Topics: Academia, Writing, Argumentative Pages: 22 (5780 words) Published: December 6, 2012

2 What is "academic writing"

3 The main characteristics of "good academic writing"

3.1. Organisation

3.2 . Task achievement / Relevance to Question (title)

3.3 . Accuracy

3.4 . Range and style

3.5 . Coherence and cohesion

3.6 . Appropriateness and referencing

4 The role that language discourse functions have in "academic writing"

4.1 Description

4.2 Definition

4.3 Narrative

4.4 Cause and effect

4.5 Comparison and contrast

4.6 Argument

4.7 Exemplification

4.8 Classification

5 The challenges that might arise from such characteristics and functions for Arab students

5.1. Punctuation and spelling

5.2. Misuse of words

5.3. Misuse of tense and omitting of the verb (to be)

5.4. Task achievement and Repetition

5.5. Referencing

5.6. Electronic illiteracy

6 Conclusion

1. Introduction

Many students and researchers are still confused about how to write good academic papers of various different kinds in English. Academic writing must be distinguished from other formal styles of writing such as official and business as stated by Jordan (1986 p. 18). The main characteristics of "good academic writing" have been the focus of much debate in the general field of writing skills, as have the significance of language discourse functions and the important role that they play when it comes to producing "good academic writing". This essay will define what "academic writing" is and identify the main characteristics of "good academic writing". The ultimate aim of this essay will be to analyse the role that language discourse functions have in such texts and give suggestions on how to overcome the challenges that might arise from such characteristics and functions for non-native speakers of English.

2. What is "academic writing?"

First of all, we must define what "academic writing" is to identify its features. Jordan (1999, p. 8) states that "academic writing" must be written in a proper formal style.Hamp-Lyons and Poole (2006, p. 16-17) also define "academic writing" in terms of formality. They state that academic writing is a formal piece of paper for which credit has to be given to the writer and that the work will contain specific grammatical patterns, organisation and argument.They outline the formality of academic writing suggesting it comes from its readers who must be academics. Its contents that must be a serious thought and it should be constructed using a variety of complex grammatical structures which have no errors. The vocabulary utilised should be varied and of a technical level appropriate to the subject matter. This will be discussed further in Section 3.

Moreover, Anderson and Poole (2001, p. 9) focus on defining the problem in academic writing. They assert that the first step must be to define the problem which involves determining what is being asked in the question or the title.

As mentioned before, I can summarise that Academic writing can be defined as the way that we express our ideas, knowledge and information clearly in terms of discussing an academic problem. It must address a topic or title clearly. It has some characteristics that must be addressed in the text such as accuracy, organisation, argument, coherence, cohesion, appropriateness and referencing. These characteristics help the reader to understand the academic problem in a crucial way by discussing many points of view relating to it.

3. The main characteristics of "good academic writing"

There are many characteristics of "good academic writing". Many researchers such as Anderson and Poole (2001), Jordan (1986, 1999), Hamp-Lyons and Heasley (2006), Treciak (2000), Greetham (2001), Brown and Hood (1998) and Carter (1999) discuss those...
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