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Many students are confused about the term ‘academic writing’ and how to do it. They are unaware of the tips and tricks to compose an effective piece of writing. If you’re also one of them, don’t worry. We will help you to understand the academic writing definition and how you can do it properly. Let’s get started!

What is academic writing?

Academic writing shares thoughts, information, and research with the broader academic community. It is also known as scholarly writing. Additionally, it helps students express their thoughts, access past research, and allow them to build an argument to share information. This type of writing is done for academic reasons.
It is very important for students to learn academic writing because it teaches the student to communicate complex ideas in a clear way. It also helps them to think critically and accurately. There are numerous ways to define these kinds of writing. These assignments—which your professors may refer to by different titles such as essays, term papers, or analysis essays—all serve the same objective and are based on the same ideas.

Significance of Academic Writing

Everyone agrees that writing is a skill that must be learned. No matter what the situation is, the student must pay attention to it. Above all, it is helpful for students who work on difficult projects, especially scholarly assignments. It is a skill that only few people learn. While writing essays for the class is a valuable skill, it doesn't necessarily make you an expert academic writer, nor does it grant expertise in the field. It has specific requirements, such as completely following guidelines, using proper academic writing style, producing high-caliber content, and so forth.
Each student needs to understand its importance. There are several aspects that make it crucial. The primary goal of this writing is to assist in developing the understanding of the audience. Its tone, as well as style, is formal. However, it is not as complicated as many students might think and doesn't necessitate the usage of complex English vocabulary and lengthy sentences.

Types of Academic Writing

There are four basic types of academic writing. Each of these types has specific features and academic writing style.

Categories of Academic Writing

Analytical Writing

Analytical writing is a form of writing that seeks to analyze, interpret, and examine a topic in depth. It requires close reading, research, and critical thinking. Examples of analytical writing include essays, research papers, book reports, and critiques. Moreover, it depends on the writer's ability to break down and evaluate the parts of a topic, such as the author's motivations, methods, and effects.
To make your writing analytical:

  • Plan ahead of time. Arrange the data and ideas in different ways, such as parts, patterns, similarities, and distinctions. You can make use of tables, flow charts, tree diagrams, and colour coding.
  • Name the groups as well as connections you find. Review both the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Take one of the analytical categories and centre each paragraph and section on it.
  • Make sure the reader understands your paper structure through topic sentences and a brief opening.

If you’re looking help with your analytical essay writing, consider engaging our specialized analytical essay writing service

Persuasive Writing

Academic writing that attempts to persuade the reader of a certain argument or point of view is known as persuasive writing. It is usually written in an academic atmosphere and supports the argument with facts, evidence, and reasoning. Making a compelling case to the reader is the aim of persuasive writing. As an example: "We should all be wearing masks in public to protect ourselves and others from the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is an easy way to do our part and help keep our communities safe."
Teachers assign tasks to write a persuasive essay, which is a bit more advanced than just analyzing. In persuasive writing, you have to provide information about the topic, rearrange it, and add your own viewpoint. These essays are common, and even research articles often try to persuade in their discussion and conclusion. You can also buy persuasive essays from our online essay writing service.
To make your point of view on facts or ideas:

  • Read the perspective of other researchers on the topic and decide which one is more convincing.
  • Look for patterns in the information or references. Where is the most convincing evidence offered?
  • List various interpretations. In practical terms, what are the effects of each? Which ones have the greatest chance of being beneficial or useful? Which ones are not working well?
  • Discuss with another person about the details and concepts. Do you agree with their viewpoint?

To strengthen the argument you are making:

  • Identify the various justifications for your viewpoint.
  • Consider the various kinds and resources of evidence you can cite to back up your claims.
  • Think about the different ways in which your perspective differs and overlaps with that of other researchers.
  • Look for different approaches to divide your viewpoint.

When presenting your argument, make sure to:

  • Your text creates a logical claim in which all of the individual claims support your overall point of view.
  • Your presumptions are correct.
  • You can back up every claim you make with proof.
  • The reader can easily understand the logic behind every claim.
  • You employ convincing and directly relevant evidence.

