Why are academic writing guidelines so important?
Academic writing is a style all of its own and it is vital that you follow it very carefully if you want to get the very best grades for your work, to have your dissertation or thesis accepted or even get a paper published in a journal. Academic writing requires you to follow precise formats and writing styles so as to ensure conformity and understanding across papers. Only by becoming a skilled academic writer can you get your ideas and research widely read and accepted.
Our simple academic writing guide
The following simple academic writing guide is to help you to ensure that your writing will be up to the standard expected for your various papers that you will be expected to write:
- Writing should always be in the third person: never use “I” or “you”
- Academic writing should always be in a formal tone: don’t use colloquial expressions, anecdotes or jokes.
- Don’t use contractions such as can’t, slang, emoticons, or acronyms
- Never use language that would be seen as offensive
- Use language that is appropriate for your audience: they will not read if they have to go find their dictionary for words in every sentence
- Don’t use language that would indicate strong bias on your part
- Flow: ensure that your work flows well right from the start to the finish, is the flow logical?
- Ensure that the big picture of what you are writing is clear: the reader should not be wondering what the paper is about
- Are all the sentence meanings clear? Are all of the sentences and sections actually required?
- Is the work completely free of spelling errors? Pat special attention to words used out of context
- Is your use of punctuation perfect? Even a single comma used out of place can completely change the meaning of a sentence
- Thoroughly check your grammar to ensure there are no issues
- Ensure that all sources for your writing are credible
- Ensure that all sources of quotes and information are carefully cited in the correct format.
- Ensure that everything that is cited is then within your list of references
- Ensure that your references are formatted perfectly
Remember that writing your paper is only the start of your academic report writing, most writers will spend far more time on editing and rewriting what they have written to ensure that the meaning is perfectly clear and that the work is free of errors. It is vital that you ensure that your work is perfect if you want to get higher grades, or have papers accepted for publication.
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