide, these are the key characteristics that define academic writing:
Academic writing should be formal, clear, and concise
Academic writing uses formal language. It’s also optimized for clarity and conciseness , which can initially seem contradictory to the use of formal language.
Many writers confuse formal language with flowery language . Generally, flowery language uses elaborate words, lengthy sentences (sometimes to the point of being run-on), and metaphors so drawn-out that they obfuscate the point the writer is trying to make.
Actual formal language is much different. Formal language uses the most accurate, non-colloquial verbiage available to communicate the author’s points, and this verbiage may include jargon. Sentences are only as complex as they need to be in order to express coherent thoughts and positions; you should use literary devices like metaphor sparingly. In instances where literary devices are appropriate, they’re used differently than in other types of writing. Overall, clarity and conciseness are your main goals.
Academic writing takes an objective, detached stance from the subject being discussed. Because this type of tone is essential, the passive voice is sometimes necessary in academic writing, particularly in the sciences.
Academic writing uses prescriptive grammar
When it comes to grammar, academic writing is prescriptive. By that, we mean there are specific grammar and style rules that your writing must adhere to in order to be correct. These rules come from two sources: the style guide for the piece you’re working on and generally established conventions for academic writing. Style guides provide granular requirements, such as instructions on whether to hyphenate certain compound words and when to spell out numbers versus use numerals. Broader academic writing conventions, like writing in the third person and maintaining an objective tone , apply to all academic writing.
In contrast, other, more casual types of writing are not as strict about “proper grammar” versus “improper grammar.” In fact, in certain other types of writing, like blogging and ad copywriting, it’s often necessary to break established grammar rules in order to hook readers’ attention and communicate with them effectively.
Using ellipses to build suspense, ending sentences with prepositions , and using exclamation points to make your sentences exciting are great strategies for catchy, conversational writing—but they have no place in academic writing.
Formatting will depend on your style guide
Beyond adhering to specific grammar and style rules, your academic writing also needs to be formatted according to the style guide for your assignment. Formatting includes how you number your pages, what’s included in your header and footer, how the contents of your cover page are ordered, and how your citations and references are formatted. For example, if you’re writing a humanities paper, you’re most likely going to write it according to the MLA style guide. According to this style guide, the source page is titled “Works Cited” and each reference’s author is named by their last name followed by their first name. For a social sciences paper, you’d typically use the APA style guide, which instead says to title the sources page “References” and lists authors by their last names followed by their first initials.
Types of academic writing
Academic writing covers a variety of types of work. These include:
An essay is a relatively short piece of writing that, like a research paper, makes and supports a specific point.
Theses and dissertations
A thesis and a dissertation are two types of capstone projects. Generally, the term thesis refers to the culminating project of a master’s program (and some bachelor’s programs) while the term dissertation is used for a project that culminates in a doctoral program.
These projects are lengthy works that demonstrate the author’s candidacy for the degree they are seeking by posing an intellectual question, a persuasive argument , or a thought-provoking position. Both are created through the candidate’s research, under the guidance of their academic advisor.
A research proposal is a document formally requesting sponsorship or funding to support the author’s academic research. A research proposal outlines how the author plans to conduct their research, why they want to conduct this specific research, and what they aim to accomplish through the research.
A research paper is a comprehensive work that thoroughly demonstrates the author’s understanding of the subject they researched. Every research paper is formulated around a thesis statement—the statement in the opening paragraph that states the author’s position and summarizes their supporting arguments.
A literature review is a piece of academic writing that summarizes, describes, and evaluates a topic through analysis of other authors’ works. A literature review examines a topic through two or more works, and these works can be books, scholarly articles, presentations, dissertations, or other published materials.
Academic writing structure
As much as academic writing uses formal language and conforms closely to style guides, it also follows a clear structure. This specific structure depends on the type of writing being produced, but generally follows this type of outline:
1 Introduction that clearly states the thesis and aims of the work
2 Position/finding/challenge supporting the thesis
a. Supporting content
b. Supporting content
3 Position/finding/challenge supporting the thesis
4 Position/finding/challenge supporting the thesis
The length of the work and the number of sections included depend on the specific assignment and the topic being covered. While an essay may only be five to seven paragraphs or so and span just a few pages, a dissertation generally clocks in around 150–300 pages.
Another area where academic writing differs greatly from other types of writing is that in an academic paper, you always have to cite your sources. How to format your citations depends on the style guide you’re using.
Although the citation format for each style guide varies a bit, they all include the same key information about the sources you cite. This information includes the author’s name, the name of the work you’re citing, the work’s copyright date, and the work’s publisher. Take a look at how the most commonly used academic style guides advise on format:
Don’t overlook the importance of properly citing your sources—all of them. Each formatting style has specific guidelines for citing just about any kind of source, including TV shows , PDFs , Wikipedia articles , and YouTube videos . Although you probably won’t face plagiarism consequences for an incorrectly formatted citation when you clearly made an attempt to attribute the work properly, an incomplete or missing citation may be deemed plagiarism, as this article explains. Possible consequences for plagiarism include:
- A lowered grade
- Automatic failure of the assignment
- Failure of the course
- Removal from the academic program
- Suspension or expulsion from your university
Academic writing tips
Always refer to the style guide.
In academic writing, there’s no gray area concerning whether something is grammatically correct or not. It’s either correct or it isn’t. The style guide for your assignment covers all the rules regarding what is and isn’t correct, so if you’re ever not sure, refer to the style guide. And if you’re ever not sure which style guide to follow, ask your instructor.
Actively avoid plagiarism
By this, we mean it isn’t enough to simply avoid stealing others’ words when you’re writing. We mean you should consciously choose to differentiate your writing from your sources as much as possible so you don’t inadvertently plagiarize another writer’s work—and so your work really shines as a unique piece.
As we mentioned above, even unintentional plagiarism can mean failing your assignment and other consequences. Grammarly’s plagiarism checker can help you avoid unintentional plagiarism while making your writing more engaging. It’s easy: Just run a plagiarism check using the Grammarly Editor and your work will be immediately compared against billions of other pieces available online. If there are any pieces of text that appear to need citations, Grammarly will flag them and you can cite them accordingly.
Do not use contractions
Academic writing never uses contractions. This is one of the biggest differences between formal and informal writing.
Do not take it personally
When you’re writing an academic paper, always write it in the third person. The first person (I, me) and the second person (you) are not appropriate for academic writing because they undermine the author’s objectivity.
Academic writing is black-tie writing
Think of an academic paper as a formal event. Your writing needs to show up “dressed appropriately.” This means: conforming to the style guide, using formal language, and absolutely avoiding slang and colloquial expressions. In contrast, think of an email to your professor as business casual and messages with your friends as casual. If the language you use with your friends is shorts and sandals and the language you use with your professor is khakis and a polo, the language in your academic writing needs to be a tuxedo.
Score top marks on your writing every time
Writing an academic paper is a lot different from writing a blog post, an email, a piece of fiction, and even other kinds of writing your professor might assign, like a critical response to a reading or a presentation for class. A piece of academic writing, whether it’s an analytical essay, a research paper, a persuasive essay , or another kind of assignment in this vein, needs to adhere to very specific style and formatting standards. It also needs to have the appropriate tone and vocabulary for an academic work.
Don’t submit your writing without running it through the Grammarly Editor first. In the Grammarly Editor, you can set specific goals for your writing so it strikes the perfect tone for your audience. Just set the domain to “Academic” and in addition to suggestions for grammar and punctuation, you’ll see suggestions for how to change your word choice, sentence structure, and other aspects of your writing to make it shine.
How to Use Articles in Academic Writing
Articles function as limiting adjectives that help us understand which person, place, thing, or concept is being discussed. Despite their simplistic rules, articles and commas are the most difficult to tackle for non-native English speakers. Article usage can be quite idiosyncratic in academic writing, and when writing manuscripts, one has to be particularly aware of the context of usage. In this post, we shall systematically categorize article usage in academic writing.
Native usage of articles develops over time as a result of extensive reading, observation, contextual understanding, and, of course, participation in conversation. However, in most cases, the proper article to be used can be determined by asking a few simple questions.
Hence, the first step is to determine whether the noun is a proper noun (definite article or no article) or common noun (indefinite articles). Next, in case of a common noun, it is important to determine whether the reference is generic or specific. Generic references would mean that a noun represents all examples without mentioning a specific category (e.g., policies vs. economic policies).Specific references would include introducing a common noun in a text (with an indefinite article or no articles) and using the definite article in consequent references. Article usage may then vary with the context.
Related: Need help with language and grammar for securing a $500,000 research grant? Check out this section today!
Use of the Definite Article
1. The United Nations, founded in 1945, is currently made up of 193 Member States.
2. Tumor resection with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) is still disputable in the field of oncology.
Contextual (specific) Reference
The method introduced in H1 yielded the same results as the other method used in H2 . (where the method has already been introduced; thus, it is a noun that has already been defined and can be referred to using the definite article)
Use of Indefinite Articles
If the noun that is being defined/modified is one of many (i.e., an example or a single member of a group), indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” should be used:
Human Genome Project was an exciting development towards personalized medicine.
Article Usage with Countable and Non-count Nouns
1. If a noun is being used as a representative of every instance or individual, its singular form can be used along with the definite article.
The smartphone has become an inalienable part of modern existence.
Alternatively, the plural form can also be used for a generic reference. However, the definite article must be omitted in this case.
Smartphones have become an inalienable part of modern existence.
2. In English, mass nouns are ones that cannot be counted and usually lack a plural in general usage.
Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it. (Albert Einstein)
- No article is used when a plural noun is introduced in the text (first mention). However, the definite article can be used to refer to that specific noun from the second mention onwards for clarity.
- Articles are usually omitted in titles and headlines to save space and boost impact.
The Learning Centre (2016, August) Article Usage and Count and Non-count Nouns. Retrieved from http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/tlc/files/2016/08/Article-Usage-Count-Non-Count-Nouns.pdf
Articles . Retrieved from https://www.grammarly.com/blog/articles/
The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Articles. Retrieved from http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/articles/
David Appleyard. David Appleyard’s Guide to Article Usage in English. Retrieved from https://davidappleyard.com/english/index.html
Students often write or create academic writing for their project, assignment or thesis for their school. Academic writing is one of the methods that we students are crucial in making mistakes. We don’t usually notice even a small flaw on our paper. This article titled, How to use articles in academic writing, explains how we must apply specific words on our writing. We must determine what we are aiming to do on our paper for us to know how to write it. Articles helps us what concept we are discussing in our paper that is why it has to be organized, systematic, brief and most especially free from mistakes. It was explained here that your article can be defined as proper noun or common noun. Definite article or proper noun presents a specific article. It uses proper nouns to present the articles. While Indefinite article uses common nouns. Under it are countable and non-count nouns. Countable nouns are used as a representative of every instance or individual, its singular form can be used along with the definite article. While non-count words are mass nouns are ones that cannot be counted and usually lack a plural in general usage. As you can see if we students almost write every day and don’t know anything about this topic then we will fail not just as writers but also as students because we failed to present our writing in a correct way. Always remember this topic and apply this to your everyday life either you’re a writer or not
Thanks for the nice explanation. In the text, you wrote “Alternatively, the plural form can also be used for a generic reference.”. The plural form is not a specific one in this context. I think it should be ‘a plural form’. Isn’t it?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We meant the plural form of the noun discussed in the previous example and hence used “the”. However, “a plural form” could also be used instead.
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Why Is Academic Writing So Academic?
By Joshua Rothman
A few years ago, when I was a graduate student in English, I presented a paper at my department’s American Literature Colloquium. (A colloquium is a sort of writing workshop for graduate students.) The essay was about Thomas Kuhn, the historian of science. Kuhn had coined the term “paradigm shift,” and I described how this phrase had been used and abused, much to Kuhn’s dismay, by postmodern insurrectionists and nonsensical self-help gurus. People seemed to like the essay, but they were also uneasy about it. “I don’t think you’ll be able to publish this in an academic journal,” someone said. He thought it was more like something you’d read in a magazine.
Was that a compliment, a dismissal, or both? It’s hard to say. Academic writing is a fraught and mysterious thing. If you’re an academic in a writerly discipline, such as history, English, philosophy, or political science, the most important part of your work—practically and spiritually—is writing. Many academics think of themselves, correctly, as writers. And yet a successful piece of academic prose is rarely judged so by “ordinary” standards. Ordinary writing—the kind you read for fun—seeks to delight (and, sometimes, to delight and instruct). Academic writing has a more ambiguous mission. It’s supposed to be dry but also clever; faceless but also persuasive; clear but also completist. Its deepest ambiguity has to do with audience. Academic prose is, ideally, impersonal, written by one disinterested mind for other equally disinterested minds. But, because it’s intended for a very small audience of hyper-knowledgable, mutually acquainted specialists, it’s actually among the most personal writing there is. If journalists sound friendly, that’s because they’re writing for strangers. With academics, it’s the reverse.
Professors didn’t sit down and decide to make academic writing this way, any more than journalists sat down and decided to invent listicles. Academic writing is the way it is because it’s part of a system. Professors live inside that system and have made peace with it. But every now and then, someone from outside the system swoops in to blame professors for the writing style that they’ve inherited. This week, it was Nicholas Kristof, who set off a rancorous debate about academic writing with a column, in the Times , called “ Professors, We Need You! ” The academic world, Kristof argued, is in thrall to a “culture of exclusivity” that “glorifies arcane unintelligibility while disdaining impact and audience”; as a result, there are “fewer public intellectuals on American university campuses today than a generation ago.”
