What is academic writing? There is no definite answer to this question as long as it presents many various types of paper—essays, term papers, dissertation writings, reports…
Every kind is unique and has its own rules. This is one of the reasons why academic writing style is so challenging to stick to.
It was so before you’ve come across our guide! We’ve collected the best resources to help you perfectly understand academic writing features and functions. Check it out now.
This guide to academic English writing will help you find many valuable resources—some of which are favorites of professional writing services.
- Chapter I. Types of academic writing
- Chapter II. Choosing a topic
- Chapter III. Research
- Chapter IV. Creativity
- Chapter V. Structure
- Chapter VI. Writing style
- Chapter VII. Grammar
- Chapter VIII. Punctuation
- Chapter IX. Avoiding plagiarism
- Chapter X. Electronic tools
Chapter I. Types of academic writing
When you are student, you’re expected to know the difference between term papers, reports, reviews, and so on.
But let us tell you a secret:
Most students think that all these papers are the same, just with different names.
However, there are some important differences. And they’re not as difficult as you might think.
With the help of this chapter, you will know everything about the basic types of academic writing. And, of course, it will be much easier to develop your essay structure or write your academic research paper after you check out these helpful materials.
- Essays are the most common academic assignment writing, and they include many kinds and structures. That’s why you need to learn which elements to use in each type:
Essay Writing Basics | University of New South Wales
Essay Structure | Harvard University
Tips for Writing Essay Exams | University of Washington
Types of Essays | Custom-Writing.org
- A research paper is based on thorough research of a particular topic. A good research paper should be carefully structured and include many specific sections such as methodology or discussion:
Guide to Writing a Research Paper | University of Wisconsin
Structure of a Research Paper | University of Minnesota
Organizing Methodology | University of Southern California
How to Write Results and Discussion Sections | University of Detroit Mercy
Common Errors in Student Research Papers | Rice University
- Critical academic writing includes features like analysis, evaluation, and comparison. When writing a criticism, there are many approaches and strategies you can try:
A Short Guide to Critical Writing | University of Birmingham
Critical Writing Structure | University of Minnesota
Critical Strategies in Writing | University of Maryland
Critical Writing Checklist | University of Sussex
- A term paper is a major assignment typical for colleges. Such paper writing’s goal is to determine a student’s new achievements in the subject. A term paper isn’t the easiest paper to write, so look through these guides before you start working:
Term Paper Guidelines | Lock Haven University
How to Write a Decent Term Paper | Tulane University
Term Paper Format | University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- A book or movie review is another common piece of academic writing. When writing a paper of this type, make sure to give essential information about the chosen movie or book. Here are some useful guides with helpful tips and great samples:
Book Review Guide | University of North Carolina
Reading a Book to Review It | University of Wisconsin
Collection of Book Reviews | The New York Times
Book Review Samples | GoodReads.com
Film Reviews and Criticism | California State University
Movie Database | IMDB
Collection of Movie Reviews | Shadow.com
- An annotated bibliography is a list of academic sources and is a frequent assignment in universities. Be extra careful when formatting—your paper could get a low grade if you choose the wrong citation style.
Annotated Bibliography | University of New South Wales
Writing an Annotated Bibliography | Skidmore College
Chapter II. Choosing a topic
Whether you’re writing a thesis or a report, the first step is always the same—you must choose a topic.
In this chapter, you will find instructions on how to develop a specific and informative topic for your academic paper.
- Brainstorm ideas to find a perfect topic for your academic writing:
How to Brainstorm When Writing an Essay | International Student
8 Brainstorming Strategies for Generating New Writing Ideas | The Web Writer Spotlight
How to Use Mind Maps| Lifehacker
How Brainstorming Questions| Co.Design
Presentation: Brainstorming and Outlining | SlideShare
Topic and Sentence Outline | University of California, Berkeley
- Choose a broad topic that is easy for you to understand:
Essay Topics | Study Moose
99 Effective Dissertation Topics | Custom-Writing.org
597 Research Paper Topics | My Speech Class
How to Come Up With a Thesis Topic | GradSchools.com
- Wondering how to write academic papers on a broad topic? Don’t! Narrow it down instead:
Narrowing a Topic | Western Technical College
Ways to Narrow Down a Topic | Utah State University
Strategies for Narrowing a Topic | Virginia Tech
- Make sure that there are enough resources available for your investigation:
Finding sources | SUNY Empire State College
Strategies for Gathering Reliable Information | 2012 Book Archive
Chapter III. Research
To develop an A+ college paper, it’s essential to know how to search for relevant information. To research your paper, choose one or several of the advantageous approaches we offer below.
Today, there are tons of resources for investigation and examination—articles, books, the internet. The goal of research is to learn as much as you can about your writing topic.
