6 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing Skills

Do you consider yourself a good student? Are you sure to give your teacher or professor your full attention, complete all your reading and assignments on time, and take an interest in what is being taught? While all of this can be true, it doesn’t mean you have good academic writing skills. Even the most studious of students can struggle when it comes to writing. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to stop the cycle and start getting the marks you want and deserve. Here are six steps to improving your academic writing skills. These will transform the way you go about writing.

Make Sure Your Writing Style is Formal

The very definition of academic writing is that it is formal, so this needs to be the first rule you follow. Whether you are writing a research paper, an essay or a dissertation, it has to follow the formal style of writing. What makes academic writing different is the style, structure, and content of the piece.

Your Writing Needs to Be Precise

Another important tip is to be precise. Don’t dance around a point or information; lay it out clearly and concisely. There is no need for flowery language as academic writing gets straight to the point. 

Check Your Facts

Your writing must also contain facts and information that are correct and have been properly laid out and sourced. Making a guess won’t fly; you need actual evidence and sources to back up your position. Academic writing isn’t a place to voice your personal opinion; it is an unbiased piece that hinges on the data and facts you are presenting.

Plagiarism Is Never Acceptable

Plagiarism is something that every teacher and every professor takes extremely seriously. If they find you guilty of it, the consequences will be severe. Not only will you receive a failing grade on your paper, but it can negatively affect your reputation moving forward. The teacher will always be on the lookout for plagiarized work. To ensure you don’t find yourself in this position, make sure you run your text through a plagiarism checker tool. You can even find websites that let you check for free. These tools are fast and easy and could save you from a lot of stress.

Does It Follow the Correct Structure?

Formal writing also has a formal structure, so this is another area you need to be mindful of. Each piece needs to start with an introduction and finish with a conclusion that ties back to that introduction. If the body of the paper is long, you can always use headings and even chapters to break it up. As long as it remains formal and flows in a way that makes sense, you’ll be okay.

There is lots of information you can find online that discusses structure in length, giving in-depth tips on how to piece everything together. This can be helpful to read up on before starting. Things such as your sentence and paragraph structure are discussed at length.

Academic Writing Takes Many Drafts to Get Right

The final tip is to give yourself enough time to write more than one draft. The first draft is never enough and should be seen as your first go rather than the final copy. You need time to proofread it, make notes and improvements and then apply all that information to the second draft. If after the second draft it still isn’t good enough, don’t hesitate to create a third one. There is no limit on the number of drafts needed – the point is to get it right.

By following all these tips, the results will be evident and your academic writing skills will show huge improvement. 

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