The response from the professoriate was swift , severe , accurate , and thoughtful . A Twitter hashtag, #engagedacademics , sprung up, as if to refute Kristof’s claim that professors don’t use enough social media. Professors pointed out that the brainiest part of the blogosphere is overflowing with contributions from academics ; that, as teachers, professors already have an important audience in their students; and that the Times itself frequently benefits from professorial ingenuity, which the paper often reports as news. (A number of the stories in the Sunday Review section, in which Kristof’s article appeared, were written by professors.) To a degree, some of the responses, though convincingly argued, inadvertently bolstered Kristof’s case because of the style in which they were written: fractious, humorless, self-serious, and defensively nerdy. As writers, few of Kristof’s interlocutors had his pithy, winning ease. And yet, if they didn’t win with a knock-out blow, the professors won on points. They showed that there was something outdated, and perhaps solipsistic, in Kristof’s yearning for a new crop of sixties-style “public intellectuals.”
As a one-time academic, I spent most of the week rooting for the profs. But I have a lot of sympathy for Kristof, too. I think his heart’s in the right place. (His column ended on a wistful note: “I write this in sorrow, for I considered an academic career.”) My own theory is that he got the situation backward. The problem with academia isn’t that professors are, as Kristof wrote, “marginalizing themselves.” It’s that the system that produces and consumes academic knowledge is changing, and, in the process, making academic work more marginal.
It may be that being a journalist makes it unusually hard for Kristof to see what’s going on in academia. That’s because journalism, which is in the midst of its own transformation, is moving in a populist direction. There are more writers than ever before, writing for more outlets, including on their own blogs, Web sites, and Twitter streams. The pressure on established journalists is to generate traffic. New and clever forms of content are springing up all the time—GIFs, videos, “interactives,” and so on. Dissenters may publish op-eds encouraging journalists to abandon their “culture of populism” and write fewer listicles, but changes in the culture of journalism are, at best, only a part of the story. Just as important, if not more so, are economic and technological developments having to do with subscription models, revenue streams, apps, and devices.
In academia, by contrast, all the forces are pushing things the other way, toward insularity. As in journalism, good jobs are scarce —but, unlike in journalism, professors are their own audience. This means that, since the liberal-arts job market peaked, in the mid-seventies, the audience for academic work has been shrinking. Increasingly, to build a successful academic career you must serially impress very small groups of people (departmental colleagues, journal and book editors, tenure committees). Often, an academic writer is trying to fill a niche. Now, the niches are getting smaller. Academics may write for large audiences on their blogs or as journalists. But when it comes to their academic writing, and to the research that underpins it—to the main activities, in other words, of academic life—they have no choice but to aim for very small targets. Writing a first book, you may have in mind particular professors on a tenure committee; miss that mark and you may not have a job. Academics know which audiences—and, sometimes, which audience members—matter.
It won’t do any good, in short, to ask professors to become more populist. Academic writing and research may be knotty and strange, remote and insular, technical and specialized, forbidding and clannish—but that’s because academia has become that way, too. Today’s academic work, excellent though it may be, is the product of a shrinking system. It’s a tightly-packed, super-competitive jungle in there. The most important part of Kristof’s argument was, it seemed to me, buried in the blog post that he wrote to accompany his column. “When I was a kid,” he wrote, “the Kennedy administration had its ‘brain trust’ of Harvard faculty members, and university professors were often vital public intellectuals.” But the sixties, when the baby boom led to a huge expansion in university enrollments, was also a time when it was easier to be a professor. If academic writing is to become expansive again, academia will probably have to expand first.
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Books & Fiction
By Cal Newport
By Nathan Heller
By Jordi Graupera
4 Examples of Academic Writing
Written by Scribendi
The best way to understand what effective academic writing looks like is to review academic writing examples.
Let's begin with four of the most common types of academic writing: research proposals, dissertations, abstracts, and academic articles. We'll be examining each type of writing and providing academic writing samples of each.
Whether you aim to earn funding for a passion project or are stymied by how to format an abstract, these academic writing examples will help you nail your next undertaking.
Academic Writing Example 1: Research Proposals
A research proposal is an outline of the proposed research of a PhD candidate, a private researcher, or someone hoping to obtain a research grant .
Your proposal should put your best foot forward: It details your intended research question and how it relates to existing research, makes an argument for why your research should be chosen for advancement or funding, and explains the deliverables you hope to achieve with your research.
A more detailed look at what proposal writing is and what goes into a research proposal may also be beneficial. Every proposal is different because every project is different. Proposal requirements also differ according to the university or funding agency that reviews the proposal.
Research Proposal Structure
A cover letter summarizing your proposal and showcasing why you should be chosen
An introduction or abstract
An explanation of the background, purpose, and significance of your research
A research plan or methodology that includes a timeline (a Gantt chart may be beneficial)
A projected budget, if applicable
Academic Writing Sample: Research Proposal Excerpt
Building on the work of the three foundational sociological theorists—Marx, Weber, and Durkheim—and Mark Traugott's theory of the "insurgent barricade," this proposed research will analyze the appearance, use, and disappearance of barricade warfare as an effective battle strategy.
Focusing on these three theorists, this research will determine which theory or theories best explain the life cycle of barricade warfare, focusing in particular on its disappearance. A brief but comprehensive history of barricade warfare will be provided in addition to the theoretical explanations of barricade warfare's utility.
Research Proposal Writing Tips
Before you format your proposal, contact your targeted university, private organization, or funding agency to confirm what they require for proposals. Then, try to follow this format as closely as possible.
Be detailed when outlining your goals and your funding needs. Connect the objectives of the research to the resources you're requesting.
Be realistic in what you ask for as far as resources—don't ask for more or less than you need, and show evidence to justify your choices.
Don't dedicate too much text in your proposal to describing past research. A summary of key points, arguments, theories, and how your research will build on them should suffice.
Remember that no matter how good your proposal is, it might be rejected. You're likely up against dozens or even hundreds of other candidates who have equally sound proposals. Don't be discouraged if this happens. See it as a learning opportunity for your next proposal.
Academic Writing Example 2: Dissertations
A dissertation is a body of writing that represents original research and is generally written as part of a PhD or master's program.
Typically, it builds on previous research in the field to make a significant contribution or advancement. You may benefit from more detailed information on what a dissertation is , how to write a dissertation , and how to edit a dissertation .
Introduction/background and the significance of the study
Conclusion/contribution to the body of research
Academic Writing Sample: Dissertation Excerpt
There are two options for choosing a unit of analysis for this phenomenon: the social artifact (erected barricades) or the social interaction (the collaboration of insurgents engaged in barricade warfare). The best choice is social interaction.
Most individual occurrences of barricade warfare involve the construction of more than one barricade, and the number of barricades is not necessarily a valid indicator of the sociological magnitude of an insurgence. The most relevant choice is an insurgence, the event of a conflict involving barricade warfare.
Dissertation Writing Tips
Remember to bear in mind the significance of your study. It doesn't have to be paradigm shifting, but you want to infuse the dissertation with reminders of why your research is important.
Don't get bogged down in trying to show that your research is one of a kind or uniquely contributive to the body of research. It likely isn't, and it's more effective to show how you are building on previous research .
Remember to check with your college or university to ensure that you're formatting your dissertation according to the school's expectations.
Ask your advisor questions when you need to.
Be prepared to make alterations to your dissertation according to your thesis committee's suggestions. This doesn't mean you did a bad job—it just means there's room for improvement.
Academic Writing Example 3: Abstracts
The abstract is actually a component of other forms of academic writing, such as scholarly articles and dissertations. The abstract acts as a comprehensive outline of your paper in paragraph form.
You may want to read more about what abstracts are and why they are important in preparing yourself for writing one.
Academic Writing Sample: Abstract
Barricade warfare has occurred across several spectra, but most notably, it occurred almost exclusively in a 300-year period between the 16th and 19th centuries. Each instance had an inciting incident, but a common thread was the culture of revolution: a revolutionary tradition based on the belief that injustice was being carried out and that, in this case, barricade insurgence was the way to resolve it.
This study uses the theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim to analyze barricade warfare, its appearance, and its disappearance. Ultimately, neither theory can independently explain this phenomenon.
Marx offers a reasonable explanation for why barricade warfare may have died, but his theory is difficult to test empirically and fails to explain the absence of recurrences. Conversely, Durkheim's theory is much easier to observe and can explain why barricade warfare has not experienced a renaissance. However, he offered no reason as to why it died in the first place.
These two theoretical orientations complement each other nicely and, ultimately, neither can stand alone.
Notice that this abstract comes in at under 200 words (a common limit) but nevertheless covers the background of the study, how it was approached, and the results and conclusions of the research.
If you are struggling to meet a word count, check out 10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need .
Abstract Writing Tips
Be conscious of your word count. Stay under the limit.
Check with your school or target journal to make sure special formatting is not required.
Don't use abbreviations or citations in the abstract.
Don't simply restate your thesis or copy your introduction. Neither of these is an abstract.
Remember that your abstract often gives readers their first impressions of your work. Despite its short length, it deserves a lot of attention.
Academic Writing Example 4: Articles
Academic articles are pieces of writing intended for publication in academic journals or other scholarly sources. They may be original research studies, literature analyses, critiques , or other forms of scholarly writing.
Abstract and keywords
Materials and methods
References and appendices
Academic Writing Sample: Article Excerpt
"Those great revolutionary barricades were places where heroes came together" (Hugo, 2008). This description by Victor Hugo of the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris comes from his seminal work of fiction, Les Miserables.
Although the account is fictionalized, it is deeply representative of what historian Mark Traugott (2010, p. 225) terms the "culture of revolution." This spirit of heroic response to social injustice swept across Europe during the second half of the millennium and was characterized in part by barricade warfare.
The phenomenon of the insurgent barricade has essentially disappeared, however, leaving no trace of its short-lived but intense epoch, and the question of why this happened remains a mystery. The theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, when taken together, provide a compelling explanation for the disappearance of barricade warfare, and the tenets of each theory will be examined to explain this phenomenon.
Article Writing Tips
Follow these detailed steps for writing an article and publishing it in a journal .
Make sure that you follow all of your target journal's guidelines.
Have a second set of educated eyes look over your article to correct typos, confusing language, and unclear arguments.
Don't be discouraged if your article is not chosen for publication. As with proposal writing, you are up against countless others with equally compelling research.
Don't be discouraged if the journal asks you to make changes to your article. This is common. It means they see value in your article, as well as room for improvement.
Whether you're applying for funding, earning an advanced degree, aiming to publish in a journal, or just trying to cram your 4,000-word study into a 150-word abstract, hopefully these academic writing examples have helped get your creative juices flowing.
Go out there and write! With these academic writing samples at your side, you are sure to model your academic writing appropriately.
Achieve Your Academic Goals
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Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.
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- Knowledge Base
- Academic writing
- How to write effective headings
How to Write and Format Headings in Academic Writing
Published on March 15, 2019 by Shane Bryson . Revised on November 28, 2022.
The goal of using headings in a document is not only to divide information, but also to allow easy navigation of the document. In academic writing , headings help readers find the specific information they want while retaining a sense of how that information fits with everything else in the document.
To test for overall heading clarity, ask yourself the following: from reading your headings in sequence, would an informed reader understand…
- The content of the document as a whole?
- The specific content of each section?
- How each section fits with the others?
If not, your headings aren’t effective , and may need some improvement.
Table of contents
Headings vs. titles, how long should headings be, using descriptive headings, technical terms in headings, capitalization, formatting and sequencing.
Although heading and titles are similar, they are distinct: A title leads the entire document and captures its content in one or two phrases; a heading leads only a chapter or section and captures only the content of that chapter or section. Read more in our article on writing good titles in academic writing .
Headings should be as long as it takes to clearly communicate the content of the sections they head. However, each heading should be as concise as possible – a good rule of thumb is to limit the heading length to one line.
Higher-level vs. lower-level headings
Higher-level headings often make do with a single word (e.g. “ Introduction ” or “ Methods ”), while lower-level headings are often longer. This is because higher-level headings cover more general content and provide an overview. One word is clear enough because everyone already knows what happens in an introduction chapter – nothing more needs to be said.
Lower-level headings should use more specific terminology to help clarify the content of the section. These headings help readers find the exact information they’re looking for.
Check for common mistakes
Use the best grammar checker available to check for common mistakes in your text.
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The main goal of a heading is to inform the reader of what content they can find in that section, so make your headings as descriptive as possible. The examples below show one non-descriptive heading and three descriptive headings that provide the reader with much more information.
- Profile of GPS technology
- Function of GPS in aviation
- GPS before 1999
Avoiding repetitive headings
No two sections should focus on the exact same content, so no two headings should be identical. Instead of closing a chapter with “Summary,” for example, try making the heading little more descriptive: “Summary of X .”
Documents in fields that rely heavily on jargon and technical language will contain headings that might not be clear to every reader. That’s fine as long as you keep your reader’s knowledge level in mind. However, if you don’t need the jargon to give a specific idea of your content, then avoid it.
At the outset, make a plan for how you will deal with matters of capitalization , formatting and sequencing of headings. Headings at the same level should be formatted the same. For instance, “Section 2.2” should get the same treatment as “Section 4.1”. They should also have parallel structure .
Often, your style guide or university will offer specific directions on how to approach the capitalization, formatting, and sequencing of headings, so it’s wise to check before you start writing them. For example, APA headings and MLA headings require specific formatting.
Using automatic heading styles in Word
To avoid having to format each heading separately, it’s smart to use the heading styles feature offered by Microsoft Word, Google Docs and many other word-processing softwares.
An extra benefit of using these heading styles is that you can automatically generate and update a table of contents. This will save you a lot of time later on. Read more about this in our article on creating a table of contents .
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Readings on Writing
What is Academic Writing?
