6 General Points to Consider in Academic Writing

6 General Points to Consider in Academic Writing

In academic writing, you must consider many factors. The ones we will briefly discuss here are six general points you should take into consideration while writing academic papers. These are Audience, Purpose, Organization, Style, Flow, and Presentation.

Audience:

Considering your audience is something you should do before writing your paper. If you are a student, your audience will be your instructor who has definitely some expectations which you will have to meet. Your audience may also be advisors, thesis committees, and journal and conference reviewers. Taking your audience into account will affect the content of your writing. For example, if you assume that your readers are familiar with the subject you are writing about, you will not provide much background information.

Purpose:

Audience and purpose are interconnected. If the audience knows less than the writer, then the purpose is instructional. But if the audience knows more than the writer, as is the case with students, the purpose will be a demonstration of knowledge and expertise. So you should be aware of the purpose of your writing as it is a decisive factor.

Organization:

Organization is a matter of priorities and structure. Your audience has this expectation that the information will be presented in a structured format that is suitable for the genre of the text, so there are different patterns you should take advantage of because most readers are familiar with them and this helps facilitate the conveyance of information. Other factors such as relevance, coherence and flow, cohesion and texture, context, and message should be taken into account. Moreover, there are several established patterns of information organization which all writers make use of depending on the nature of their paper: problems and solutions, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, and classification.

Style:

You have to make sure that your writing is based on an appropriate style. Style should be consistent and suitable both in terms of audience and the message. Writing your research report in an informal style would be a grave mistake. Also, you should consider the fact that academic style differs from one field to another, so by analyzing the papers in your chosen field of study you will become familiar with styles used in your field. (There are many stylistic features that will be discussed in detail later.)

Flow:

Another important factor is flow. It means moving from one statement in a text to another. It is obvious that by keeping the flow and making clear connection of ideas and concepts you will help your audience to follow the text. One of the most commonly used methods for establishing a flow is moving from old information to new information. By stating old information first you can provide some brief background information and then state your assumptions or conclusions and establish a connection between them. Example:

Although it is believed to connect the world together, the internet can have a negative impact on some cultures.

We will focus on linking words and phrases later on. These elements can help the writer maintain the flow of information and establish clear relationships between ideas and concepts.

Presentation:

Before presenting your paper, ask yourself these questions: are information flow and overall format good enough? Is your paper grammatically accurate? Have you checked for spelling errors?

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