Academic writing is a form of scholarly writing meant for the purposes of assessment as well as communicating scholarly ideas and content especially in the fields of research and academic evaluation. There are various types of academic writing exercises that students need to undergo during their schooling or college days. The various forms of writing may include term papers, essays, research papers, book or paper reviews and many other forms of writing that may be short or lengthy in form. Academic writing has strict rules that determine its format and citation style. Proper academic writing should adhere to the rules that are dictated by the kind of style that is assigned to any academic writing exercise.
The various writing styles used in academic writing include the Turabian writing style, AMA, APA, ASA and the Harvard writing styles-just to mention but a few. Academic writing may also differ in terms of how the content should be aligned. For example the writing of research and lab reports may take the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion). Academic writing of all research papers should be based on these sub-sections unless specified otherwise. On the other hand, the writing of law or legal reports takes the IRAC format (Issue, Relevant law, Application to facts, and Conclusion). These subtle differences are determined depending on the profession under which one is performing the writing exercise as well as the purpose of the academic writing.
The most common feature of academic writing is the emphasis of use of evidence in support of the facts, ideas, concepts, theories, findings or any other substance that is presented within the academic papers. Most academic papers with the exception of essays, do not present personal opinions. This is mostly because the academic readership does not require personal opinions but rather prefer factual information presented in a format that is simple, clear and to the point. As a result, the making of citations within academic papers is a basic thing when doing any form of academic writing. The style to be used in the making of citations is determined by the recommendations made by the tutor that assigns the academic assignment. At times this determination is left to the discretion of the writer of the academic papers. In such instances the writer should select the citation style that is most relevant to his or her profession. Academic writing requires the use of a formal language that is placed within an official sense. The use of slang or common spoken English is not recommended. The use technical terms and jargon should be limited to enhance simplicity and ease in understanding the content of the writing.
Additionally, while performing academic writing the writer should give consideration to the type of readership that his or her work is meant for, and limit his or her use of jargon accordingly so as to ensure that the readers are able to easily comprehend what s/he wants to pass across. Additionally, the language should be quantifiable and not vague. Any use of words meant to show a measure of any aspect should be easy to determine to avoid uncertainties based on ambiguous terms and vague statements. Conclusively, academic writing should put into consideration the use of citations to substantiate work, the use of a formal and simple language and an appropriate format.
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