Lennie l. irvin, chapter description.
This chapter explores the task of writing in college. It details common myths about academic writing and the importance of developing a “writer’s sense” within the writing situation. It identifies features of the complex “literacy task” college writing assignments require and decodes elements of the academic writing situation that students frequently struggle with: in particular, the nature of argument and analysis in college writing tasks. The chapter outlines three common types of writing assignments college writers might expect to receive and offers advice on how to address them. It closes by detailing particular textual features commonly expected in academic essays.
You may also download this chapter from Parlor Press or WAC Clearinghouse.
Writing Spaces is published in partnership with Parlor Press and WAC Clearinghouse .
What is Academic Writing? (and Other Burning Questions About It)
Posted on: June 15, 2021
In this blog Zhihui Fang , author of Demystifying Academic Writing , discusses what academic writing is, why it's important as well as essential skills for academic writing.
What is academic writing?
Simply put, academic writing is the writing done for academic purposes. It is entering into a conversation with others, but the way this conversation is carried out differs from how everyday conversation unfolds. Yes, academic writing involves expressing your ideas, but those ideas need to be presented as a response to some other person or group; and they also need to be carefully elaborated, well supported, logically sequenced, rigorously reasoned, and tightly stitched together.
There is more than one kind of academic writing. In academic settings, we write for many different purposes. We write reading responses, book reviews, argumentative essays, literature reviews, empirical research articles, grant proposals, conference abstracts, commentaries, memoranda, and many other text types. Each of these types of academic writing has its own purpose, organizational structure, and linguistic features.
Why is academic writing important?
Academic writing is a means of producing, codifying, transmitting, evaluating, renovating, teaching, and learning knowledge and ideology in academic disciplines. Being able to write in an academic style is essential to disciplinary learning and critical for academic success. Control over academic writing gives you capital, power, and agency in knowledge building, identify formation, disciplinary practices, social positioning, and career advancement.
What makes academic writing ‘academic’ and challenging?
Compared to everyday writing, academic writing tends to be more formal, dense, abstract, objective, rigorous, and tightly knit.
- Formality . Academic writing uses a unique set of grammatical devices that helps the author achieve precision and informativity, avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation, and establish authority and credibility.
- Density . Academic writing uses long noun phrases with multiple modifiers to pack a heavy load of information into the sentence.
- Abstraction . Academic writing deals principally with concepts, ideas, generalizations, and interpretations, instead of concrete individuals or tangible things.
- Objectivity . Academic writing foregrounds ideas and arguments and backgrounds the author who presents the ideas or makes the arguments.
- Rigor . In academic writing, the author is expected to be meticulous in both word choice and logic of argument. Ideas or arguments are presented with care and then restated, clarified, explained, exemplified, and reasoned.
- Tightly-Knit . Academic writing presents information and develops arguments in a highly structured way. Sentences and paragraphs are woven together to create an information ‘flow’ and a smooth texture within the text.
These six features are interrelated, and together, they are what makes a piece of writing at once ‘academic’ and challenging for academic neophytes.
What is the role of language in academic writing?
Language is not a set of prescriptive rules or grammatical conventions. It is, instead, a creative resource for making meaning. Writers use language by choosing from the grammatical options it provides to present information, develop argument, infuse points of view, incorporate others’ ideas and voices, engage readers, sharpen focus, and organize discourse in a way that realizes their intentions and meets their audience’s needs. One major source of writing struggles for non-native and native English speakers alike is language. In other words, it is unfamiliarity with the grammatical patterns of academic writing, above and beyond a lack of deep knowledge of the topics to be written about, that contributes principally to the difficulties that many students and scholars experience in writing for academic purposes.
What are the essential skills for academic writing?
Academic writing communicates complex ideas in a clear, precise, logical, reasoned, and evidence-based way. It is an advanced literacy task that requires a host of demanding skills. Learning to write for academic purposes involves, for example, learning
- how to contextualize your ideas and arguments in the existing scholarship of the field
- how to synthesize, summarize, paraphrase, quote, source, and evaluate others’ work
- how to define and explain concepts
- how to describe things or processes
- how to express surprises or counter-expectations
- how to classify/categorize and compare/contrast things
- how to agree or disagree with others’ points of view
- how to provide examples and offer explanations
- how to engage with opposing views
- how to integrate visual images with the linguistic prose
- how to acknowledge limitations and make recommendations
- how to express appreciation or make disclaimers, and
- how to connect sentences, link paragraphs, and structure discourse
Developing these advanced literacy skills and a repertoire of linguistic resources and strategies that instantiate them is a challenging process that takes time, experience, and support.
How can I improve my academic writing?
Developing expertise in academic writing is a lengthy and challenging process that can take many years and involves constant mental and emotional struggles. It is simply not realistic to expect one to become a good writer overnight, let alone a good writer for academic purposes, by just attending one workshop, taking one course, reading one book, or completing a few sets of exercises. It takes time, effort, awareness, experience, reflection, stamina, and support to become proficient in academic writing. Here are six tips for improving your academic writing:
- Foster productive writing habits that work for you
- Read deeply within your field and widely in related fields
- Develop linguistic awareness and grammatical sensitivity
- Persevere through the recursive writing process of planning, outlining, drafting, revising, polishing, and presenting/publishing
- Attend to key elements of academic writing, such as audience, purpose, organization, style, clarity, flow, and appearance
- Overcome cultural barriers
How do I increase my chances of getting published?
Writing for publication can be a mysterious process that intimidates novice writers and academic neophytes. Developing and honing academic writing skills is key to having a successful publication record. Additional knowledge, skills, and dispositions are needed to increase your chances of getting published. These include
- Write about something that you really care and know about
- Know the publication outlet you are targeting
- Find people of like interest to collaborate with
- Be patient and persistent
- Simulate dialogues with potential reviewers
- Embrace feedback of all kinds to improve writing
The road toward publication may seem long and rough, but you will find that the journey becomes less bumpy the more you have traveled on it.
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What is Academic Writing? Common Types With Examples
| Candace Osmond
Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.
Every person experiences writing an academic paper at least once in their student life. This type of writing uses accurate language, facts, logical flow, and a formal tone to showcase their knowledge.
These academic writing styles and examples will help you receive a perfect score or get that research grant. Keep reading to know the elements and types of academic writing with examples.
How is Academic Writing Different from Other Types of Writing?
An academic paper is writing used in universities and scholarly publications with a formal tone in its content. It includes essays, research papers, research proposals, and other documents for scholarly publication.
Any academic writing has the same process as other texts. However, the topic, idea, and tone are different. For example, a journal article brings attention to unbiased information through a clear and precise thesis statement.
A thesis statement includes the entire argument of your study or paper. It involves the central idea that shows your content reader what you will reveal or prove. Because it’s supposed to be objective, academic writing must have theories, causes, and effects.
This type of writing doesn’t always need to be based on facts. But it needs to be as objective and unbiased as possible. Here’s what differentiates academic writing from personal writing.
Formal approach with an impersonal tone
Cites scholarly sources
Sentences are made of evidence, evaluations, and arguments.
Focused and well-structured
Formal or informal approach may include conversational language.
Doesn’t require scholarly sources
Content is made of personal experiences
Elements of Academic Writing
The elements of academic writing vary according to the specific type of writing you’re producing. But here are some common elements of any academic writing assignment.
The best-known writers in any field of study know how to use jargon words in any report or essay to convey an academic tone. For the ordinary reader, everything might look like flowery language. But for readers in the same discipline, the writer makes convincing arguments.
An academic writing style always has a certain level of vocabulary. The two types include:
- Academic vocabulary (more general).
- Subject-vocabulary (for a particular field of study).
Some examples of general academic vocabulary include “analyze,” “concept,” and “construct.” In the field of law, some subject-vocabulary include “acquittal,” “dismissal,” “jurisdiction,” and “tribunal.”
Scholarly articles need to include proper citation styles to establish a more authoritative tone. The academic content must include research from reliable sources like studies and journal articles.
Even if you only borrowed an idea and used it in a single sentence, you still need to follow proper referencing. Some style guides include Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago Manual Style, and American Psychological Association (APA).
Academic content should also pay attention to the conventions of the reference list. Check the style guide to see how you should format the bibliography. Remember that other style guides also require footnotes.
Academic essay writing needs to have a proper outline to convey the entire message. First, academic articles should contain a research question or thesis statement to develop their argument. This should be in the introduction part.
The body of writing contains all supporting details. You may use headings to divide longer texts into chapters. Your body paragraph should also start with a topic sentence all the time.
Don’t forget to use transition words when expressing connections between your ideas. Use the proper punctuations with a variety of sentence lengths.
Uses Third Person Point of View Most of the Time
Academic writing usually uses a third-person point of view like “he,” “she,” or “they.” The writer doesn’t refer to themselves as “I” or “me.” Instead, they use “researcher” to name themselves.
Doing so provides more objectivity to the paper, separating the author from the academic topics. It also stresses the academic style where the writer supports their focused argument and not their personal experience.
But some academic journals now accept the first-person point of view, especially APA. It doesn’t necessarily mean the writer is using informal language. Using credible sources and academic vocabulary still keeps the paper’s formality.
Common Types of Academic Writing
There are different types of academic writing, including a book report, journal article, and dissertation. Here are the most common types:
- Research paper.
- Research proposal.
- Thesis and dissertation.
- Lab report.
- Literature review,
- Annotated bibliography.
We can also categorize the major types of these papers into five.
Descriptive papers are the simplest types of writing that academic writers produce. It has several purposes, although it primarily offers facts and information in several fields of study. This academic writing can describe a phenomenon, person, place, case, or object.
You can also use personal experience when making descriptive essays. But effective writing includes using precise language to avoid turning it into personal writing.
Most academic papers in universities aren’t entirely descriptive. A scientific question and an analysis typically follow a factual statement. Analytical writing includes reorganizing facts, showing relationships, and comparing information.
An academic study may include comparing and contrasting complex ideas and theories.
Or you may deconstruct a single notion and contextualize it in a different social setting. You’ll find this writing style in reviews of literature.
When writing an analytical paper, always make the structure of your writing clear. Create an outline beforehand, and don’t forget to add accurate citations.
Persuasive writing has the same characteristics as analytical writing, plus your point of view. This type of writing requires a coherent argument backed by relevant evidence throughout the paper.
The writer also has to include a recommendation, interpretation of findings, and an analysis of others’ scholarly writing. Some academic writing examples include persuasive essays and the final part of a research article.
Any persuasive assignment requires you to “discuss,” “evaluate,” or “argue.” As always, you need to add citations to your work to make yourself more credible.
Critical writing is a form of writing in college essays and postgraduate writing. Critical writing assignments follow a formal writing style with the added feature of another point of view.
What makes it different from persuasive writing is that a critical essay needs more than one point of view. And that includes your own. This writing should also have a strong statement or messages backed by authoritative sources.
Academic Writing Example 1: Research Proposals
Colleges usually submit research proposals before conducting their studies. This form of academic writing is a concise yet coherent summary of your proposed research. It should contain the essential issues and questions that your research should address.
Aside from outlining the general area of your study, the proposal also proves that your research will be unique and beneficial. Although it’s not a persuasive paper, it should convince the professor that your study is worth performing.
An excellent-quality paper also matches your research interest with the professor or supervisor. Consider it like an application on which potential advisers will pick if they want to support your research or not.
The research proposal also allows you to demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the level of research you’re conducting. This is where you can prove that you can communicate complex ideas concisely and critically.
Research Proposal Structure
The research proposal must always contain the following:
- A cover letter addressed to whom you’re proposing. It must show a summary of your proposal and why they should approve it.
- An introduction or abstract in a short paragraph.
- The rationale, significance, and limitations of your research.
- Your methods for conducting the study, including your budget.
Research Proposal Example
Here’s a great example of an excerpt from a research proposal in the field of criminology:
The empirical focus of the research will be strategies of restorative justice, as articulated by Thames Valley Police. Recent developments in restorative justice constitute a radical realignment in police practices, resulting in a more holistic and multi-level approach (involving all forms of police’ consumer’, including victims, offenders, families, local authorities and members of the business community). In this regard, Thames Valley offers a unique case of a self-styled ‘model’ of modern policing and is considered to be one of the most innovative forces in the country (see, for example, their Restorative Justice programme, 2001).
Academic Writing Example 2: Dissertations
Dissertations are another type of academic paper with definite writing rules. This document aims to give evidence of a candidate’s knowledge and skills in a scholarly method. But the content itself may serve educational purposes that contribute to the field of study.
This academic paper typically has ten to twenty thousand words that answer a specific research question. The answer to the research question may be based on an experiment, empirical study, or literature review.
To advisers and professors, the method of producing a dissertation matters more than the result. You can still create a dissertation without actual findings or if your tested hypothesis was wrong.
You might have to conduct a study even before writing the dissertation. A needs analysis, survey, or experiment will help you determine the significant “problem” or “question” you want to address.
Let your supervisor or adviser direct how you will conduct your studies. They will instruct the scope, limitations, and method for your research.
Dissertations and thesis papers always pay attention to structure. Below is the academic paper format of a dissertation:
- Introduction (including the background of the study and its significance).
- Review of related literature.
- Findings or data analysis.
- Conclusion and recommendations.
Here’s one example of an excerpt from a sample dissertation :
This chapter will discuss secondary research findings using the National Health Service as a case study. The secondary sources discussed will use all relevant material such as books, journal articles, publications from the National Health Service website and newspaper articles that have been reviewed by an individual or a group of individuals who are involved with a study or have performed extensive research within an area which is directly or indirectly related to the main question of this dissertation.
Academic Writing Example 3: Abstracts
The abstract summarizes your dissertation or research paper found at the start of the document. It’s composed of evidence-based arguments and research outcomes in concise sentences.
