Academic writing is characterized primarily by a correct understanding of written and spoken instructions from the professor. It further calls for proper addressing of audience or readers.
Because of this purpose, it is important to note that the professor is representative of readers therefore his or her requirements should be followed. Moreover, academic writing holds a purpose that is mainly to explain or to argue.
This purpose is further dependent on the kind of writing that needs to be done and becomes complex as student learns the subject and displays knowledge gained.
Additionally, academic writing requires a thesis that is clearly and consistently supported, is usually stated in the beginning, is backed up by evidence, makes use of sources intelligently, documents sources properly, is balanced and impartial, and is organized clearly within the framework. Academic writing also calls for the use of an academic language.
Academic language abides by the conventions of standard American English in terms of grammar and usage. It also utilizes standard vocabulary and not slang, dialect, or any other language.
It further establishes some distance between writer and reader with the use of third person, unless the first and the second person are necessary. Finally, academic language is authoritative and neutral in that writers’ tone should be confident and not hostile and enthusiastic.
Knowing these features of academic language, it is now easier for me to come up with different kinds of academic papers for whatever course I am taking.
Now that I have an understanding of what professors want to see, I will structure my papers in such a way that the tone is formal or professional and that I do not use improper or slang language that might turn off my readers in the person of my professors.
For instance, I will avoid using word contractions such as you’re, she’s, don’t and can’t, among others, and slang words such as chillin’, boo-boo, and hooker.
I will likewise watch out for proper grammar use and maintain confidence, authority, and fairness, and refrain from being hostile and enthusiastic in my academic papers.