An Ultimate Guide to Academic Writing

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Academic writing is a different world altogether, it does not involve the normal or you can say regular writers. The writing used in books, textbook and study guide is commonly known as academic writing.

Academic writing has many things which personal writing does not have. Academic writing has its own set of rules and regulations which an academic writer needs to follow. 

An Academic writer normally uses impersonal and dispassionate tone to present ideas. The set of rules used in academic writing are organized in a formal structure to deliver information. Here the writer has to be a scholar and should have in-depth knowledge of the subject they are writing for.

Here is a list of things which makes you understand how academic writing style is different from other writing genres.

Types of academic writing

There are four main types of academic writing. The types are analytical, descriptive, persuasive and critical. Each type of academic writing has its own features and purposes.

Structure of academic writing

Some kind of structure is required to prepare a proper and effective write-up. The simplest structure used is similar to an essay format. Academic writers use formal structure to provide information which is more formal than that of personal writing.


In this structure, the first paragraph introduces the nature of the topic to the reader which will be described in the middle of the essay. The middle of the essay is also known as “body”.  The introduction part is summarized in two to three sentences and the middle part is elaborated to discuss the topic.

The last paragraph includes conclusion which summarizes the all above-written content. One can’t add new information in conclusion. The conclusion includes the future advancements surrounds the topic or the issue addressed in the body.


Reports are another type of structure commonly used in university assignments. Reports include the identification of difficulties and problems with their solution.

Similar to the essay structure, the report structure is also divided into various parts which include introduction, discussion, conclusion, and recommendations.

Academic writing tone

Similar to all types of writing styles, academic writing has its own tone. Academic writing is more formal than that of personal writing.

Academic writing should be formal, objective and concise. The tone of the academic writing can vary as per the type of the topic and the information the writer wants to present.

In this area of writing the writers have to consider the readers who are students and have to write in a simplest manner they can find to write.

Punctuation and grammar  

Punctuation and grammar play a vital role in academic writing. A writer should follow punctuation and grammar rules in academic writing. In academic writing, you need to offer information to those whom you can’t assume your friend.

So, it may be the case that the reader will not know what you are referring thus you needs to be formal and concise. You should be clear in academic writing. Punctuations are the conventions that can maintain the clarity to avoid ambiguity. 

An academic writer needs to use punctuations and grammar that are accepted in universally known systems.

The audience

Being a writer, you should keep in mind your audience. It is always important to remember for whom you are writing.  You should be aware of your audience to write. In academic writing, you need to respect the formality associated with the style of writing. 

According to the education experts at Public School Review and Private School review the target audience deserve the highest priority when researching and writing on a topic, the niche needs to be understood first.

Always keep in mind, you are not writing for your lecturer rather here you are writing for the students of different ages and caliber. You should always consider general audience while academic writing.

You can’t assume that the terms you are using are understandable by the reader. You should assume that your audience is enough intelligent but not aware of the information of topic you are writing.

Thus you need to define each of term specifically and you can’t assume that the reader knows all the terms associated with your work. Define all the terms specifically and assume that your audience does not know anything about the topic you are writing.


Referencing is one of the significant differences in academic and other writing styles.

If you are an academic writer and you are claiming something in your writing then you need to support your opinion by linking it to the book previously published by an author. 

Referencing the work of other authors in your academic writing shows that you have read literature, have understood the various point of views and ideas of authors, integrate those and write academic writing based on your own perspective regarding this topic.

By referring, you become able to offer more information to your reader.

Principles of academic writing

  • Being an academic writer, you should have a clear purpose.
  • You should have a clear point of view.
  • Academic writing follows standard organization pattern usually introductory, body and conclusion part.
  • You need to write clear and complete explanations.
  • Keep in mind the audience who you are writing for.
  • Your writing style should be clear, concise and easy to read.
  • You should have a single focus on the theme of your topic.
  • You should offer strong support to your writing by using some facts or some examples.

The process of academic writing

  • Choose a topic
  • Think about it
  • Fully research your topic and get all the information.
  • Discover your thesis
  • Plan
  • Start writing
  • Revise
  • Edit, if needed
  • Proofread

For a beginning academic writer, this process needs to be followed.


Dave Singer is the content analyst and editor at Boarding School Review ,and his articles focus on giving informative, constructive knowledge to parents, students and teachers on topics like education, parenting tips, searching the right educational institution etc.  Helping the readers and the website grow together simultaneously with his graceful, informative and useful content.