Academic Writing Guide

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When you set out to write your dissertation, do keep in mind that academic writing is rather different from any other kind of writing that you have done in terms of email writing, taking notes et al. Different modes of communication demand different means of writing. It is not different with academic writing.

An essential part of you academic training will deal with the correct ways of academic writing. A good academic writing displays thought, restraint and clarity. The most crucial part of academic writing is that it tends to be formal and follows a certain structure. Further, clarity is an important element, You must be crisp and lucid with no room for vague statements or other ambiguities. Different subjects have established academic writing conventions which are specific to them. For instance if you are writing an economic dissertation consult economic journals , or if you are writing a physics dissertation consult physics journals in order to see the writing style.

Be mindful of your grammar and punctuation. Since academic writing tends to be formal, you will also be required to demonstrate correctness in language. Avoid sentences which are complete, wrong usage of colons and semicolons, conflict usage of tenses et al.

Remember that all academic writing has a specific purpose which involves the provision of background data, citing other scholarly findings, developing a critique of other studies, your own conclusions and your ideas which are an outcome of academic studies conducted by others. Your thesis could be multi-purpose or have a single purpose. You must be very clear about what the purpose is. Moreover, when you pose a research question or hypotheses, make sure that you provide an answer. Further, your writing should also have an objective quality. Try and avoid first person usage as much as possible.

Further, structure is an important element of academic writing. By providing a structure, you make your ideas clear, provide a map for enhancing the reader’s understanding and also boost your arguments. In the introduction, it might be a good idea to establish a structure so that your readers have an idea of what they should expect and also become acquainted with sequence in which you will provide your information.

Once you have stated your structure, you must also be able to adhere to it. Also the order in which your present your data has to follow a certain logic and reasoning which will be apparent to your readers as well. Different points can be allotted to different paragraphs. Ideas should flow from each other have a link, so that the reader can follow your explanation and rationalization. The conclusion to your thesis should ideally be able to pull together the various crucial points and issues which you have raised.

Referencing is another crucial element. In case you are making use of research and arguments which is the product of others’ intellectual ideas, then you must follow a standard format for referencing. Exercise utmost caution while writing so that you avoid the charge of plagiarism. The best way to avoid this is to credit everything which you have taken from others’ works and ideas.