- Generate ideas. There are many academic writing skills, but creativity is as important as any other. Learn how to develop new ideas for your papers:
Generating New Ideas | Mind Tools
7 Ways to Generate Great Ideas | Inc.com
- Refer to lecture notes. Information that your professors give during class plays an essential role in your studies. Gathering this information thoroughly is definitely part of the academic writing process:
Notetaking, Listening, Participation | Dartmouth
A 10-Step Guide to Taking Better Lecture Notes | Save The Student
5 Notetaking Methods | Grand Valley State University
- Read articles. Many students don’t know how to learn writing skills in English. An excellent way for self-improvement is to examine articles. They are the main source of knowledge and a great example for writers:
How to Read Scientific Research Articles | University of Minnesota Libraries
List of Academic Databases and Search Engines | Wikipedia
Search Tips: Articles | Cornell University Library
- Use encyclopedias. Any formal piece of writing starts first with encyclopedias. This resource’s primary goal is to help you easily collect knowledge. That’s why you should begin any research project with their help.
Finding Background Information | University at Buffalo
Citation Guide: How to Cite Encyclopedias | Dixie State University Library
- Browse the internet. Today, it’s impossible to imagine writing a paper for college without using internet sources. However, to get the most benefit from your internet research, you will need to learn some tips:
Using the Internet for Research | University of Colorado
10 Tips for More Efficient Internet Searching | TechRepublic
How to Effectively Use the Internet for Research | Top Ten Reviews
Chapter IV. Creativity
It’s a known fact that writers from academic writing services can motivate themselves to develop papers at any time. Creativity is not just random inspiration but rather a regular tool for professional writers.
Need help with academic writing due to writer’s block or a lack of ideas? Then this chapter was developed just for you! Know the most efficient strategies to become a more creative writer:
- Overcome writer’s block. It can happen to anyone—no matter what strategies for academic writing you use or how many ideas you create, you can’t seem to write a single line. Do you know what that means? You have writer’s block. And here is a collection of tips to help you overcome it:
How to Overcome Writer’s Block | Goins, Writer
The 10 Types of Writer’s Block | Gizmodo
7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block | Writer’s Digest
- Minimize distractions in your workspace. Distractions are everywhere—your phone, TV, friends… Writing assignments with all these potential interruptions around will take forever. That’s why you need to know how to reduce them:
10 Ways to Take Control of Your Day | Mind Tools
8 Ways to Reduce Distractions | Simple Life Strategies
How to Destroy Workplace Distractions | U.S. News & World Report
- Pace yourself. When you’re a student, you have to optimize your time to meet all your deadlines. Want to know how to write an essay in time? Use the tips and apps from these articles:
12 Time Management Tips for Writers | Word Count
15 Time Management Apps and Tools | Lifehack
15 Productivity Tips for Students | Daily Infographic
Chapter V. Structure
Structure in academic writing is essential—it’s basically the framework of your entire essay. There are several types of structure, but the most popular is the five-paragraph structure. This format consists of an introduction, a three-paragraph body, and a conclusion.
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to develop a clear and effective structure and how to incorporate it correctly to get an A+.
- Outline. Remember to create a well-organized outline by making new paragraphs for every major idea in the text. The success of your college paper depends on how precise your framework is.
- Abstract. This is a brief description of your research paper, article, essay, or any other type of paper. The purpose of a summary is to inform readers about the main ideas of the paper.
How to Write an Abstract | University of California, Berkeley
- Introduction. In creative and academic writing, an introduction is a chance to make a great first impression. Don’t underestimate the power of the first lines!
Guide to Writing Introductions and Conclusions | Gallaudet University
How to Write a Good Introduction | Michigan State University
- Body. Students often search for academic writing help to find strong evidence to prove their ideas. Here you can find information about paragraph building and types of arguments:
Teaching and Understanding Paragraphs | Pattern Based Writing
How to Write a Good Paragraph: A Step-by-Step Guide | Ashford University
How to Put Evidence Into a Paper | Essay Tigers
The 4 Types of Evidence | Writing Simplified
- Conclusion. The final paragraph is one of the most difficult parts of academic papers. It’s hard to write something when everything has already been said, right? Learn some strategies for writing a perfect conclusion:
Ending the Essay: Conclusions | Harvard College Writing Center
Strategies for Writing a Conclusion | St. Cloud State University
- Bibliography. Many students ignore the importance of the bibliography—but it can definitely influence your college writing’s grade. Learn how to develop bibliographies according to popular academic writing formats:
Writing an Annotated Bibliography | University of Toronto
32 Tips for Writing an Annotated Bibliography | Custom-Writing.org
Writing Tips and 16 Bibliography Patterns | Custom-Writing.org
Bibliography Examples in MLA Style | A Research Guide for Students
Chapter VI. Writing style
Developed your structure already? Good work! Now it’s time to improve your writing style. You may be super-skilled in writing prose or poetry, but the language used in academic texts is very different from creative writing.