This type of academic writing is the shortest and, therefore, the easiest. It usually has around 150-300 words only. The word limit depends on the style guide you’re following or the advice of your research adviser.
There are several acceptable approaches to writing an abstract. The easiest way is to imitate the structure of your large paper. It should contain the introduction, method, findings, and conclusions.
Although the abstract is the first part of your thesis or research paper, it’s usually the last you write. Remember that it’s not an excerpt from your report or a reflection of your work. It’s simply a summary of everything in one paragraph.
Your abstract must contain the following in only a few sentences:
Here’s an example of an abstract whose research focuses on medicine:
The Southwest shrub Juniperus communis (Juniper Berry) has many significant medicinal value in the Native American culture that has not been proven scientifically. One of the popular uses of Juniper berries aside from its detoxifying action is its potential to repel insects. This study focuses on the development of insect repellant from its essential oil obtained through steam distillation. 50 g of fresh berries was collected and dried for 5 days and is placed in a still tank with 100 mL of water for steam distillation using the Flinn Scientific Borosilicate Lab Kit. Gather the extracted oil and dilute 70% in three separate containers to be transferred into spray bottles. Testing involved the spraying of the dilute sample into a class jar with Anopheles juidthae (common NM mosquito) and compared this to the effect of a commercial insect repellant. After testing and comparing the result, the commercial insect repellant significantly showed that it is a better insect repellant compared to the J. communis diluted essential oil. However, the essential oil has also an insect repellant potential.
Practice Your Academic Writing Skills
There are different types of academic writing styles you’ll encounter as you enter university or college. Whether it’s a dissertation, research paper, or persuasive essay, remember to use a formal and impersonal tone. Doing so will help you become more logical and objective.
Keep practicing your academic writing skills to succeed in your field of study!
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An Introduction to Academic Writing
Characteristics and common mistakes to avoid.
- An Introduction to Punctuation
Olivia Valdes was the Associate Editorial Director for ThoughtCo. She worked with Dotdash Meredith from 2017 to 2021.
- B.A., American Studies, Yale University
Students, professors, and researchers in every discipline use academic writing to convey ideas, make arguments, and engage in scholarly conversation. Academic writing is characterized by evidence-based arguments, precise word choice, logical organization, and an impersonal tone. Though sometimes thought of as long-winded or inaccessible, strong academic writing is quite the opposite: It informs, analyzes, and persuades in a straightforward manner and enables the reader to engage critically in a scholarly dialogue.
Examples of Academic Writing
Academic writing is, of course, any formal written work produced in an academic setting. While academic writing comes in many forms, the following are some of the most common.
Literary analysis : A literary analysis essay examines, evaluates, and makes an argument about a literary work. As its name suggests, a literary analysis essay goes beyond mere summarization. It requires careful close reading of one or multiple texts and often focuses on a specific characteristic, theme, or motif.
Research paper : A research paper uses outside information to support a thesis or make an argument. Research papers are written in all disciplines and may be evaluative, analytical, or critical in nature. Common research sources include data, primary sources (e.g., historical records), and secondary sources (e.g., peer-reviewed scholarly articles ). Writing a research paper involves synthesizing this external information with your own ideas.
Dissertation : A dissertation (or thesis) is a document submitted at the conclusion of a Ph.D. program. The dissertation is a book-length summarization of the doctoral candidate’s research.
Academic papers may be done as a part of a class, in a program of study, or for publication in an academic journal or scholarly book of articles around a theme, by different authors.
Characteristics of Academic Writing
Most academic disciplines employ their own stylistic conventions. However, all academic writing shares certain characteristics.
- Clear and limited focus . The focus of an academic paper—the argument or research question—is established early by the thesis statement. Every paragraph and sentence of the paper connects back to that primary focus. While the paper may include background or contextual information, all content serves the purpose of supporting the thesis statement.
- Logical structure . All academic writing follows a logical, straightforward structure. In its simplest form, academic writing includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction provides background information, lays out the scope and direction of the essay, and states the thesis. The body paragraphs support the thesis statement, with each body paragraph elaborating on one supporting point. The conclusion refers back to the thesis, summarizes the main points, and highlights the implications of the paper’s findings. Each sentence and paragraph logically connects to the next in order to present a clear argument.
- Evidence-based arguments . Academic writing requires well-informed arguments. Statements must be supported by evidence, whether from scholarly sources (as in a research paper), results of a study or experiment, or quotations from a primary text (as in a literary analysis essay). The use of evidence gives credibility to an argument.
- Impersonal tone . The goal of academic writing is to convey a logical argument from an objective standpoint. Academic writing avoids emotional, inflammatory, or otherwise biased language. Whether you personally agree or disagree with an idea, it must be presented accurately and objectively in your paper.
Most published papers also have abstracts: brief summaries of the most important points of the paper. Abstracts appear in academic database search results so that readers can quickly determine whether the paper is pertinent to their own research.
The Importance of Thesis Statements
Let’s say you’ve just finished an analytical essay for your literature class. If a peer or professor asks you what the essay is about—what the point of the essay is—you should be able to respond clearly and concisely in a single sentence. That single sentence is your thesis statement.
The thesis statement, found at the end of the first paragraph, is a one-sentence encapsulation of your essay’s main idea. It presents an overarching argument and may also identify the main support points for the argument. In essence, the thesis statement is a road map, telling the reader where the paper is going and how it will get there.
The thesis statement plays an important role in the writing process. Once you’ve written a thesis statement, you’ve established a clear focus for your paper. Frequently referring back to that thesis statement will prevent you from straying off-topic during the drafting phase. Of course, the thesis statement can (and should) be revised to reflect changes in the content or direction of the paper. Its ultimate goal, after all, is to capture the main ideas of your paper with clarity and specificity.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Academic writers from every field face similar challenges during the writing process. You can improve your own academic writing by avoiding these common mistakes.
- Wordiness . The goal of academic writing is to convey complex ideas in a clear, concise manner. Don’t muddy the meaning of your argument by using confusing language. If you find yourself writing a sentence over 25 words long, try to divide it into two or three separate sentences for improved readability.
- A vague or missing thesis statement . The thesis statement is the single most important sentence in any academic paper. Your thesis statement must be clear, and each body paragraph needs to tie into that thesis.
- Informal language . Academic writing is formal in tone and should not include slang, idioms, or conversational language.
- Description without analysis . Do not simply repeat the ideas or arguments from your source materials. Rather, analyze those arguments and explain how they relate to your point.
- Not citing sources . Keep track of your source materials throughout the research and writing process. Cite them consistently using one style manual ( MLA , APA, or Chicago Manual of Style, depending on the guidelines given to you at the outset of the project). Any ideas that are not your own need to be cited, whether they're paraphrased or quoted directly, to avoid plagiarism.
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Repetition and Redundancy in Academic Writing
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Repetition and redundancy are the primary barriers to successful writing. Words that appear many times in a single sentence may be tautologies or similar expressions used in various contexts. 1 Paragraphs that are not essential sometimes include needless concepts or confusing descriptions, which is why redundancy may be a sign of repetition . Learn how to properly structure your writing by reading this article.
- 1 Repetition and Redundancy – In a Nutshell
- 2 Definition: Repetition and redundancy
- 3 Repetition and redundancy: Always enemies?
- 4 How to avoid repetition and redundancy
- 5 Repetition and redundancy: Finding the balance
Repetition and Redundancy – In a Nutshell
- You should utilize opening clauses to introduce the main ideas that will develop within your paragraphs.
- Do not be afraid to play with phrase length and form , but remember to keep things simple.
- When writing a paper for a broad audience, it is crucial to strike a balance between academic quality and reader friendliness .
- Your research topic and thesis statement should inform every point you make and every example you use.
- While each subsequent section may build on previous ones, it must convey its unique thought.
Definition: Repetition and redundancy
Redundancy is when a term or concept is used more than once without introducing anything to the previous. The redundant language echoes what has previously been stated, but it does not contribute anything to the discussion.
Repetition is a literary method where you use the same word or phrase several times, which is common in written works. Isocolon, anaphora, and epistrophe are only a few examples of effective repetition. Your work will be less concise if you use unnecessary terms. They are a source of confusion and distraction for the reader. Excessive words and details only extend your work without improving it.
Repetition and redundancy: Always enemies?
In addition to causing overall document difficulties, repetition and redundancy in individual phrases may also be problematic. It must be emphasized that repetition is not necessarily a bad thing. Using repetition may aid your readers’ comprehension. 2 However, before using any recurring parts in your work, make sure you consider whether or not they are essential.
Summarizing the most important points
Emphasizing key points.
Repeating important concepts, particularly in lengthy papers covering difficult topics, can aid readers in keeping up with their repetition and redundancy levels. Some situations in which repetition is appropriate are presented below.
- Conclusions that restate the research question will refresh the reader’s memory and prove that the report accomplished its stated objective.
- Reference to your primary factors or topics: Instead of using various terms to relate to these main parts of the work, it is preferable to utilize a consistent vocabulary throughout the essay.
Paragraph and phrase constructions repeated with minor variations may provide a rhetorical flare and draw attention to key themes when utilized carefully.
How to avoid repetition and redundancy
One of the essential aspects you can do to ensure your work is original, is to not duplicate any phrases or paragraphs. In general, readers find repetition and redundancy annoying.
Do not duplicate headings
For the sake of those who are just interested in skimming the content, each part should have its header. If you find yourself with two distinct summaries, consider giving each one a more specific title.
Do not restate points
Finding a happy medium between restating key points to aid comprehension and boring or losing readers through excessive repetition is crucial in avoiding repetition and redundancy. In the results chapter , for example, you probably will not need to describe your techniques again if you have already done so in the approach section.
You may add brief asides to your paper that direct readers to the appropriate portion when you are worried that they will require more reminders.
Repetition and redundancy: Finding the balance
It is essential to find the sweet spot between restating key points to help readers keep up and avoiding needless repetition and redundancy that can distract or bore them. 3 If you have previously described your approaches in the methodology chapter , you probably will not need to do it again in the outcomes chapter.
The insertion of brief asides that direct the reader to the appropriate area of the work is a good idea if you think your readers may require more reminders.
How can I avoid repetition and redundancy?
Here are the best ways to avoid repetition and redundancy in your academic writing :
- Try out various transitional phrases.
- Change up your sentence length and structure .
- Avoid referring to many antecedents with the same pronoun .
What is redundancy?
The use of redundant language occurs when more words or phrases than required are used to describe the same idea.
How does repetition and redundancy influence writing efficiency?
Writing that is both simple and concise has no place for redundancy. The inability to write coherently and clearly will prevent you from producing useful technical reports.
What effect does repetition and redundancy have on the reader?
Writers use repetition to create rhythm in their work. Repetition, like other aural acrobatics like rhyme, consonance, and assonance , makes a text more melodic.
1 Jobe, Nick and Sophia Stevens. “Repetition and Redundancy.” University of Houston-Victoria. April, 2009. https://www.uhv.edu/curriculum-student-achievement/student-success/tutoring/student-resources/q-z/repetition-and-redundancy/ .
2 Proofed. “Stop Repeating Yourself! A Guide to Redundant Expressions.” April 9, 2018. https://proofed.co.uk/writing-tips/stop-repeating-guide-redundant-expressions/ .
3 Government of Canada. “Clear Communication: Reduce Redundancy.” Accessed February 17. 2023. https://www.noslangues-ourlanguages.gc.ca/en/writing-tips-plus/clear-communication-reduce-redundancy?wbdisable=true .
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Studies in Educational Evaluation
The bilateral benefits of providing and receiving peer feedback in academic writing across varying l2 proficiency.
Effects of providing and receiving peer feedback were examined in EFL academic writing.
The combined effect of providing and receiving feedback on revision was prominent for all students.
The bilateral effect of feedback features was significant for high proficiency students.
Providing feedback features and quality benefited low proficiency students more.
Although the effectiveness of peer review has been examined, few have tested the joint benefits of providing and receiving feedback features and quality in L2 contexts. The present study investigated variation in key features and quality of feedback provided and received by high and low L2 proficiency students and its benefits on revision in the authentic setting of students experiencing both roles of providing and receiving peer feedback in English academic writing. Analyses on two drafts from 50 students, 1356 idea units of anonymous implementable peer feedback and back-evaluation ratings revealed that the combined effect of providing and receiving feedback on revision was prominent for all students. But the bilateral benefits of providing and receiving feedback features were more significant for high proficiency students, while providing feedback features and quality benefited low proficiency students more. The study implies that students need more bilateral training with both providing and receiving feedback.
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How to correctly cite your sources in an article or academic essay.
Citing sources is a critical aspect of academic writing and scientific literature that shows that you’ve done the necessary research to back up your findings and credits and acknowledges the ideas of others you’ve used in your works.
Plagiarism isn’t taken lightly in the academic world, and even unintentional cases, often involving incorrect sources or formatting, can land people in trouble. For students, teachers, and seasoned researchers alike, avoiding instances where their academic integrity is questioned is often the top priority.
For students just entering academia, getting the hang of the various styles, formatting, and etiquette involved when working on academic papers and essays often includes an extensive learning curve. Fortunately, plenty of tools and resources can come to their aid, especially off-late.
Understand The Citation Style
Students will have to accommodate different citation styles, which often differ based on their respective disciplines, institutions, or use cases. The most popular citation styles include the APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard styles.
Most institutions will include guidelines and instructions about this within their respective student handbooks. Make sure to read it, and if possible check out the essays and papers published by students and faculty members in the past, to get a better idea of what is expected from students.
