The particular feature of academic writing is that delivering the material, which refers to the topic, is not enough. The research should present a true scholarly investigation, for only then will it be classified as academic. The student does not necessarily have to accept the findings and conclusions suggested in an original study. The researcher’s opinions can be questioned or even rejected. Writing an academic paper allows the student to develop analytical skills, as well as the ability to identify the main ideas and to prove the hypothesis or supposition with suitable arguments. Therefore, the student should try to find some balance between the generally-accepted professional opinion and his own understanding of the subject.
In this section, we take you through some of the ways in which you can write using an academic style which is appropriate and grammatically correct. We provide you with information on what to expect and how to go about achieving a satisfactory academic style, including the use of inclusive language.
Before writing, be sure to check that the journal does not have specific requirements for the cover letter. If the journal doesn’t have specific requirements, do a Google search for suggestions for cover letters in your field or approach relevant professors. If you cannot find suggestions for your field, . You’ll notice that the cover letter is simple and direct—it doesn’t waste time getting to the point or use casual, unprofessional language. You’ll also notice that it emphasizes the significance of the work and why the readers of the particular journal would be interested. Note: Don’t repeat your abstract in your cover letter. The cover letter is another rhetorical opportunity for you to pitch your manuscript to an editor, and you are wasting it if you repeat your abstract.
Submission guidelines are your roadmap to publication. They will be very particular—with specific ways an essay should be organized and formatted and how sources are cited. Make sure that your essay meets all of these requirements. If your essay doesn’t, the editor has an easy reason to reject you. The Writing Center can be a valuable resource to help you adhere to writing guidelines.
In academia, by contrast, all the forces are pushing things the other way, toward insularity. As in journalism, —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.
Colleges and universities expect students to write a number of papers throughout their course studies. Kinds of papers vary according to the course content. Some subject matter involves literary analysis or analysis of historical events whereas others focus on current social issues or modern science. Regardless of the content, though, students are expected to write their academic papers in a scholarly manner. But exactly is meant by writing in a scholarly manner?
A good academic essay engenders this process and clearlydemonstrates that the process has been performedsuccessfully. With this in mind let's examinehow to write an academic essay.
These OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area.
Here, you will find resources to help you craft and refine your scholarly writing. The Writing Center's Scholarly Writing Publication Guide covers everything you need to know about preparing a document for publication (or the FGCU Writing Awards).
Getting a scholarly work published is a rewarding but challenging process. Below are some of the basics for scholarly publication. But keep this in mind: conventions in a field and the guidelines of a journal come first. If the conventions of a field or the guidelines of the journal contradict anything written below, please follow the conventions and the journal’s guidelines.
The ability to investigate a selected issue logically and objectively is of key importance in academic writing. The main question usually forms the basis of a study and is accompanied by supporting questions which help to carry out further research. Before writing an academic paper, the student needs to search for information regarding the topic suggested and study it carefully. Being equipped with solid data and thus being well-informed will make a student’s paper theoretically-grounded, leading to an objective, data-based analysis.
If you come from a background where English is not your first language, it will be helpful to you to look at the section on common problems in language construction. If you feel your style is too informal or colloquial, read the section on making your language sound formal and what to avoid. There is also a useful guide to using punctuation and for including the ideas from research literature in your writing.
This can be challenging. How do you write a polished work that’s relevant to the current research, about a topic that is important, making claims or doing research that’s progressing the scholarly conversation, and, finally, adhering to all the conventions of a field and journal, all at the same time?