Read on, and you’ll learn all the important tips for developing your writing style.
- Make a draft. If you’re still unsure how to write a college paper, it’s time to learn how to create a draft:
The Writing Process: Drafting | Illinois Valley Community College
- Avoid passive language. Sentences with passive voice aren’t wrong, but it’s always better to use active voice:
4 Ways to Remove Passive Voice from Your Paper | Hello Bar
- Eliminate clichés. Clichés can spoil any paper—even a formal piece of writing should not contain many of them:
List of 681 Clichés to Avoid | Be a Better Writer
How to Avoid Clichés | Grammar Girl
Cliché Finding Website | Cliché Finder
- Use metaphors and similes correctly. When writing an academic essay, you can still make it pleasant to read by using interesting metaphors and similes:
Writing an Essay, Using Similes and Metaphors | Ask About Writing
Use Metaphors Correctly | The Balance
- Keep sentences short. No one likes to work hard to pay attention through three or four lines of a long sentence. Keep simplicity in writing—your readers will definitely appreciate it:
Sentence Length | AIMS Community College
- Write clearly. One of the features of academic writing style is clear and concise writing. You don’t want to misguide your readers or leave them confused, so use the following techniques to eliminate unnecessary words:
Guide to Concise Writing | OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
How to Write Clear, Concise, and Direct Sentences | University of Wisconsin
- Learn how to use abbreviations. There are specific rules that differ for each academic writing format. For example, here is a guide to formatting abbreviations in APA style:
Guide to Abbreviations and Acronyms | Academic Writing and Coaching
- Don’t overuse words. Want to know how to write a college paper that is pleasing to read? Try not to overuse words. Here are some examples of words to leave out of your writing:
12 Overused Words | The Huffington Post
The Phrases “There is” and “There are” | Sibia Proofreading
How to Avoid Overusing the Word ‘That’ in Your Writing | BKA Content
Chapter VII. Grammar
Even if you know how to develop original ideas and organize the perfect structure, your grades will always depend on grammar. That’s why you have to be extremely careful with the rules.
We’re sure that we don’t need to explain the basics to you. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of academic writing tips that are useful for non-beginners as well.
- Split infinitives
Why to Avoid Split Infinitives | Oxford Living Dictionaries
Appropriate Pronoun Usage | OWL Purdue Online Writing Lab
- Double negatives
Double Negatives: 3 Rules You Must Know | Grammarly
- Parallel construction
How to Use Parallel Construction Correctly | Grammar Girl
- Word order
Word Order and Sentence Structure in English | Linguapress.com
- Prepositions at the end of sentences
Can You End a Sentence With a Preposition? | Oxford Dictionaries
Chapter VIII. Punctuation
It’s often challenging to know whether you should put a hyphen or a dash in a sentence. The same problem is true for commas and semicolons.
When learning English writing skills, it’s very important to pay attention to punctuation. In fact, it’s the number one tool to make your sentences clear and informative.
- Commas | Connecticut State Colleges and Universities
- Semicolons | University of Wisconsin
- Hyphens and dashes | Education First
- Apostrophes | Grammar Book
- Double Punctuation | The Subversive Copy Editor Blog
- Quotation Marks | Grammar Girl
Chapter IX. Avoiding plagiarism
When you’re writing academic papers, you may face issues with plagiarism. Usually, it isn’t difficult to collect new information, but avoiding plagiarism can be a challenging task.
Here are some tricks to make your paper 100% authentic:
- Paraphrasing | Academic Integrity at MIT
- Citing Sources | University of Tennessee Knoxville
- Citing Yourself | Walden University
- Referencing | Open University
- Reference Guides for Students | Custom-Writing.org
Chapter X. Electronic tools
Clearly there are many spheres for improvement when it comes to academic writing. But we have great news—you don’t have to do everything alone.
Check out this list of academic writing apps and tools. They will save you a ton of time. But always remember to check the results you get—whether it’s a grammar checker or citation generator, they do make mistakes from time to time.
- Grammar | Grammarly
- Readability | Hemingway Editor
- Plagiarism Free | Small SEO Tools
- Citation | Cite This for Me
- Citation | Citation Machine
- Thesis Creator | Kibin
- Infographic | Piktochart
- Mind-mapping | MindMup
- Outline | Checkvist
There’s no doubt: academic writing is one of the most difficult tasks you will ever face in student life. But by knowing the main principles, you’ll save time and get better grades.
If college paper writing still seems impossible to accomplish on your own—you can always ask for help from our academic writing service. Just spend a few minutes to order a paper, and in no time, you’ll be the owner of an outstanding essay, thesis, or review.