Usually, the citation sty;es differ based on the discipline in question, for example, when it comes to economics, the Harvard style has long been the norm, and in the case of IT and engineering, it is often the IEEE style.
Keep Track of Sources
Keep track of the sources in question whenever you source data, facts, or information from an external source, whether to prove your point, paraphrase, or copy outright.
This might be hard for those just stepping into the higher echelons of academia, with their earlier education and coursework requirements mostly lax. Learning and understanding these standards, however, is essential when it comes to professional research.
You need to keep track of a handful of information, mostly the author’s name, the title of the book/article/paper, publication date, and page number for easy reference. Plenty of tools and citation makers , such as Mendeley, Quilbot, and EndNote, can aid in this regard, among others.
Integrating Citations Into Writing
Once you have the sources and all relevant information about them on file, the next step is integrating them within your writing for ease of use. There are several ways to go about this, often depending on the style of citations and other documentation standards you’ve adopted.
Options include in-text citations, which are brief references to the source within the text of your essay or paper, followed by footnotes or endnotes , which as the name suggests, are included at the bottom of each page, with more detailed information regarding the source, author, and more.
No matter what style you choose to use, the key is consistency, legibility, and accuracy. With the use of the tools discussed above, this should be pretty simple, but a thorough review of the citations, once while you are writing and once before publishing, can reduce instances of errors to a great degree.
If you are not paraphrasing and are using direct quotes from the source material, use quotation marks to denote the same. Enclose the quotes in general quotation marks, along with the accurate page number and source for where the quote can be found.
Quoting materials from other sources can be a great way to introduce different arguments and facts to support your thesis. However, tread lightly and even include proper framing and descriptive elements surrounding the quote to avoid making it seem like low-effort plagiarism.
While using quotations it is also essential to explain them to readers while directing their attention to relevant aspects of the quote, and how they correlate with your ideas and arguments. These are all ways to maintain academic integrity while showing off your understanding of the subject matter.
Include A Bibliography
A bibliography is a list of sources an author uses to create their academic work. It is essentially a table of contents for sources and citations and is thus crucial for all types of academic writing, including simple essays, research papers, and reports.
It is often included at the end, in alphabetical order of the author’s surname, with a few other possible variations to the styles and formatting, often depending on the style of citations, discipline, or individual journal requirements.
The styles are broad of three different types, namely analytics bibliography, which documents the entire journey from a manuscript to being published, followed by an annotated bibliography, which includes short notes regarding why the author chose each source; and finally enumerative bibliography, which is by far the most basic type, with the document only citing the main, high-level sources.
Academic writing is an art and a science that involves following a set of rules and principles but can only be mastered over time with plenty of trial and error. So, for students just getting started in higher education, don’t be afraid to try and risk failure, especially with the right tools and guidance; the learning curve is much shorter than it was in the past.
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- How to write a journal article
How to write and structure a journal article
Sharing your research data can be hugely beneficial to your career , as well as to the scholarly community and wider society. But before you do so, there are some important ethical considerations to remember.
What are the rules and guidance you should follow, when you begin to think about how to write and structure a journal article? Ruth First Prize winner Steven Rogers, PhD said the first thing is to be passionate about what you write.
Steven Nabieu Rogers, Ruth First Prize winner.
Let’s go through some of the best advice that will help you pinpoint the features of a journal article, and how to structure it into a compelling research paper.
Planning for your article
When planning to write your article, make sure it has a central message that you want to get across. This could be a novel aspect of methodology that you have in your PhD study, a new theory, or an interesting modification you have made to theory or a novel set of findings.
2018 NARST Award winner Marissa Rollnick advised that you should decide what this central focus is, then create a paper outline bearing in mind the need to:
Isolate a manageable size
Create a coherent story/argument
Make the argument self-standing
Target the journal readership
Change the writing conventions from that used in your thesis
Get familiar with the journal you want to submit to
It is a good idea to choose your target journal before you start to write your paper. Then you can tailor your writing to the journal’s requirements and readership, to increase your chances of acceptance.
When selecting your journal think about audience, purposes, what to write about and why. Decide the kind of article to write. Is it a report, position paper, critique or review? What makes your argument or research interesting? How might the paper add value to the field?
If you need more guidance on how to choose a journal, here is our guide to narrow your focus.
Once you’ve chosen your target journal, take the time to read a selection of articles already published – particularly focus on those that are relevant to your own research.
This can help you get an understanding of what the editors may be looking for, then you can guide your writing efforts.
The Think. Check. Submit. initiative provides tools to help you evaluate whether the journal you’re planning to send your work to is trustworthy.
The journal’s aims and scope is also an important resource to refer back to as you write your paper – use it to make sure your article aligns with what the journal is trying to accomplish.
Keep your message focused
The next thing you need to consider when writing your article is your target audience. Are you writing for a more general audience or is your audience experts in the same field as you? The journal you have chosen will give you more information on the type of audience that will read your work.
When you know your audience, focus on your main message to keep the attention of your readers. A lack of focus is a common problem and can get in the way of effective communication.
Stick to the point. The strongest journal articles usually have one point to make. They make that point powerfully, back it up with evidence, and position it within the field.
How to format and structure a journal article
The format and structure of a journal article is just as important as the content itself, it helps to clearly guide the reader through.
How do I format a journal article?
Individual journals will have their own specific formatting requirements, which you can find in the instructions for authors.
You can save time on formatting by downloading a template from our library of templates to apply to your article text. These templates are accepted by many of our journals. Also, a large number of our journals now offer format-free submission, which allows you to submit your paper without formatting your manuscript to meet that journal’s specific requirements.
General structure for writing an academic journal article
The title of your article is one of the first indicators readers will get of your research and concepts. It should be concise, accurate, and informative. You should include your most relevant keywords in your title, but avoid including abbreviations and formulae.
Keywords are an essential part of producing a journal article. When writing a journal article you must select keywords that you would like your article to rank for.
Keywords help potential readers to discover your article when conducting research using search engines.
The purpose of your abstract is to express the key points of your research, clearly and concisely. An abstract must always be well considered, as it is the primary element of your work that readers will come across.
An abstract should be a short paragraph (around 300 words) that summarizes the findings of your journal article. Ordinarily an abstract will be comprised of:
What your research is about
What methods have been used
What your main findings are
Acknowledgements can appear to be a small aspect of your journal article, however it is still important. This is where you acknowledge the individuals who do not qualify for co-authorship, but contributed to your article intellectually, financially, or in some other manner.
When you acknowledge someone in your academic texts, it gives you more integrity as a writer as it shows that you are not claiming other academic’s ideas as your own intellectual property. It can also aid your readers in their own research journeys.
An introduction is a pivotal part of the article writing process. An introduction not only introduces your topic and your stance on the topic, but it also (situates/contextualizes) your argument in the broader academic field.
The main body is where your main arguments and your evidence are located. Each paragraph will encapsulate a different notion and there will be clear linking between each paragraph.
Your conclusion should be an interpretation of your results, where you summarize all of the concepts that you introduced in the main body of the text in order of most to least important. No new concepts are to be introduced in this section.
References and citations
References and citations should be well balanced, current and relevant. Although every field is different, you should aim to cite references that are not more than 10 years old if possible. The studies you cite should be strongly related to your research question.
Clarity is key
Make your writing accessible by using clear language. Writing that is easy to read, is easier to understand too.
You may want to write for a global audience – to have your research reach the widest readership. Make sure you write in a way that will be understood by any reader regardless of their field or whether English is their first language.
Write your journal article with confidence, to give your reader certainty in your research. Make sure that you’ve described your methodology and approach; whilst it may seem obvious to you, it may not to your reader. And don’t forget to explain acronyms when they first appear.
Engage your audience. Go back to thinking about your audience; are they experts in your field who will easily follow technical language, or are they a lay audience who need the ideas presented in a simpler way?
Be aware of other literature in your field, and reference it
Make sure to tell your reader how your article relates to key work that’s already published. This doesn’t mean you have to review every piece of previous relevant literature, but show how you are building on previous work to avoid accidental plagiarism.
When you reference something, fully understand its relevance to your research so you can make it clear for your reader. Keep in mind that recent references highlight awareness of all the current developments in the literature that you are building on. This doesn’t mean you can’t include older references, just make sure it is clear why you’ve chosen to.
How old can my references be?
Your literature review should take into consideration the current state of the literature.
There is no specific timeline to consider. But note that your subject area may be a factor. Your colleagues may also be able to guide your decision.
Grasian Mkodzongi, Ruth First Prize Winner
Top tips to get you started
Communicate your unique point of view to stand out. You may be building on a concept already in existence, but you still need to have something new to say. Make sure you say it convincingly, and fully understand and reference what has gone before.
Professor Len Barton, Founding Editor of Disability and Society
Now you know the features of a journal article and how to construct it. This video is an extra resource to use with this guide to help you know what to think about before you write your journal article.
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Taylor & Francis Editing Services offers a full range of pre-submission manuscript preparation services to help you improve the quality of your manuscript and submit with confidence.
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How failing safely can uphold academic integrity (and mitigate AI writing)
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It’s easy to think failure is a point of no return, especially within a classroom setting. After all, in North America’s grading system, for instance, the lowest grade a student can receive is an “F,” which denotes failure. A failing grade often means a student cannot move forward in next steps and must retake a course or year of learning.
At the same time, students may, in their later years of education, encounter an application essay prompt like “Tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it.” This may seem to fly in the face of the prior educational journey.
If colleges and graduate schools look for students to write essays about what they learned from failure—are we teaching students this lesson within classrooms? As Michael Bycraft puts it, “Embracing failure can seem counterintuitive to students. If we have always taught our kids that every test must be an A+, then how do we support them when it isn’t? ( 2019 ).
The importance of failing safely
It is important to embrace failure. Because there is no learning without setbacks. And creating a safe space for failure helps to not feel discouraged by failure and instead build resilience and a more robust path towards learning. Moreover, pointing out missteps and providing feedback instead of only praising perfection (or encouraging perfection) can help students further their learning and gain confidence ( Metcalfe, 2017 ).
Failing safely within academic integrity is also important. Low-stakes instruction around attribution and citation helps students understand how to pivot from missteps and transform misconduct like plagiarism into teachable moments. Learning things like research skills in a low-stakes setting “decreases student anxiety and increases student confidence and performance” ( Stewart-Mailhiot, 2014, p. 40 ).
A fear of failure, according to UC Berkeley professor Martin Covington, is directly linked to self worth. “Covington found that students will put themselves through unbelievable psychological machinations in order to avoid failure and maintain the sense that they are worthy—which, as all of us who have ever dealt with the fear of failure know, can have long-term consequences” ( Zakrzewski, 2013 ).
When a student fears failure so much and they don’t believe they have the ability to succeed, they become vulnerable to shortcut solutions that help them avoid a failing outcome and preserve their self-worth ( Zakrzewski, 2013 ). Additional research supports this psychological arc; students don’t want to see themselves as immoral and will rationalize their cheating as legitimate behavior ( Simmons, 2018 ).
This path may lead to students who resort to forms of misconduct like plagiarism, contract cheating, and more recently inappropriate uses of AI writing, to avoid failure at any cost.
Providing a safe space for failure
When educators provide a safe space for failing with frequent, low-stakes assignments, then we are able to model resilience for students. Learning scientist Manu Kapur, architect of the theory of productive failure states, “If success doesn't work right off the bat, then maybe we question that very assumption and design for failure…The goal is to design experiences that incorporate failure in a safe, curated way. Then, we turn that initial failure into something that is productive by stepping in, giving students feedback and guidance, and helping them to make sense of the material by assembling it into a more coherent whole” ( Terada, 2022 ).
Providing a low-stakes environment around which students can gain analytical skills and understand that missteps are a key component of innovation and original ideas is critical ( Warnock, 2013 ). Before a student leaps into a high-stakes assignment, they must understand how to cite, attribute, and how to embrace originality and their own authentic voice. These skills are formed through frequent, low-stakes assessments.
Failing safely is critical to resilience and overcoming setbacks. When setbacks are framed as an opportunity to learn, students see a way out. They are then provided with a narrative that doesn’t link failure to self-worth and instead define it as a part of the learning journey. The result is a more confident student less prone to academic misconduct.
In fact, academic misconduct can be transformative . A restorative framework for academic misconduct is one such pathway for transformation and to help students build back from a point of failure.
Ideas for addressing AI writing and misconduct
Students may feel safer examining failure in a neutral third party. An emotionally low-stakes setup enables students to then practice with their own work, which by nature is higher stakes.
Teachers are already innovating in classrooms when it comes to AI writing and ChatGPT. On Reddit, one teacher is adapting to the changing landscape. The comment reads, “My friend is in university and taking a history class. The professor is using ChatGPT to write essays on the history topics and the students need to mark up its essays and point out where ChatGPT is wrong and correct it. (u/SunRev, Reddit, 2023 ).
This is a remarkable lesson plan on several levels. One, the teacher is utilizing AI writing as a teaching tool, acknowledging its existence to students. Second, the teacher is pointing out AI’s shortcomings and limitations through hands-on research and a verification activity. And third, the teacher is embracing failure, even if it is the failure of AI, and empowering students to become the authority figure over AI.
Providing a safe space for failure is a well-researched component of pedagogy. But we also know challenges spring up; AI writing is no exception as we all pivot towards embracing AI writing’s existence while maintaining academic integrity. As we do so, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of failing safely as we navigate this new environment. And to support students in their learning journey in a world of AI writing, ChatGPT, and new innovations to come.
AI Essay Generators: The Pros and Cons of Using Them for Academic Writing
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer in many industries, and now it’s made its way into academic writing. Enter AI essay generators, or as they’re also known, AI essay writers.