Critical Writing 

Critical writing is a way of writing where you judge, analyze, and explain a text or something like a movie. You look at different parts of the text, like how it's structured, what it's about, and how you see it. Then, you form your own opinion about it. Examples of critical writing include giving your thoughts on books or movies, writing your opinions, and reviewing things like music, art, or literature.
It includes at least one additional point of view in addition to all the characteristics of persuasive writing. Critical analysis essay writing necessitates taking into account at least two points of view, including your own, whereas persuasive writing demands you to have your own opinion on a subject.

  • Accurately summarize the whole essay. This may involve summarizing the main theories, opinions, or approaches.
  • Have a viewpoint related to the work. Sharing your opinion in a good way may involve pointing out problems, proposing a better alternative, and/or arguing for the piece against criticism from others.
  • Show evidence for your claim. Different types of evidence can be suitable. It depends on the discipline and the specific task. The evidence includes research results, logic, and references to credible sources.

This writing requires good writing abilities. You must have a solid understanding of the subject and its problems. When writing, set up your essay and paragraphs in a way that helps you analyze different views and create your own argument based on facts.

Descriptive Writing

Descriptive writing is a style of writing that uses vivid language to create a detailed picture of an object, person, place, or event. It often involves the use of sensory details to create a deep experience that makes the reader feel as though they are there in the scene. Examples of descriptive writing include:

  • The sunset over the rolling hills painted the sky in a brilliant orange and pink hue.
  • The old man shuffled slowly down the street, his worn coat flapping in the breeze.
  • The sky was a clear blue so deep, it was almost navy.

Structure of Academic Writing

An academic paper consists of three main parts:

Introduction: You need to draw the reader in and state the paper's thesis in the introduction. To ensure that readers understand why you are writing, try to keep your thesis statement to one line.
Body: It is the main part of the paper, and each paragraph needs to be written clearly. Each first sentence connects to the previous paragraph, and the section as a whole flows smoothly.
Conclusion: You restate the thesis and enumerate the key points in your conclusion. The conclusion is made up of one paragraph that shows the reader the end result.

What kind of structure is effective for academic writing?

Remember the following things:

Planning: Before you start writing a paper, you should make a plan. Your scholarly work will be structured and analytical.

Outline: A proper outline is important for writing. It will not only assist you in organizing your thoughts, but it will also make you aware of certain connections between topics. It will assist you in deciding what relevant data to include in your paper.

Language: The language in your paper must be precise. You can choose the ideal words to describe the problems with the aid of a thesaurus.

Point of view: It is primarily fact-based, with the third person point of view serving as the main source of information rather than an opinion.

Key Academic Writing Characteristics

Okay, imagine academic writing is like a game, and there are rules to play it right. These rules are called academic writing conventions. They're like guidelines for making school papers and other writings. The rules help make sure the information is clear, and everyone understands. Different subjects might have slightly different rules. Some common ones are using good grammar, not copying from others, writing in the right way, and giving credit to where you got your information. Also, there are different styles, like APA or MLA, depending on what your teacher says.

To know more about “MLA essay format” you can explore our latest guide.

The primary purpose of the academic writing style is to inform the readers rather than entertain them. Some of the academic writing characteristics are:

academic writing characteristics

Simple and Straightforward: Academic writing should be simple and plain and express your ideas and arguments logically and directly. It builds on an argument by incorporating theories and occurrences relevant to the subject.

Formal Tone: The tone needs to be formal. Avoid slang and informal language at all costs. It strictly follows the spelling, grammatical, and punctuation standards.

Unbiased: Imagine you're writing a school paper. In academic writing, you need to be neutral, like a referee. This means you share facts and proof to support what you're saying. You also mention what other people found in their research and give credit to them by citing their work.

Organized and Structured: Think of academic writing like building a sandwich. You start with an introduction, which is like the bread on top. Then you have the body, which is like all the yummy stuff in the middle - the facts and details. Finally, there's the conclusion, which is like the bread on the bottom. It makes your writing complete and keeps it organized.

References: When writing academically, it's important to use references properly. You should include in-text citations and a bibliography to support your arguments.

What are the categories of academic writing?

categories of academic writing

The following are the main categories:


Imagine a big book written by many writers. They're asked to send in their own chapters for this special book that talks about a specific topic from different points of view. These writers use a specific style for their writing. Because readers might already know about the topic, the writers don't have to explain everything in detail. These writers usually have other published works, and they might send shorter or related pieces for this special book.


