Academic Writing


Academic writing, or scholarly writing, is an important skill that is necessary for writing academic theses, dissertations, and research papers. The key is communicating ideas, organizing them into a logical structure, and making your point clear. Learning how to write according to academic standards is important because it promotes critical thinking, develops problem-solving, and results in knowledge sharing.

What is Academic Writing?

Scholarly writing is primarily a basis for research and discussion. Writing for analysis can take many forms, from short papers to long-form essays or books. However, academic writers are most frequently associated with using the essay format to communicate ideas and information. Academic writing becomes especially important when working on a long-form advanced research project, like a Master’s Thesis or a Doctoral Dissertation.

This specific writing style writing promotes critical thinking, develops problem-solving, and results in knowledge sharing. However, it’s different from other types of writing because you write to a particular audience, and the writer must follow specific conventions. Scholarly writing is necessary for academic success, but many students struggle with this type of writing because they don’t understand what makes academic writing different from other types of communication.

What are the Conventions?

Academics follow a set of conventions when they write. These rules are not the same as those you follow in other types of writing, such as personal letters or business memos. As an academic, you’ll need to learn how to format your work and make it clear and readable so that your readers understand what you’re saying.

  • Academic conventions may vary slightly from one field of study to another, but there are some things that most academics agree on:
    • The text should be paragraph driven
    • Each paragraph should have a topic sentence that clearly states the main idea of that paragraph.
    • Each paragraph should also include at least one supporting sentence (or two) that explains why you support or prove your main point(s).

What are Common Problems?

We all know that grammar and spelling are crucial to any essay, but they’re not the only essential aspects of academic writing. Formatting your paper according to your professor’s expectations, organization, clarity of thought, and structure can make or break an essay. A few common problems in academic writing include:

  • Lack of flow/lack of transitions
  • Sentence fragments or run-on sentences
  • Inconsistent formatting

Making Your Point Clear

Clarity is the most critical skill in writing. It’s not just about making your point clear—clarity is the ability to communicate your ideas so your audience can understand them and engage with your research. That means you should do everything possible to make sure your sentences are easy to understand, including:

  • Using short words and sentences
  • Avoiding jargon, technical terms, and abbreviations unless they are well-known and widely used in the field
  • Giving examples or details that explain why something matters or how it works

Academic writing is essential.

Academic writing is important because it promotes critical thinking, develops problem-solving, and results in knowledge sharing. Academic writing helps to create a student’s ability to think critically and solve problems. It is also useful in developing a student’s ability to share their knowledge with the rest of the world in an effective manner.

Many educators have emphasized the importance of academic writing because this type of writing has proven to be very effective when learning new things or retaining old ones.


Finally, developing your writing skills for school, work, or personal research will help you clarify your point and get results!

If you struggle to find your voice in an educational setting, a Writing Coach can help you build a catalog of resources for dealing with specific academic writing conventions. In addition, an Individual Writing Coach can help you find your voice and organize large projects, like theses or dissertations.