These nifty tools are becoming increasingly popular among students and writers alike, providing a quick and easy way to churn out essays without the hassle of hours of research and writing.
But like any new tech, AI essay generators have their pros and cons. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the benefits and drawbacks of using these tools, and explore some of the most popular ones available today.
How to Write an Essay on Any Topic Using AI
Ai systems, like jasper ai, can write essays on any topic, just with one click- you don’t need to be an expert in….
What is AI Essay Generators?
AI essay generators are computer programs that leverage the power of artificial intelligence algorithms to generate high-quality essays on any topic.
Essentially, these tools are designed to mimic the style and language of human writing and can produce content that ranges from a few paragraphs to multiple pages in length.
Some of these essay generators use natural language processing (NLP) to analyze and understand the topic, while others rely on pre-existing templates and fill-in-the-blank structures to create the essay.
Regardless of the approach, the end result is an essay that can be used for a variety of purposes, from school assignments to professional writing tasks.
How to Use AI to Write Creative Stories in Seconds (Case Study)
The use of ai to write creative stories is increasing in popularity., popular ai essay generators.
There are plenty to choose from! Here are some of the best ones:
- Jasper AI : This AI essay generator is widely regarded as one of the best in the business . Its algorithms are designed to produce high-quality, coherent essays that are tailored to your specific needs. Plus, it’s super easy to use, making it a favorite among students and writers alike.
- EssayBot : This AI-powered writing assistant offers a wide range of features, including a topic suggestion tool, a citation generator, and a built-in plagiarism checker. While it’s not perfect, EssayBot can be a helpful tool for writers who need a little extra help.
- Article Forge : This AI essay generator uses cutting-edge technology to produce articles that are both informative and engaging. Its advanced algorithms can generate articles on a wide range of topics, making it a great option for writers who need to produce a lot of content quickly.
- AI Writer : This AI essay generator uses natural language processing to produce essays that are both grammatically correct and relevant to the topic at hand. It also offers a range of customization options, allowing you to tailor the essay to your specific needs.
And of course, let’s not forget about ChatGPT ! As a language model trained by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a powerful tool for generating high-quality text on a wide range of topics.
While it may not be designed specifically for essay writing, it can still be a valuable resource for writers who need a little extra help.
How to Make an Essay Longer
Ps: this article was written in less than 5 minutes by an advanced ai writing tool to demonstrate just what’s possible…, the pros of using ai essay generators.
In this section, we’ll dive into some of the benefits of using these tools.
Let’s start with the most obvious one: time-saving . Imagine being able to generate a high-quality essay within minutes, with just a few clicks of a button.
That’s the magic of AI essay generators! By using these tools, you can save a lot of time that you can spend on other assignments or activities.
But wait, there’s more! AI essay generators can also provide a fresh perspective on a topic , bringing in ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
This can be a game-changer if you’re struggling with a creative block or if you’re looking for a new angle to approach a topic.
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Another great benefit of using AI essay generators is overcoming writer’s block . Sometimes, starting a new writing piece can be daunting, but AI essay generators can provide a starting point and structure for the essay, giving you a place to begin.
Consistency is key when it comes to writing, and AI essay generators can help with that. These tools can maintain consistency in writing style, tone, and language use .
This can be especially useful for large projects or assignments that require a consistent voice throughout.
They use algorithms that are designed to produce accurate and relevant content, reducing the risk of errors or misinformation in the essay.
One of the best parts about AI essay generators is that they can be affordable, with some being available for free . This makes them a great option for students or writers on a tight budget.
How to Use an AI Story Generator to Write Your Stories
Ps: this entire article was written by an ai story generator: jasper ai., the cons of using ai essay generators.
Using AI essay generators can have some drawbacks that are important to consider before using them.
Here are some of the main cons:
- Lack of quality: Although AI essay generators can produce essays quickly, the quality of the content may not always meet expectations. The generated essays may lack coherence, relevance to the topic, or depth of analysis, which can be a problem for academic writing.
- Limited creativity: AI essay generators are designed to follow specific rules and templates, which can limit their creativity and ability to produce original content. This can be a disadvantage if you need to produce unique and creative essays.
- Inability to customize: AI essay generators may not be able to accommodate specific requirements or preferences for the essay, such as formatting, tone, or citation style. This can be a problem if your assignment has strict guidelines or if you want to convey a specific message or tone.
- Dependence on technology: Using AI essay generators can make you dependent on technology to produce your writing, which can be a disadvantage if you want to develop your own writing skills or if the technology fails to produce satisfactory results.
- Inaccuracy: Although AI essay generators are designed to produce accurate content, they may not always be able to capture the nuances or complexities of a topic, which can lead to errors or inaccuracies in the essay.
So, while AI essay generators can be a useful tool for saving time and providing a starting point for your writing, they may not always produce the highest quality content and may not be suitable for every situation.
Weigh the pros and cons before using them and make sure they meet the specific requirements of your assignment.
How to Write an Essay Fast with AI
It’s no secret that writing an essay can be a daunting task. but what if you could write it fast — and still get great…, the future of ai essay generators.
Let’s talk about the future of AI essay generators.
As we all know, technology is advancing at a rapid pace and it’s safe to say that AI essay generators will become even more advanced in the future.
With the use of machine learning algorithms, AI essay generators will be able to analyze and understand text in a more nuanced way, allowing for more sophisticated and complex writing .
Remember though, AI essay generators should never be seen as a replacement for human writing skills and critical thinking . While these programs can be helpful for generating ideas and starting a piece of writing, use them in conjunction with your own creativity and expertise.
Additionally, they should never be relied on solely for academic writing, as they may lack the nuance and depth of understanding that comes with human research and analysis.
In the future, we can expect to see more advanced and user-friendly AI essays generators, such as Jasper AI and ChatGPT.
These programs will likely offer more features and customization options, allowing for a more personalized writing experience .
Nonetheless, remember that the writer’s own voice and creativity should never be lost in the process.
Rewrite Your Essays and Make Them Better Using AI (Different Language Samples!)
It’s no secret that essay rewriters are becoming more and more popular in the essay writing world., what are ai essay generators.
AI essay generators are computer programs that use artificial intelligence algorithms to generate essays on any topic.
How do AI essay generators work?
AI essay generators use algorithms to analyze and understand the topic at hand before generating an essay. Some programs use natural language processing, while others rely on pre-existing templates.
What are the advantages of using AI essay generators?
AI essay generators save time, provide a fresh perspective, help overcome writer’s block, maintain consistency, ensure accuracy, and are affordable.
What are the disadvantages of using AI essay generators?
The quality of the essays may not always be high, and the language used may not be sophisticated enough for academic writing.
What are some popular AI essay generators?
Some popular AI essay generators include EssayBot, Article Forge, AI Writer, Jasper AI, and ChatGPT.
Are AI essay generators a substitute for human writing and critical thinking skills?
No, AI essay generators should never be relied on solely for academic writing. They should be seen as useful tools for generating ideas and getting started on a piece of writing.
What is the future of AI essay generators?
As AI technology continues to advance, AI essay generators will likely become even more sophisticated and nuanced.
Are AI essay generators free to use?
Some AI essay generators are available for free, while others require a subscription or payment.
Can AI essay generators write academic papers?
AI essay generators can be helpful in generating ideas and providing a starting point for academic papers, but they should never be relied on solely for academic writing.
Are essays generated by AI essay generators of high quality?
The quality of essays generated by AI essay generators varies, with some being of high quality and others lacking coherence and relevance to the topic.
Can AI essay generators save time?
Yes, AI essay generators can save time by generating high-quality essays within minutes, freeing up time to focus on other assignments or activities.
Do AI essay generators maintain consistency in writing style?
Yes, AI essay generators can help maintain consistency in writing style, tone, and language use, which can be particularly useful for large projects or assignments that require a consistent voice throughout.
Can AI essay generators provide a fresh perspective on a topic?
Yes, AI essay generators can provide a new perspective on a topic, bringing in fresh ideas that you may not have thought of on your own.
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What is Academic Writing? | Styles & Tips
What is Academic Writing?
Academic writing communicates information and ideas to a narrow or wider academic readership. Academic writing can be descriptive (e.g., a results section ), analytical (e.g., a comparison of different theories), persuasive (your own point of view), or critical (when you discuss other peoples’ points of view). This type of writing always has a clear structure that guides the reader from beginning to end. It is also focused on the presented information and arguments and is backed up by evidence. Different disciplines have different conventions and jargon, but academic writing generally has a formal tone and style that is unbiased and impersonal.
If you are a non-native writer of academic papers and articles, you might think that the most important thing to focus on is sounding like a fluent English speaker. But even native English speakers do not automatically sound “academic” when they write. There are many differences between this academic writing and other language and writing styles, and research shows that experience outweighs native-speaker status when it comes to writing academic texts. This article will help you understand what is important when writing academic texts and provide you with clear guidelines for drafting and editing your own work .
Table of Contents:
When to follow an academic writing style.
- Formal Writing vs Informal Writing
- Clear and Objective Writing
- Structure and Consistency
How to Cite Sources Correctly
You are expected to follow academic writing conventions when writing any kinds of academic essays, book reports, annotated bibliographies, research papers, research posters, lab reports, research proposals , theses, or manuscripts for publication. You have probably been told many times to write “concisely” and “effectively.” But you might not know exactly what that means or how you make your own writing as concise, as effective, and overall as academic as possible. In the following, we will look at the main components of academic writing as well as at some things that you should avoid when writing any kind of scholarly text.
What is NOT academic writing?
The point of academic writing is not to “sound like a native.” In fact, all the colloquial expressions and idioms you might have picked up from your native English-speaking friends or colleagues need to stay out of your papers and articles. Academic writing is not story-telling, and your goal is not to entertain the reader. However, academic writing does not have to be complex and full of long-winded sentences and complicated vocabulary expressions. In fact, recent research argues that using needlessly complex words might make you look less intelligent . You can use simple language and keep your sentences short (many readers will thank you for that) as long as you stick to the main principles of academic writing: formality , clarity and accuracy , structure , and evidence .
Formal vs Informal Writing
What exactly makes a kind of writing “formal”? You might think you need to use complicated words, longer sentences, and complex grammar structures to impress the reader and sound academic and professional. But formal writing can be simple and plain (in fact, simplicity is a good thing). Just be sure to avoid the following characteristics of informal language:
Informal writing examples
The Cambridge dictionary defines slang as “ very informal language ” that is used between people who know each other well and belong to a specific social group. Expressions known only to you and your friends or colleagues (but not to others) because they refer to things you often talk or joke about between yourselves are examples of slang. Since spoken and written language have to be clearly separated, these expressions should not be included in anything you write for professional or academic purposes.
Modern slang examples : y’all, cool, awesome, sus, shook, spill the tea, crack up, what’s up, no cap
Idioms and cliches
You might think that using idioms makes you sound more native. But idioms can be highly country- and culture-specific and not every reader will understand them. They can also sound boring or lazy, because they have been used so many times by so many writers that nobody wants to hear or read them anymore.
Idiom and cliche examples : Don’t beat around the bush, Every cloud has a silver lining, kick the bucket, raining cats and dogs, We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it , hit the hay
You find blog posts and resources or even newspaper articles these days that use “don’t” and “haven’t.” But in academic texts, such contractions must be spelled out. This rule also applies to academic conversations, such as when you respond to reviewer comments in a rebuttal letter that directly addresses an editor and reviewers.
Verb contraction examples : aren’t, can’t, there’s, they’d, couldn’t, didn’t, they’re, isn’t, they’ll, shouldn’t, wouldn’t, there’s
Since academic writing is generally impersonal, you should not use any expressions that include the reader as a conversation partner. Be specific and concrete with your nouns, especially when it comes to research methods and findings. Avoid vague or subjective adjectives. First-person pronouns in research papers should generally be avoided but can be used where appropriate–but never address the audience personally as “you.”
Informal phrases/pronouns examples : Here you are/go, The people in the study answered “yes”, The research results weren’t very good, We should do more research, Our methods are better than those in other studies, You as readers will learn the details of our study
Structure and Consistency in Academic Writing
Your research article or academic paper needs to have a logical structure from beginning ( title and abstract or introduction section ) to end (discussion and conclusion), with clear sections and subheadings. It should contain all necessary but only relevant information. The reader should never have to ask “Why is this detail mentioned?” or “Did they forget to discuss why they used this method?”
Academic writing structure breakdown
Within this overall structure, however, you also need to pay attention to consistency on the level of the paragraph and sentence.
Avoid repeating the same information in different parts of your article, unless you need to remind the reader of certain details (such as at the beginning of the discussion section). Spell out every abbreviation once before you use it, so that the reader can follow. Do not mention details in the abstract or introduction that you only explain later in the article. Do not use different terms for the same thing or different variations of terms in different sections of your paper — decide on one, define that at the beginning if necessary, and then use it throughout the text.
When you move on to a new idea, start a new paragraph — and use the correct transition terms here as well. Make sure that every paragraph really only contains one idea or topic, and if you later decide to omit some details of your experiment or analyses, then make sure you delete all paragraphs on that topic from all sections of your article.
Make sure you use the correct transition terms and apply the correct punctuation rules within and between your sentences so that you logically connect one idea or piece of information to the next.
Guidelines for Clear and Objective Writing
As an academic author, you have to present information clearly and as objectively as possible so that the reader can come to their own conclusions.
Do not use vague expressions
The rule of thumb has no place in your research paper or article. Say exactly who did something, what quantities you used, and how long something took. Do not use vague terms like “perhaps,” “maybe,” “a little,” “some,” “and so on,” or “etc.” Pay attention to the timeline of your experiment or study and make sure you use verb tenses correctly to indicate when something happened relative to the present day.
