Academic writing is the name given to the type of writing that involves the creation of academic pieces like essays, research papers, theses, and more. Students can be required to do this type of writing very frequently. If you happen to be a student that falls into this category, this blog is for you.
In this blog, we’re going to be looking at some tips and tricks that students can follow to get better at their academic writing efforts.
1. Always understand the given instructions before starting
As a student, whenever you’re asked to write something of an academic nature, there will be some instructions that you’ll be expected to follow. If you want to get better at the whole writing thing, you should make it a point to carefully read the instructions before you get started. The instructions can range from everything, including guidelines about formatting to the
recommended citation style.
Simply by reading and following the instructions, you can make your academic content more effective and successful. Although this sounds like something obvious and simple, it’s something that a lot of people can overlook.
2. Learn to do your research thoroughly and properly
Academic writing often requires a hefty amount of research. In some cases – such as when the content in question pertains to a narrative, etc. – there isn’t too much research needed. But for the most part, you have to do research about the core concept itself, related facts and figures, methodologies, arguments, and so on.
The way you perform your research can have a big impact on how authoritative and original your writing piece comes out. Here are some tips that you can follow to do proper and thorough research:
- One good tip to remember about research is that you should do it sometime before writing the content. If there is time, there should be a gap of some hours between the research and the actual writing process. You can, in other words, take information from the sources, create your notes, and then let them sit for a while before writing on them. This essentially helps you forget the exact words and terminology of the content used in the source content so that you can write the content out in your own way.
- Another tip to remember about research is that you should span it across multiple sources. You should not take your information just from one or two places. If you do this, the writing style of that source(s) could permeate your own, and it may look like you’ve copied them to an extent. This can become an even bigger problem if you accidentally use the same words/terms that the source has – which would lead you to commit unintentional plagiarism.
- And, of course, the most important tip in this regard is to do your research from reliable sources. When you’re a student researching for a paper, it can make sense to just take any snippet of information from any website on the Internet. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to get information from only reliable and renowned academic sources – such as journal sites like Google Scholar and JSTOR.
3. Ethically utilize AI writing tools for the writing process
In the field of academic writing, the use of online AI writing tools is generally not very liked or approved. There are many different ways in which these tools can be unethically used – due to which they are generally frowned upon. But, when they’re ethically used, AI writing tools can be very helpful. Using them can make the whole writing process easier and quicker.
We’ll give you some examples of how you can ethically utilize AI writing tools when creating academic content:
- Take the example of online paraphrasing tools. These tools can have a somewhat negative impression since they can be used unethically for plagiarizing content. However, there are clean and ethical ways to utilize them as well. For example, you can use an AI paraphrasing tool on your content to improve its quality.
- Another helpful example here is that of summarizing tools. They are also writing tools that you can easily find on the Internet. They serve the function of summarizing text. You can use a summarizing tool to summarize text for your academic content, such as when you have to write an abstract for a research paper or a summary for a thesis.
You can basically use online writing tools in any capacity as long as it is not prohibited by your institution or your instructor, etc.
4. Always proofread your academic content
Proofreading your content before finalizing it helps you spot the errors that you can then remove. There are different types of errors and mistakes that you can make during the course of the writing process.
Here are some of the things that you should keep an eye out for when proofreading your content:
- Grammar errors and spelling mistakes: Spelling and grammatical mistakes can spoil the quality and authoritativeness of your academic content. You should take special care to remove them from your content. Proofreading the text a couple of times is all that you need to do that.
- Readability issues: Readability issues basically refer to the aspects in your content that make it difficult to read. For example, difficult words and long-winded phrases are readability issues. During the proofreading phase, you should look for problems like these and resolve them.
- Formatting issues: Formatting issues refer to the problems in formatting, i.e., the organization and arrangement of the text. In other words, if there are any problems with the usage of heading styles, font size or style, bulleting, etc., they would be regarded as formatting issues.
While there is a lot more to mastering the art of academic writing, the tips that we’ve mentioned above are where you can get started. If you work on these tips, you will be able to improve the quality of your academic write-ups.
In a nutshell, you should always be careful of following the instructions that you are provided. You should do your research from credible sources and extensively enough. When it comes to taking help from online tools, you should do it ethically and while making sure no guidelines are violated.
Last but not least, you should always proofread your content to find and remove errors from it.