What Are the Key Features of Academic Writing

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What Are the Key Features of Academic Writing

By | Jan. 2009
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Wondering what are the key features of academic writing and how does they differ from the characteristics of media writing is indeed asking what tools should be known by a student to get good marks for an essay. Fist of all, before analysing each facet, every student must be aware of the value of good academic writing tools. In reality, the difference between two good writers or speakers and consequently two grades is influenced by the way the explanation has been constructed and justified with “high-quality” arguments.

The two main aspects of academic writing are considered to be “being substantiated and being organised.”[1] Firstly, “being substantiated” means that all the claims should be supported with evidence. That is the reason why references are considered as the central component of an essay. They comprise an extensive variety of resource types, including books, journals, and newspapers. Moreover, in the purpose of avoiding plagiarism, references’ description needs to be fully given. Secondly, “being organised” means be structured in a way that the general message is explicated simply but clearly. Besides, other features of academic writing are “using formal language, using an analytical approach and using conventions consistently and accurately.”[2]

To complete this brief description, in the chapter Guidelines for Good Writing[3], Yopp and McAdams summarize the research concerning academic writing. They find four essential qualities in academic writing. The first one consists in to be precise, the second one aim to be clear, the third one to be complete and finally, to be fair in explaining arguments and giving examples to illustrate them. Then, they explain the keys for a good writing which are using short sentences and short words, avoiding jargon, being specific rather than general, choosing the right word for each idea, avoiding repetition and varying sentences types.

Two types of analysis emerge fundamental. On one hand, the genre...
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