NO Participants were shown the faces, cars, animals, and so on, about three times.
YES Participants saw each face, car, animal, house, and scene three times, except for two participants who could already name all pictures after two rounds.
NO Some patients took medication when they visited our clinic.
YES Five of our 20 patients were already on medication when they visited our clinic.
Do not use emotive language
For instance, in clinical reports, do not describe events as “horrendous” or “disgusting” or patients as “suffering from” a disease. Use non-emotive language. If you want to emphasize the gravity of a situation, cite other people who used such expressions and clearly mark them in quotes.
NO Many patients suffer a lot because of the horrible disease.
YES The disease often affects the patients’ quality of life.
Present evidence, not just your own opinion
You don’t want to tell the reader what to think, you want to provide them with all the information they need to come to their own conclusions. Clearly explain why you did what you did, why you used the methods you used, and what the limitations of your work are. Present other people’s work accurately and try to be fair even if you disagree.
NO Adams et al. could not show clear results.
YES Since Adams et al. used a cognitive rather than a language scale, they could not distinguish between the two effects we report here.
Every piece of information or data that you take from somewhere else needs to be cited so that the reader knows what was known before and what new knowledge or ideas your paper or article provides. Note that you also need to add references to images and other material, whether you found something online, in a book, or in a newspaper. Your sources should be credible (i.e., articles from books, your university library, and academic databases rather than Wikipedia or blogs), and you need to know who wrote them and who published them when, and where.
Because there are several different citation styles , you should check your class syllabus, the guidelines of your department, or the author instructions of your target journal to make sure you use the correct style. In general, add author names and years in brackets or (superscript) numbers to the text to indicate where a quote or information comes from, and you list all your sources at the end of your paper or article. Don’t forget that even if you paraphrase you still need to provide your sources if you don’t want to get into trouble for plagiarism. And even if you reuse your own work (e.g., your unpublished bachelor’s thesis), you need to cite yourself to avoid what is called “ self-plagiarism .”
Visit Wordvice to receive professional proofreading services , including paper editing , dissertation editing , manuscript editing , and revision for other academic documents.
College & Research Libraries News ( C&RL News ) is the official newsmagazine and publication of record of the Association of College & Research Libraries, providing articles on the latest trends and practices affecting academic and research libraries.
C&RL News became an online-only publication beginning with the January 2022 issue.
Christopher Cox is dean of libraries, email: [email protected] , and Elias Tzoc is associate dean for teaching and learning and research, email: [email protected] , at Clemson University.
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Christopher Cox and Elias Tzoc
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ChatGPT burst onto the scene in late November 2022 and immediately went viral, reaching one million users in one week. Built by OpenAI, which is also responsible for the breakthrough image generator, DALL-E, ChatGPT is an LLM (large language model) tool that uses deep learning techniques to generate text in response to questions posed to it. It can generate essays, email, song lyrics, recipes, computer code, webpages, even games and medical diagnoses. Rather than search the internet, ChatGPT has been trained on a large corpus of text, including news articles, books, websites, academic articles, and other sources. The current corpus includes data from multiple languages and computer codes. The generation of text is accomplished by predicting the next word in a series of words to produce sentences and then entire pages of content.
About two to three weeks after its launch, several groups began discussing ChatGPT’s effect and implications for higher education. A blog post, “Resources for Exploring ChatGPT and Higher Education” by Bryan Alexander, listed more than 20 resources on the disruptive technology. 1 During the first week of January, the conversation made it into higher ed venues such as the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed . Reactions to ChatGPT have ranged from praise for it as a potential digital assistant or research partner to schools banning it in classrooms fearing students will use it to generate research papers and exam answers. For librarians and information professionals, some of the questions are, What are the implications of AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E for academic libraries? How might it change what we do, and how might it help us better serve and meet the needs of twenty-first-century students? Below are some suggestions and predictions of how AI tools may change our work, and ways we can leverage them to enhance and improve it.
Discovery and search: ChatGPT offers an intriguing alternative to search engines like Google, which respond to queries with a list of links on a topic to help you learn more about it. ChatGPT’s expertise lies in its ability to answer specific questions, providing an expert explanation of a topic, or factual answers—all without the user having to scroll through dozens of responses. Like Google, it can learn your information needs and preferences and provide personalized, relevant results. Currently, ChatGPT’s knowledge is limited to 2021 and prior, though that will no doubt change.
One can envision a future where ChatGPT is offered as a complementary tool, enhancement to, or replacement of, current Google-like searching methods. You can see this right now at You.com, which offers both traditional search engine and AI chat results. 2 Google and Microsoft have both announced that they will be integrating ChatGPT into their tools in the next few months. Thanks to a recently released API, ChatGPT’s technology can be integrated into library discovery tools, providing answers to questions as well as collection items on the topic. Consider the benefits of querying large corpuses of text like HathiTrust with ChatGPT. Will this fuel a renewed desire to include and search the full text of items in our catalogs? An arms race may develop between database companies as they work to quickly add ChatGPT functionality to their products.
Research: ChatGPT can be used to spark ideas or simplify aspects of the research process. It can help brainstorm topics, generate lists of keywords, and provide summaries of works. Soon, you’ll be able to upload your own text into ChatGPT and ask it for an abstract. If ChatGPT can be connected to library discovery tools, it might also be able to create a bibliography of relevant resources on your topic. In the future, AI tools may serve as research assistants, conducting virtual experiments, analyzing data, copywriting and editing text, and generating citations.
Reference: Like ChatGPT, librarians have been trained to learn what people mean based on the questions they ask. AI chatbots are already being used by libraries to answer basic reference questions and refer harder ones to librarians. ChatGPT is simply an extension of that current service. Librarians can assist researchers by providing tips in asking the right questions to get the best results. These tools also free up librarian time to focus on more complex research queries or tasks. Additionally, they provide 24/7 service, fulfilling a need librarians can’t always provide.
Teaching: The ease with which ChatGPT can answer research questions can change how we teach. Rather than rely on testing for factual understanding or assigning essays, more complex assignments connected specifically with the content of the course will be required. The current trend of embedding and integrating more active and experiential learning activities into the curriculum can also help, especially if assignments take other forms such as infographics, podcasts, or videos. Academic libraries already provide services and spaces for these types of creations and learning opportunities. Librarians can assist faculty in creating such assignments.
ChatGPT can also create syllabi, sample lesson plans, and the text for a LibGuide in seconds. Some have even suggested that ChatGPT could act as a graduate assistant to a class, providing tutoring support to students. Sites like the Sentient Syllabus 3 and “Understanding AI Writing Tools and their Uses for Teaching and Learning” from the University of California-Berkeley, 4 provide ideas for using ChatGPT in the classroom.
Textbooks: Academic libraries are deeply invested in supporting faculty in the creation of open educational resources (OER). Textbooks that once took a year to write can be written by ChatGPT in hours in response to a series of queries. Obviously, the resulting text will need to be reviewed and revised to ensure the information is accurate and ensure quality. If the time to create OERs is reduced, more free textbooks will be available to faculty, allowing them to choose and tailor them to specific courses, improving their teaching and saving students thousands of dollars.
Information literacy and digital literacy: AI tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E will make information literacy and digital literacy more important than ever. Librarians can assist faculty in teaching students critical thinking skills to validate facts and evaluate the quality of the answers provided by ChatGPT or determine whether a Matisse painting is really a Matisse or AI-generated art in his style. While it may be difficult to identify a work written or created by a student vs. a bot, teaching students and faculty information literacy skills will help them make educated guesses through critical analysis of what is presented.
Writing and creation: Anand Rao, chair of the Department of Communications and Digital Studies at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia, believes ChatGPT and other AI tools will “change the nature of knowledge production itself.” 5 Rather than start from scratch, ChatGPT can produce a rough draft of text that can be used as inspiration for your own work. DALL-E can create new, inspirational works of art that can be pulled into image creation tools like the Adobe Creative Suite and altered and tweaked to develop original creations. The same is the case with writing lyrics and music with ChatGPT. ChatGPT can also “assist developers in writing better code at a faster clip.” 6
Plagiarism: Ethical dilemmas come into play when it comes to identifying authorship or monetizing the products of AI tool queries. Faculty say that students who turn in work from ChatGPT as their own are committing plagiarism. But are they? Plagiarism is defined as “presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement.” ChatGPT is not a “someone.” Should students be citing ChatGPT or crediting them as a co-author? Along with concerns about students turning in papers generated by ChatGPT, academic journals like Nature have concerns about how AI tools threaten transparent science. Scientists worry that “researchers could deceitfully pass off LLM written text as their own or use LLMs in a simplistic fashion and produce work that is unreliable.” 7
Nature has already received several submissions with ChatGPT as a co-author. Scientists disagree on whether ChatGPT can fulfill this criterion, as the tool can’t take responsibility for the content it is creating or consent to a journal’s terms. What scientists do agree on is that policies are needed—and fast! Librarians can work with teachers, researchers, and publishers to facilitate these conversations and advocate for directions that ensure transparency and acknowledge authorship.
Copyright: There is lively debate around who owns copyright to an AI-created product. The news is full of stories of authors publishing books on Amazon that were created entirely with AI-generated text and illustrations. Entrepreneurs are asking DALL-E to create art and then adding it to web catalogs to be printed on canvas on demand for a profit. These “authors” claim that they queried the AI tool and thus they should own copyright to the resulting product. Others claim “fair use.” David Wiley, chief academic officer of Lumen Learning, queried the US Copyright Office “seeking to register [a] computer-generated work as a work-for-hire to the owner.” 8 The Copyright Office responded that it “will not register works produced by a machine or mere mechanical process that operates without any creative input or intervention from a human author because, under the statute, ‘a work must be created by a human being.’” It remains to be seen if this is the final answer or if this subject will be fought in the courts. Librarians, already viewed as experts in copyright, should keep up with these discussions, providing faculty with the latest information and guidance as the rules become clearer.
Productivity: Librarians can maximize their productivity in other ways using AI tools. ChatGPT can write emails, such as a cold call encouraging a faculty member to use the library’s e-reserve service. It can generate a list of read-a-likes or books on topics for a thematic display. Drafts of marketing materials such as press releases and even event posters can be created via AI queries. The ways that AI tools can make writing and image creation faster and easier appears limitless.
Equity and inclusion: Just like any creation, AI tools can be biased based on the preconceptions of their creators or the accuracy of their data sources. Librarians can encourage students to be aware of biases that may appear in ChatGPT’s answers. OpenAI’s current monetization of ChatGPT, offering a paid “pro” tier promising more reliable access and faster response time, raises red flags for the future of such product. Such a model could produce a knowledge trade with haves and have-nots depending on an individual’s ability to foot the bill.
It’s hard to predict how AI tools will impact librarianship. In many ways, ChatGPT reminds us of how society reacted to other innovative developments including the invention of calculators, cell phones, the World Wide Web, and Wikipedia. Perhaps the other set of questions we should be asking are, How can librarians integrate these new tools into what we do? How can we help reduce their biases and improve the output quality? How can we integrate them into the future of teaching and learning at different levels? While AI tools have the potential to improve our lives and the lives of those we serve, they are unable to replace the human interactions that set us apart from any technology. Libraries can embrace the AI revolution by evaluating these new tools and developing services to support their use.
- Bryan Alexander, “Resources for exploring ChatGPT and higher education,” Bryan Alexander (blog), December 15, 2022, https://bryanalexander.org/future-of-education/resources-for-exploring-chatgpt-and-higher-education/ .
- On February 7, 2023, Microsoft integrated AI into its Bing search engine. In contrast to ChatGPT, Bing’s AI can include results from the internet.
- The Sentient Syllabus Project, http://sentientsyllabus.org/ .
- Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning, “Understanding AI Writing Tools and their Uses for Teaching and Learning at UC Berkeley,” accessed February 10, 2023, https://teaching.berkeley.edu/understanding-ai-writing-tools-and-their-uses-teaching-and-learning-uc-berkeley .
- Douglas Belkin, “Professors Turn to ChatGPT to Teach Students a Lesson: The Powerful Paper-Writing Chatbot Presents an Educational Challenge: Ban It or Build On It?,” Wall Street Journal , January 15, 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/professors-turn-to-chatgpt-to-teach-students-a-lesson-11674657460 .
- Hunter Johnson, “4 Ways Devs can Use ChatGPT to Be More Productive,” Educative (blog), January 25, 2023, https://www.educative.io/blog/chatgpt-how-it-can-help-devs-productivity .
- Nature, “Tools Such as ChatGPT Threaten Transparent Science; Here Are Our Ground Rules for Their Use,” editorial, Nature 612, no. 7945 (January 26, 2023), https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-023-00191-1 .
- David Wiley, “AI, Instructional Design, and OER,” Improving Learning (blog), January 23, 2023, https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/7129 .
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SEEKING RESPONSES: I'm Writing an Academic Article on Transmedicalism
I am a trans person (FtM) currently getting my master's degree in medical ethics, and I am writing my final paper on how the medicalization of transgender people impacts their self-perceptions. More specifically, I am writing about transmedicalists!
I have been given specific permission to seek out primary sources on places like YouTube and Reddit. It's a little unorthodox, but I believe it is important to allow people to speak for their own views on a topic like this.
What I need from you all: I am looking for responses from any type of person for any of the following questions. Why do you consider yourself a transmed? What is your definition of key terms like transmedicalism, truscum, tucute, trans, etc? What about transmedicalism is important to you? How has transmedicalism (not being trans but specifically being a transmedicalist) affected you? You can also make up and answer your own questions. Anything helps!
If this is the only time someone comes into contact with something like transmedicalism, what do you want them to know?
