Every scholar who pursues a master’s or PhD course, is suppose to produce documents which are written in a formal manner, following the academic style of writing. Before you start to dole out assignments and projects for your various subjects, it is vital that you understand the characteristics of academic writing. The style is very different from what you have been following for the rest of your life, and will have to be learned, practiced and mastered. Here are the features that make for some serious writing for academicians:
- Specialization: there is a topic or a theme that is followed, and the writing has a specific target audience; it is not for general reading. The writing has to be unbiased and rational.
- Citation: Resources can be cited, using the appropriate referencing style. There can be various styles like APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian and Harvard. The exact style to be followed must be confirmed from the college authorities.
- Hypothesis: There has to be a theory or an idea which is supported by these resources. This idea will present the reason of creating the document and will reflect the independent thinking of the scholar. The theory has to be backed by evidence.
- Voice: Academic writing rules in favor of the third or passive voice, instead of active or first person. It is a good idea to start writing short assignments in the third person to practice the style.
- Well planned: since there is a theory to be developed and references to be cited, you need to invest sufficient time in the research process before you put pen to paper. Academic writing is stronger when it is planned in advance, and the plan is checked by your supervisor.
If you have created a document and are not sure whether it matches these standards or not, then consulting an expert editor will be a good idea. There are a few more characteristics, which will be defined in our next post. So, keep watching this space to learn academic writing tricks.