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How to Improve Academic Writing Skills: Research Paper, Article, Thesis

Academic writing
Academic writing

Need advice on how to improve your skills to write an excellent academic paper? You are not alone! 

Academic writing is an essential skill for success in higher education and any career field. Still, many university students find their written assignments too challenging. Many people choose a college program to persuade their passion in a particular field and to build a career for themselves. They might be able to master their knowledge in academic subjects and conduct valuable researches but still cannot write a quality research article or thesis. 

If you struggle with related issues, read this article, where you will find detailed useful guides to writing an outstanding academic papers. At last, if you still struggle with your writing, you may contact us for a free consultation and overviewing of your article! We will present you with all the essential information on how to write a great article.

There are various purposes of academic writing, although the primary purpose of academic writing is to present the information with a clear, appropriate and thoughtful image of that specific topic and share your thoughts about a scientific question or an issue that may interest your audience – students, your professor, and other scholars. In addition, you have to demonstrate your critical thinking skills.

Here are 6 practical and helpful tips on academic writing that I give to my students to improve their thesis and research paper documents.

1. Write clearly

When you begin writing, you need to use more accurate and authentic words. However, some students apply more unclear word combinations such as "several people say" or "once a person said" are not considered to feel accurate in academic writing, so avoid using indefinite pronouns as much as possible. The next thing to avoid is using demonstrative pronouns; instead, refer to objects and problems with writing their names. Therefore one of the objectives of academic writing is to present the reader with correct and accurate information. 

Grammar, style, and punctuation are essential if you need your study to be recognized and taken seriously. Also, before writing an article, make sure you have a solid understanding of basic grammar. Grammar basics involve verb and subject agreement, helpful article and pronoun usage, and well-formed sentence structures. Furthermore, make sure you know the proper uses for the most common forms of punctuation.

Academic writing

2. Choose your words wisely

How you use language is essential, particularly in academic essay writing. When writing an academic article, remember that you are trying to convince others that you are an expert who can produce an intelligent argument. Using big words to sound smart usually ends in the opposite effect—it is easy to detect when someone overcompensates in their writing. Likewise, if you aren't sure of the exact meaning of a word, you risk misusing it. Using vague language can further take away from the accuracy of your argument—you should consider this before you pull out that thesaurus to adjust that perfect word to something completely different. 

We use straightforward language on a daily basis; however, when we write or read educational content, it isn't effortless. In an academic paper, we have to apply more accurate language from all points of view, including grammar, phrases, clauses, subordinates, qualifying adjectives, etc. So when you are done with writing your paper, just proofread it and try to replace simple words with their alternative and more accurate ones!

Academic writing

3. Write formally

During academic writing, you should avoid informal language. The formal style applied in academic writing ensures that research is presented consistently across different texts to be objectively assessed and compared with other research. Because of this, it's vital to strike the proper tone with your language choices. Avoid informal language, including slang, contractions, clichés, and conversational phrases.

The objective of an academic paper is to avoid using short forms and dialect words in your article; for instance, use 'It is' instead of 'it's.' In the case of using the abbreviation, make use to write the complete form the first time you use it in the content and put the acronym associated with it in a parenthesis. After that, you can use the abbreviation through the content.

Academic writing

4. Provide a valid reference for any claim

While writing academic content, you cannot express your personal opinion unless part of the hypothesis. As an author, you must produce precise, logical, and straightforward explanations for your reader. Therefore, each claim and statement in your document MUST be supported with a valid reference. When we say accurate references, we mean published articles, books, magazines, government websites, etc., which do not include blogs, social media, or any other source that are not validatable. 

It would be great if you referred to numerous scholarly sources. You need to integrate source materials in your writing. You should add every source (books, articles from a scientific journal, publications on online resources) that you cite, introduce, analyze or explain on a reference index on the bibliography page. To assure academic integrity, all college essays should follow specific citation styles – APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago that define the rules for in-text citations, paper sections, format, reference list.

Academic writing

5. Add explanation for all the figures and tables

In research and academic writing, you usually have to deal with visual factors such as graphs, charts, tables, photographs, diagrams, and maps to capture your readers' attention and assist them in understanding your ideas more thoroughly. Each of these figures/illustrations must be well explained in your content. They are similar illustrations that aid in telling the story. These visuals help to augment your written statements and simplify complicated textual descriptions. They can help the reader understand a complex process or visualize trends in the data. To understand it better, follow the below rules:

  1. If we separate any figures from your work, the figure should be understandable without further explanation. 

  2. If we remove the figure from your work, the explanation statement (paragraph) shall be precise enough for the readers to understand the concept. 

The key concept to remember here is that visuals clarify, illustrate, and augment your written text.

Purpose: Before embedding a figure in your dissertation, ask yourself why you are arranging so. If the answer is because it makes the report look better or you feel you ought to, do not include it. Figures must serve a purpose. Graphs are applied to present data that is complicated and not clear when shown in a table. They can likewise be used to emphasize specific aspects of your data. However, if your dissertation is not richer for having a graph, then it should be dismissed. Moreover, images and diagrams support the presentation of complex ideas. Do your pictures/diagrams help? If not, you should drop them.

Titling: Your figures must be appropriately titled. All graphs, diagrams, and pictures must be titled Figures. Those will be numbered sequentially throughout the dissertation: Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, and so on. After the numbering, there must be a concise title. Titles for figures appear below the figure itself. An example of a titled graph is given below (Figure 1).

Academic writing

6. Try to avoid using First Person Pronouns

The first person point of view suggests that we practice the pronouns that refer to ourselves in the text. Those are as follows: I, We, Me, My, Mine, Us, Ours.

Accepting those, we show the information based on what "we" observed. In science and mathematics, the point of view is seldom used. It is usually supposed to be slightly self-serving and self-important. It is necessary to learn that when writing your research results, the focus of the communication is the research and not the persons who conducted the study. When you want to convince the reader, it is best to avoid personal pronouns in academic writing, yet when it is a subjective opinion from the study's authors. Furthermore, to sound somewhat superior, the strength of your judgments might be undervalued.

Alternatively, you may apply words such as 'the proponent' or 'the researcher' to address it to yourself.

Finally, in academic essay writing, voice is essential. Try to use the active voice rather than the passive whenever possible. This will deliver the tone of your essay more powerful. Finally, ensure your language is concise. Avoid transition words that don't add to the sentence and unnecessary wordiness that detract from your argument.

Academic writing

Main Points to Consider

Several young people have challenges with academic paper writing. The type of writing is specific and varies a lot from what you were required to write in high school because it involves a lot of reading, doing in-depth research of scholarly literature, outlining, editing, making modifications in content and structure, rewriting, editing, proofreading, and formatting. Don't be afraid! Fortunately, writing skills can be also improved by practice too!

Writing is a skill that any learner can acquire and be an expert at! Nas Nazar Tweet


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