For the sake of transparency, I do want you all to know that the position I am taking with my paper (right now) is that medicalization ultimately harms trans people's self-perception. This paper is in its early stages though, so I am more than willing to be convinced otherwise!
You can respond in the comments or DM me. Whatever you are most comfortable with.
Transmedicalism has been blown out of proportion BIGTIME. I’ve always understood being trans as a ‘brain body misalignment’ before I knew the term ‘gender dysphoria’. Detransitioners have reinforced my views on this. I don’t think surgeries/HRT make someone more or less trans, but these procedures should be prioritised to people who have a diagnosis/a therapist letter (I recently learned that these aren’t always synonymous).
Also, when gender dysphoria is recognised as a medical condition, its possible for insurance to pitch in and cover costs of treatment. I don’t want to see every transsexual be forced to use sex work, drug dealing, etc to make FAST money to pay for their procedures. They should be able to work whatever job they want in order to do this.
Hi. If you have any more questions about my responses, please ask. I like answering questions.
So basically I guess I technically consider myself a transmed because I think being transgender is more of a medical thing an identity thing. But I only say technically because while I do have the beliefs, I don’t really like the negative connotations and don’t want to be associated with extreme people when I don’t see myself that way.
So trans people are people who transition from one gender to the other due to having discomfort with their birth sex. They see themselves as a different gender than their body so they transition so their body matches their gender in their brain. Transmedical, from my understanding, is that you basically see being transgender as a medical thing in your head, rather than just identifying for social or outside reasons. Truscum means you believe gender dysphoria is the main necessity to being transgender. Tucute means you believe that you don’t need dysphoria to be trans and that there can be a wide range of genders and anyone can be trans.
I think transmedicalisn is important to me because it’s basically the main thing that validates trans people. It’s the one tangible, logical reason why we go to such great lengths to be the opposite gender. It delegitimizes the claim that we’re all just perverts or weirdos. It validates that being trans is not a choice and that we have a legit issue that we cannot control. The fact that nobody can tell me I’m just transitioning for social reasons is very important to me. I really think that the people saying that anyone can be trans are really harming the trans community because they are removing our urgency. I firmly believe that none of us chose this path in life. It’s truly difficult.
I guess if someone saw your paper and it was the only time they’d be exposed to transmedicalisn, I’d want them to know that being trans is not a choice. That most trans people are just trying to live quiet, normal lives and that we are just like you.
I consider myself a transmed because I see value in a medical model for transness, centring it around dysphoria and the need to medically change our sex. I see "social dysphoria" not as a separate thing, or something that can be experienced on it's own, but the experience of being treated as or reminded of the sex you're uncomfortable being.
It seems like gender has really been built up into this big thing that exists independently of anything else, but it only seems possible to define in terms of other things; gender roles, feelings about sex, gramatical features, personality. It seems fairly obvious gender roles are a societal invention and opposition to them is just feminism, gramatical gender is inconsistent around the world and means very little, and gendered personality and style are just stereotypes, the only one actually connected with being trans is our feelings about our sex, which has a medical solution.
I don't deny that some people have an aversion to the gender roles they're prescribed, or to the other ideas, stereotypes and social treatment they're burdened with as a result, but I see that as a fundementally different experience to being born a sex that makes you want to off yourself, and I think it's worth making that difference known because one of those groups needs an abolition of social roles (i.e. feminism) and the other needs medical transition. It's a disservice to both groups to cram them into one movement with vague goals and contradictory messaging.
I'm not sure what questions I've answered already, I'm bad at structuring. What haven't I answered in there? How it's affected me, I guess it's encouraged "touching grass", getting away from transness and focussing on other things now and then. It's still there of course, I'm not going to magically be cis, but when you're openly and loudly trans and see it as a social category it's easy to make it something of a personality trait, and a boring one at that.
I guess the thing I'd most like people to know is that this is a very diverse set of opinions, not a unified movement, so don't pre-judge based on internet rumour or a single bad example.
Your perception is that treating a medical condition like a medical condition is bad?
We have clear evidence to the contrary with all these places trying to outlaw Trans people. Because of people not treating it like a medical condition.
Why do you consider yourself a transmed?
Because I believe that a big part of being trans is transitioning, which involves a lot of medical care. And making sure that medical care for trans people is legally protected is important to keeping trans people legally protected.
2. What is your definition of key terms like transmedicalism, truscum, tucute, trans, etc?
Transmedicalist is the belief that being trans is more of a medical issue than a social issue. Anyone can be a transmedicalist if they hold that belief.
Truscum is an insult directed at trans transmedicalists, originally. It means "True transexual scum". Though it's been reclaimed by some transmedicalists and is now used by both cis and trans transmeds.
Tucute means "Too cute to be cis", so it's not a stretch to say that a tucute is someone who believes being trans makes someone better than cis people. Again though, there's probably a lot of people who no longer know this original meaning and now just use it to mean "Not a transmed"
Trans is short for transgender, transsex, or transvestite. It's a general umbrella term within the trans community. It usually only refers to the first two in many spaces though. Transgender is someone who focuses more on transitioning their gender, the more social side of things. Transsex are people who focus more on physical transition, things like SRS and HRT. Transvestite is basically a cross dresser, it's drag kings and queens. Transgender and transsex could be interchangeable to some, but transmeds are more likely to call themselves transsex to distance themselves from people who don't feel the need to medically transition (transgender and/or transvestite).
3. (because I feel this one is important) What does disphoria mean to you?
Disphoria is what the symptoms of gender incongruence is called. Disphoria can be major or minor, but it all stems from not being the correct physical sex. Someone who does not experience disphoria, does not have gender incongruence, if someone doesn't have gender incongruence, they are by definition, cis.
4. What about transmedicalism is important to you?
Legally protecting trans people by making their condition and related medical care something that cannot be discriminated against. By making disphoria recognized as a medical necessity, and by extention being covered by insurance and not allowing hospitals/doctors to discriminate against trans patients. Along with some social things, such as using medical understanding to combat bigotry. People going on about de-medicalizing trans people are essentially advocating to make trans medical care cosmetic, which wouldn't be covered by insurance and no hospital would be legally obligated to take trans patients.
5. How has transmedicalist, (not being trans but specifically being a transmedicalist) affected you?
Transmedicalist beliefs actually helped me step out of the closet. I struggled to accept that I was trans because I couldn't relate to other trans people, and because the common misunderstanding of what disphoria is made me believe I "wasn't trans enough" because I wasn't suicidal about it. Transmeds were the first group of trans people I could relate to, I finally felt like I was being taken seriously. Unfortunately ever since I discovered transmedicalists, I've learned I'm mostly hated by not just other trans people, but many other lgbt people too. Being transmedicalist has made me even more anxious of other lgbt people. Also because many transmedicalist spaces are also echo chambers, I sometimes feel like I'm too involved. It's not much better than tucute spaces, it's all just shouting at each other instead of actually doing anything, and it feels useless outside of being reassured I'm not the crazy one (usually by complaining about something). It's an emotional comfort but not much else.
I consider myself a transmed because I believe that being trans is caused by a medical condition called gender dysphoria, which back in the day was called gender identity disorder and transsexualism. Transmedicalism is essentially the belief that being trans is medically valid and gender dysphoria is a condition that deserves to be recognized and further researched. Transmedicalism is important to me because it made me less confused about my identity as a young teen and it gives you all the facts of gender dysphoria which can help you manage it better. It makes me feel less ashamed that I know it’s a disorder that I can’t control and that it’s not a choice but a congenital condition. What we call transmedicalism had always been standard for gender dysphoria treatment until the later 2010’s in the west but the rest of the medical world still recognizes it as a disorder and is essentially no bs. It is the only thing keeping us from losing all of our rights, without the proof that it is a condition our fight for recognition of our suffering is completely lost. If gender dysphoria is not medical than it is not real or it is changeable when in fact it is not. (Except for successful medical transition). It is just the de facto stand point up until nowadays. Being transmedicalist has affected me greatly and completely opened my eyes to what it actually means to be “born this way”. It’s what defines the line between gay or crossdressing and being trans. Literally without it we would not have any medical recognition and care. What we now call Transmedicalism (recognition of gender dysphoria as a medical disorder) is responsible for all trans surgeries existence and legal recognition and legal protection all over the world. Edit: transmedicalism saves lives because it validates the ethical use of gender changing surgeries and hormone therapy.
I consider myself transmed because I believe 1. Being trans is a medical issue and 2. You need dysphoria to be trans. I value transmedicalism because it makes sense. It makes gender rational, it creates a framework for what is a trans person.
I consider myself a transmed because I believe transness is something you are born with, and that it's defined by an incongruence between the sex of the body your brain expects, and the sex of the body you actually have.
For example, a trans woman is someone with a brain that tends towards a female body, but also has a (generally) male body.
This incongruence is a problem, which is why we transition, socially and medically, to get rid of that conflict between your brain and your body.
I consider myself to be a transmed because I define gender identity around biological sex, I believe that it's immutable and inherent, and I believe that a gender incongruence will always result in gender dysphoria unless it's treated.
Transmedicalism and truscum, to me, are the same thing. Transmedicalist is just a bigger word for truscum. A tucute is anyone who believes that trans people actually exist, but isn't a transmedicalist (so, Matt Walsh, for example, isn't a tucute).I guess the important thing about transmedicalism, to me, is the framework that transness is based on.
Firstly, it completely isolates gender roles, such as clothes, hair length, and general habits from what being trans is. Generally, lots of tucutes (but not all of them) view being trans as a rebellion from the gender binary, and this isn't true. Being trans isn't a societal thing. It happens across cultures, and how you grow up has no impact on whether or not you're trans. Additionally, lumping GNC people in with trans people is bad. GNC people are not trans.
Secondly, it acknowledges that being trans is something you are , not something you become . You are born trans, and you can't become trans. If this isn't true, if you can become trans, you can also stop being trans, which legitimizes conversion therapy. Being trans isn't a lifestyle choice, and transitioning is only as much of a lifestyle choice as using a wheelchair when your legs don't work. The idea that you can't choose to be trans is essential to trans rights, and turning transness into a lifestyle choice undermines all of the progress we've made. Like, if I could just live as a cis guy, why shouldn't I? Why shouldn't people send me to conversion therapy camps, or be less accepting around me, if I they can make me choose something else without any long-term negative repercussions?
Thirdly, it gives labels actual definitions, and not things you can use willy nilly. There are no non-binary lesbians, no random pronouns like bun/bunself, it/its is actually off limits... And, also, xenogenders cannot exist under transmedicalism. Gender identity isn't an estoric feeling, it's a tendency towards a certain biological sex. (Of course, sex is a spectrum, so non-binary people exist too)
Fourth, it gives a coherent explanation for why we transition, why we're really who we say we are, and why we should be treated as such. It isn't "I'm a woman because I identify as a woman", it's "I'm a woman because I have a female brain".
I'm a relatively soft transmedicalist, but I've lost a relationship over it. Not a very good relationship, but still. Other than that, it hasn't really affected me that much.
[29, mtf, straight, passing, no bottom surgery]
I’m a transmedicalist because dysphoria is what defines transness. A nondysphoric person who chooses to “transition” anyway has absolutely nothing to do with me. They should get their own terminology and social movement and stop appropriating ours.
Transmedicalist/truscum means someone who believes you need dysphoria to be trans. Typical additional beliefs (though not definitional to being transmed) are that most nonbinary genders are not valid (personally I think there’s a tiny minority of valid agender folk, but it’s like 3 people) and that medical gatekeeping is good.
Tucute refers to the transphobic belief that being trans is a choice or “socially constructed,” rather than based on innate dysphoria.
Trans should mean someone who medically and socially transitions in an attempt to pass and live as their identified sex. These days, people lump in all gender nonconformity with transness and it makes the conversation worse. So sick of being talked over in my own community by people whose entire “transition” is slashlisting their AGAB pronoun with “they.” That’s nothing, that does not give you the “trans experience.”
I’m on the far right of even this sub probably. I support Blanchard’s typology and think that real transness is an extreme expression of homosexuality. Basically I’m “so gay I’m a girl.” I think “trans lesbian” is a disgusting, nonsensical term. Neuroimaging bears this out: to the extent there are sex-based neurotypes, they cluster based on attraction (androphilic vs gynephilic). The studies that purport to show “trans women kinda have woman brains” are entirely driven by the greater prevalence of androphilia among trans women relative to cis men. A gay man is more of a neurological woman than a “trans lesbian” will ever be.
These beliefs have been massively freeing, relieving, and even joyful to me, once I let go of leftist gender dogma. I always felt wrong around AGPs. The stuff they say makes them feel exactly like creepy gross men to me. They constantly cross my boundaries and try to fuck me, exactly like men would, but they’re weird and slimy about it instead of straightforward and honest. For awhile I literally thought I was the only real trans woman, and the rest were just sexual predators. Then I read Blanchard and it fit my experiences perfectly, both of myself and of gynephilic trans women.
Knowing who and what I am, with no defensive clenchiness, is the best feeling ever.
Based on your third to last paragraph, please correct me if I'm wrong, you say that MTF people who are attracted to women are less of women than gay men? Although there is strong correlation with sex and sexuality, it's doesn't make sense to say that sexuality completely defines sex. Just like cis people, both gay and straight trans people exist.
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Academic writing is a means of producing, codifying, transmitting, evaluating, renovating, teaching, and learning knowledge and ideology in academic disciplines. Being able to write in an academic style is essential to disciplinary learning and critical for academic success.
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Tucute refers to the transphobic belief that being trans is a choice or "socially constructed," rather than based on innate dysphoria. Trans should mean someone who medically and socially transitions in an attempt to pass and live as their identified sex. These days, people lump in all gender nonconformity with transness and it makes the ...
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