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Academic writing

How to write in an evidenced based formal style

Academic writing: Things you need to know...

At University you will write assignments in many formats but most require the same standard of academic writing. You need to grasp two main concepts  - what it is and how to write it but, to get you started, there 5 key features: 

  1. Objective - based on facts and research rather than feelings or opinions.  
  2. Formal language - make your point clearly and accurately, and develop language appropriate to your subject.
  3. Passive voice - this means concentrating on the action which has taken place rather than who performed it. This involves not using personal pronouns (for example: I, we, me, our) unless you are writing a reflection.
  4. Structured - you need to plan your work so that it guides the reader step by step from the introduction, through your argument supported by evidence, to the conclusion.
  5. Includes citations and references - an essential part of academic writing is to provide evidence of research and acknowledge your sources. 



Need to know more...

Additional resources to help you to improve your confidence and grades:-

  • Writing Effectively demonstrates the importance of: clarity, structure, relevance, argument and precision.
  • Writing Mechanics gives further examples and resources on areas including: sentence structure, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Staffordshire University (2015) Refzone.  Referencing (Harvard style) explained with interactive quizzes to make sure that you get it. 
University of East Anglia (2014) Academic writing and study skills resources . 

There are many books concerning academic writing, look around Dewey number 808