BY TOM JAGER
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been finding your recent academic assignments a little bit difficult to write. You’re not alone – thousands of students, even successful ones, struggle with getting their essays and research papers done properly. But why academic writing is so hard?
Well, one could say that this kind of writing is a kind of a mysterious and fraught thing. Even many scholars who had mastered the art of research and doing science seek help with making their papers sound like scholar-level writing. Unlike ordinary writing that uses conversational, natural language, academic writing is supposed to be clever, faceless, clear, impersonal, and ambiguous. At the same time, academic writers have to persuade their audience that their projects are objective and deserve attention.
No wonder even psychologists try to explain why it‘s so terrible.
No worries, though. With proper writing advice and knowledge, you can do a great job and get the highest grades regardless of your professor’s demands. If you’re in need for such advice, grab these tips and tools.
It’s time to up your writing game!
- Don’t Underestimate the Importance of an Outline
The first thing that you should do before writing your essay or research paper is to make an outline. Essentially, it’s a blueprint, or a plan that will guide your writing, so if you don’t have it, chances are that your paper will fail to deliver a logical flow of information or even a structure.
Besides, making an outline isn’t that difficult. To do that, follow these steps:
- Identify all the ideas that you need to include in your essay/research paper
- Group your ideas into categories
- Sequences the ideas in a logical order to ensure a good flow of information
- Make headings and subheadings to add some structure (remember: a good outline isn’t a list of ideas but a logical framework).
- Make an Argumentative Thesis Statement
Many students make a mistake by making a descriptive thesis that doesn’t reveal their position on the topic being described or summarize the information that’s already known. Since most academic papers are argumentative in nature, thus require the writer to make their position clear, make sure that your thesis shows that by using appropriate language like “should.”
Example: The United States should not switch to the metric system because of far-reaching implications such as the impact on housing, the need to change vehicle production, and other measurements.
- Use Strong, Active Verbs
A good usage of verbs can take your academic writing to a whole new level; for example, you can apply action verbs to express actions, modal verbs to express abilities, and auxiliary verbs to reinforce the previous two groups.
Here are some examples of verbs based on their purpose.
|To summarize||Highlight, evaluate, feature, assess|
|To state||Convey, identify, elaborate|
|To identify parts||Constitute, encompass, compose of, incorporate, comprise|
|To support a statement||Compliment, substantiate, confirm, add, corroborate|
- Don’t make Long Introductions
A well-written essay has about five sentences including the thesis statement, so going over this limit may undermine the quality of your work. Remember: the purpose of the introduction is to concisely give the background of the topic to prepare the reader for the thesis, and this shouldn’t take a lot of content.
Unless your academic work is complicated and requires you to provide a lot of background, don’t make it too long.
- Don’t Forget to Ensure that Your Topic Sentences Connect to Your Thesis
If you have some background in academic writing, you know that thesis statement is the main idea that defines the subsequent parts of an academic work. Thus, if body paragraphs of your essay/research paper are not connected to it somehow, it means that your paper lacks a clear focus.
- It’s Okay to Use Help
Let’s just come up and be honest here: academic writing is hard. So, if you’re struggling to research or write a paper or simply don’t have sufficient time to complete everything, it’s okay to get some help. Below, find some good online tools for you.
- UK Best Essays. Get help with proofreading your academic works and ensure appropriate style and tone from some of the best British writers.
- Assignment Writing Service. Use this tool if you’re struggling with writing complex academic works such as research papers and dissertations.
- EssayWritingLab. Academic writing experts from EssayWritingLab can help to make sure that your essays meet your professor’s requirements with professional proofreading and editing.
- com.au. A popular service in Australia, this tool specializes in academic writing assistance for students of colleges and universities.
- com. Need advice with an essay topic? Don’t know how to approach a topic from the right angle? SchlarAdvisor is the place to go for answers to such requests.
- net. Australian writers who are professionals at academic research and writing can help you to complete even the most difficult academic writing project.
- AssignmentGeek. Get your own tutor for your academic writing needs to ensure that your essays and research papers are as good as they can possibly be.
- Essay Geek. Want to get your paper proofread by a professional with years of experience in academic writing? This tool was created just for that.
- Aussiewritings. Get help with using scholar resources, referencing, citation styles, and tips on avoiding plagiarism.
- Essay Writing Land. Use this tool to get a personalized report on your academic work and a professional assessment of your writing skills.
- Use Transitional Phrases
Transitional words and phrases like Moreover, On the other hand, In contrast, and At the same time are a perfect way to guide your reader from one idea to another. Use them within your academic work’s body paragraphs to help your writing flow more naturally. This way, you’ll avoid leaping from one thought to the next, which can make your writing a bit confusing.
Hopefully these tips were helpful for you to improve your academic writing style and become a more successful student. Remember, becoming a great academic writer isn’t something that happens overnight, so be patient and don’t forget to learn more.
Tom Jager is a professional blogger based in London. He covers topics related to digital marketing, blogging, social media and business in general. He is always seeking to discover new ways for professional and personal growth.