Essay is a short piece of writing that usually consists of 1500 to 2000 words, depending on your assignment requirement. Essays are of different types, including argumentative, compare and contrast essays, etc. The typical goal of the essay is to convince the reader about your point of view with the help of analysis and research. In order to bolster their position, the author gives background information on the topic. Essays written by academic writers are frequently published in scholarly journals.

Research articles

Research articles include the analysis of the author's research. They explain step by step how the researcher did their work to reach a conclusion. To support what they found, they mention more info and where they got it. Usually, these articles go to serious magazines or journals. Other experts check and approve them before they get published.

Technical Reports 

Technical research is described in a technical report along with its findings and progress. These reports are often written by researchers and submitted to the sponsor or organization providing funding for the study. On the basis of the research's findings, it may include suggestions. Peer review is rarely used for these documents. Because of this, scientists frequently use these reports as an initial draft of their work, which they can then edit and submit to academic journals.

Annotated Bibliographies 

It is a detailed list of sources about a topic, and it comes with short descriptions or evaluations of each source. Each source in the list has a short summary that tells you what it's about. This summary helps people understand the main ideas without reading the whole thing. The writer might point out what the source argues, its main points, and how trustworthy it is. Annotated bibliographies are helpful guides that give an overview of research on a specific topic.
If you don’t know how to write a bibliography, you can hire our annotated bibliography writing service.

Literary Analysis

A book or set of poems is evaluated as a work of literature through a literary analysis. The person who writes it shares their thoughts about a specific idea in the book or poems. They give enough information about the book to support what they're saying. And they usually focus on one thing, like a character or a theme, to really understand it better.

Best Academic Writing Tips

Here are some tips for academic writing:

Cite all used resources

It’s important to cite the sources which you have used in your writing. This way, readers can easily understand how you use other writers' work to reach a conclusion. You can format these citations with the help of style guides from different associations, depending on your academic field. Accurately citing your sources can demonstrate that you did your research and that you believe it on your own.

Write briefly and provide a summary

Some academic works, like thesis research papers, can be lengthy, but it's important to keep your writing concise. This can assist the reader in understanding your arguments, especially when you’re writing about complex topics. Avoid repeating sentences. If your sentence is more than 25 words, split it into two sentences. This will improve the readability of your article, and readers will easily understand your ideas.

What is the purpose of writing in academic form?

This writing serves several purposes, the most important of which is to provide the reader with a clear, appropriate, and thoughtful image of the topic at hand. It comes in various forms. Every one of them is written with a specific purpose in mind; for instance, one type aims to explain the subject, while the other describes it, and so on. Now, moving on to its overall goal, they are as follows:


When writing, you should use accurate and authentic vocabulary. Some students use more ambiguous word combinations in their scholarly writing, such as "many people say" or "once a person said." These do not seem accurate. Thus, giving the reader accurate and correct information is one of its goals. 


Every day, we communicate clearly and use very simple words, but when we write or read academic material, you've probably noticed that it uses complex words and languages. Grammar, phrases, clauses, subordinates, qualifying adjectives, and other language that incorporates all points of view must be used with greater accuracy in academic writing.


Students compose academic papers primarily to convey accurate information. In academic writing, do not use informal language. Its goal is to keep you from writing with abbreviations and slang.


When creating content, students should pay more attention to the goal of the topic than to what their audience may or may not think. Thus, whenever we discuss objectivity, we always discuss the main idea or theme of the subject. Thus, make an effort to write relevant content about the subject without considering your personal viewpoint.
These are a few of the most important things that readers and writers should keep in mind.

Wrap Up

Academic writing is a very useful skill for students to master. It helps students to present their ideas and arguments more concisely. Understanding the framework and conventions of scholarly writing, along with the underlying mechanisms, allows one to master the skills of a proficient scholarly writer. This knowledge proves invaluable, especially when faced with time constraints, enhancing your ability to excel in academic writing. You can always fall back on us to help you with your writing needs. We at Nerdpapers are dedicated to making sure that you ace your exams.

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Last updated: 28 March, 2024