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Introduction to Academic Writing Cheat Sheet by

english for academic and professional purposes

Academic Writing

formal style of writing used in univer­sities and scholarly public­ations that is clear, concise, focused, struct­ured, and backed up by evidence
requires the writer to demons­trate knowledge and show profic­iency with skills of thinking, interp­reting, and presenting inform­ation (Lowe & Zemliansky 2010) as an evaluation
readers = teacher, peers, academic community

Non-Ac­ademic Text / Creative Compos­itions

to freely express opinions, feelings, and emotions

Purposes of Academic Texts

to inform
to explain
to persuade
to argue

General Structure of an Academic Text

Academic Language

type of language used in schools (academic settings)

Features of Academic Writing

distin­ctinve structure (intro, body, conclu­sion)
coherence (logical progre­ssion) & cohesion (conne­ction)
based on inform­ation from experts in the field
properly acknow­ledge in writing through in-text citation and reference section
always analyze and evaluate including source
requires a great deal of research in order to develop a deep unders­tanding of the topic
your writing should give consid­eration to all sides of the issue and must avoid being biased
while it is important as an academic writer, your stance on a particular topic is clearly shown
reader unders­tands meaning of written text
clear and precise including technical vocab when necessary
emphasis is on arguments and inform­ation, rather than on the writer
passive structures in sentence constr­uction
more formal than everyday writing
complex sentences and avoids contra­ctions and colloq­uia­l/i­nformal words and expres­sions common in spoken english

Three Types of Academic Vocabulary

general words
that are acceptable for academic use
academic words
that frequently appear in academic texts
technical words
specific to an individual subject area

Language Used in Academic Texts

tone should not sound conver­sat­ional or casual
use of colloq­uial, idiomatic, slang, and journa­listic expres­sions should be avoided
academic text is based on research and not on the writer's own opinion about a given topic
unbiased - based on facts and evidence and is not influenced by personal feelings
when presenting an argument to the reader, show both sides of the topic and avoid making value judgments
do not show yourself as the performer of the action
emphasis should be on the inform­ation that you want to give and the arguments you want to make, rather than you
avoid personal pronouns (i,we,you)
use "­it" constr­uctions

Things to Avoid in Academic Writing

Personal nouns
Personal experience
Descri­ptive writing
Informal, conver­sat­ional tone, including slangs and idioms
Vague expres­sions

Examples of Academic Text

Academic Essay
An academic text that presents a coherent argument or explor­ation of a specific topic (Purdue Online Writing Lab, 2021)
presents and analyzes inform­ation clearly and briefly for a particular audience such as laboratory reports, business reports, case study reports, research reports, progress reports, etc. (Smith, 2022)
Literature Review
critical and compre­hensive analysis of existing scholarly public­ations, books, articles, and other relevant sources on a specific topic or research question (Ridley, 2012)
Concept Paper
A concise document that outlines the main ideas, object­ives, and potential outcomes of a proposed research project or initiative (Hulley, S. B., Cummings, S. R., Browner, W. S., Grady, D. G., & Newman, T. B., 2013).
Position Paper
type of argument writing that focuses on a stance on an issue and shows how this chosen stance relates to other positions concerning the issue (Writi­ng@CSU, n.d.).
Critique Paper
evaluating and analyzing a specific piece of work. It provides a critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the work being reviewed, offering insights and sugges­tions for improv­ement
examples of academic text are not limited to these


A way in which something is usually done, especially within a particular area or activity.
These are rules and principles of academic writing that are generally accepted among scholars (IGI Global, 2021), and give distin­ctive features to academic texts apart from nonaca­demic texts.


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