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Definition of Academic Writing

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Characteristics of Academic Writing

Typically, scholarly writing has an objective stance, clearly states the significance of the topic, and is organized with adequate detail so that other scholars may try to replicate the results. Strong papers are not overly general and correctly utilize formal academic rhetoric. This article provides a short summary of the full spectrum of critical and academic writing and lists the genres of academic writing. It does cover the variety of critical approaches that can be applied when one writes about a subject.

However, as Harwood and Hadley and Hyland have pointed out, the amount of variation that exists between different disciplines may mean that we cannot refer to a single academic literacy.

A discourse community is essentially a group of people that shares mutual interests and beliefs. People are generally involved in a variety of discourse communities within their private, social, and professional lives. Some discourse communities are very formal with well established boundaries, while others may have a more loose construction with greater freedom.

Additionally, discourse communities have approved channels of communication in which members write or speak through. These channels can be a web page, a journal, a blog, or any other medium people use to communicate through. Examples of discourse communities may include but certainly not limited to:. The concept of a discourse community is vital to academic writers across nearly all disciplines, for the academic writer's purpose is to influence a discourse community to think differently.

At the same time the discourse community does not expect to see any writing that appears too foreign. For this reason the academic writer must follow the constraints see article section below set by the discourse community so his or her ideas earn approval and respect. Constraints are the discourse community's written and unwritten conventions about what a writer can say and how he or she can say it.

They define what is an acceptable argument. Each discourse community expects to see a writer construct his or her argument using their conventional style of language and vocabulary, and they expect a writer to use the established intertext within the discourse community as the building blocks for his or her argument.

In order for a writer to become familiar with some of the constraints of the discourse community they are writing for, a useful tool for the academic writer is to analyze prior work from the discourse community. The writer should look at the textual 'moves' in these papers, focusing on how they are constructed. Across most discourses communities, writers will:.

Each of the 'moves' listed above are constructed differently depending on the discourse community the writer is in. For example, the way a claim is made in a high school paper would look very different from the way a claim is made in a college composition class. Porter Contrary to some beliefs, this is by no means plagiarism. Writers should also be aware of other ways in which the discourse community shapes their writing.

Other functions of the discourse community include determining what makes a novel argument and what a 'fact' is. The following sections elaborate on these functions.

It is important for any writer to distinguish between what is accepted as 'fact' and what is accepted as 'opinion'. Wikipedia's article Fact misguides writers in their interpretation of what a fact actually is. The article states that "A fact derived from the Latin factum, see below is something that has really occurred or is actually the case". But this is not how writers think of facts.

Writing professionals hold that, "In a rhetorical argument, a fact is a claim that an audience will accept as being true without requiring proof". The audience can be thought of as a discourse community, and a fact can suddenly change to become an opinion if stated in a different discourse community. This is how writers within discourse communities manage to present new ideas to their communities.

Any new opinion would need to be proven by making a rhetorical argument, in which the writer would weave together what his or her intended audience will accept as 'facts' in a way that supports his or her idea. Therefore, knowing the intended discourse community is a very important part of writing.

Across discourse communities, what is considered factual may fluctuate across each community. A key concept in this change is learning to recognize that facts aren't so much inherently true statements as they are claims-that is, assertions that most of a given audience has agreed are true because for that audience sufficient proof has already been given.

You, like most people, would probably classify the statement "the Earth is round" as a "fact. What Kantz wants us to see is that what makes the statement a fact is not how "true" the statement is but that most people have agreed that it's true and treat it as true.

Statements about which we haven't reached this consensus remain claims, statements that people argue about. Wellington campus Accommodation Student services Maps and transport more Services for students Accommodation services Recreation centres Career Services more Sport Academy of Sport Recreation and training more Writing objectively Writing concisely 1st vs.

Report structure Analysing issues for a report Business report What is a business report? Business report structure Inductive vs. Lab report structure Science lab report writing resources Psychology lab report writing resources Literature review What is a literature review? Plagiarism Common knowledge Referencing styles What type of source is this? What is academic writing? These rules and practices may be organised around a formal order or structure in which to present ideas, in addition to ensuring that ideas are supported by author citations in the literature.

In contrast to personal writing contexts, academic writing is different because it deals with the theories and causes of a given topic, as well as exploring alternative explanations for these events. Show all Hide all. Essays In the case of an essay, the introductory paragraph informs the reader about the nature of the topic, which is discussed and evaluated in the middle of the essay, also referred to as the body.

The introduction may also summarise very succinctly, in a sentence or two, your position on the issue which is called a thesis statement , which is then elaborated on at length in the series of paragraphs that make up the essay's body. The final paragraph constitutes a conclusion where you may summarise the overall points made.

You should not introduce new information in the conclusion. The concluding paragraph is also a good point at which to move the essay forward to touch on implications or future advancements surrounding the issues addressed. Reports Another type of structure, common in university assignments is that of a report, often organised around the identification of problems or difficulties and corresponding solutions.

Further, unlike an essay, reports allow for bulleted points with respect to the conclusions and recommendations sections. If you make claims, judgements or statements about something in academic writing, there is an expectation that you will support your opinion by linking it to what a published author has previously written about the issue. Deductive reasoning and an analytical approach are important in academic writing.

Much planning and forethought are needed to have a well organized paper. Within each paragraph, the sentences need to flow and refer back to the topic. Cohesion is achieved by repeating important words, using synonyms for the main subject, and using transitional words like: Whether you are writing a research paper, a thesis, or a paper for a conference, these tips should help your paper be authoritative and coherent.

Your thesis will be substantiated and explanations clear. Readers of your paper will follow your reasoning and understand your conclusion. Definition of Academic Writing. Retrieved September 14th, , from http:


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Academic writing is conducted in several sets of forms and genres, normally in an impersonal and dispassionate tone, targeted for a critical and informed audience, based on closely investigated knowledge, and intended to reinforce or challenge concepts or arguments.

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What is academic writing? Writing is a skill that is required in many contexts throughout life. However, academic writing has many of the things that personal writing does not have: it .

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All academic writing follows a logical, straightforward structure. In its simplest form, academic writing includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction provides background information, lays out the scope and direction of the essay, and states the thesis. A broad definition of academic writing is any writing done to fulfill a requirement of a college or university. Academic writing is also used for publications that are read by teacher and researchers or .

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Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and their specific areas of expertise. Characteristics of academic writing include a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a. What Is “Academic” Writing? by L. Lennie Irvin This essay is a chapter in Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing, Volume 1, a peer-reviewed open textbook series for the writing classroom, and is published through Parlor Press.