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Academic Style. What is academic writing?. Source: Lecture Outline. Features of academic writing Examples of what it is NOT! Academic assignments -1 st year Quiz!. What is academic writing?. Academic writing in English is direct One central theme

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academic style

Academic Style

What is academic writing?


lecture outline
Lecture Outline

Features of academic writing

Examples of what it is NOT!

Academic assignments -1st year



What is academic writing?

  • Academic writing in English is direct
  • One central theme
  • Every part contributing to the main argument
  • Informative
  • Uses standard written form of English


  • complex
  • formal
  • unbiased
  • clear
  • hedged
  • responsible
  • precise language (the right word)
  • accurate language (used correctly)

1. Complex

  • Written texts are complex and dense:
  • Longer, more complex words and phrases
  • Grammar more complex

1. Complex

X The cities in Switzerland had once been peaceful, but they changed when people became violent.

Academic Style:

Violence changed the face of once peaceful Swiss cities.


1. Complex

X Because the technology has improved its less risky than it used to be when you install them at the same time, and it doesn't cost so much either.

Academic Style:

Improvements in technology have reduced the risks and high costs associated with simultaneous installation.


2. Formal

Do not use:

colloquial words and expressions

"stuff", "a lot of", "thing", "sort of"


2. Formal

Do not use:

abbreviated forms

"can't", "doesn't", "shouldn't"


2. Formal

Do not use:

two word verbs (phrasal verbs):

"put off", "bring up“, “add up to”, “come across”


2. Formal

Do not use:

sub-headings, numbering and bullet-points in formal essays


2. Formal

Do not ask questions in formal academic essays

“Why is this happening?” X


3. Precision

When you use information, dates or figures.

Do not use “a lot of people”, “about….”

Use “50 million people”, “approximately…”


4. Objective

In general, avoid words like "I", "me", "myself“

Don't write: "In my opinion, this a very interesting study.“

Write: "This is a very interesting study."


5. Explicit (clear)

Make it clear to your reader how various parts of the text are related.

These connections can be made clear by the use of different signaling words.

…this outflow was realized. Partly this was because the…

…control of the land. Similarly, Marx was interested…

….between orders and bishops. For example, in the …


5. Explicit

Acknowledgment of the source of the ideas:

…McGreil(1977)has shown that though Dubliners ….


6. Accuracy

Accurate vocabulary. Choose the correct word.

meeting assembly gathering conference

money revenue currency capital funds


7. Hedging

Cautious language, often called "hedging" or "vague language“ shows the writer’s stance.

It may be said that the commitment…

…symptoms seem to be…

It could be the case that…

It is important to develop…


8. Responsibility

  • Demonstrate understanding of the source text.
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarising
  • Acknowledging the source (citations, references)

Wikipedia X

The 2007–2012 global financial crisis, also known as the Global Financial Crisis and 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It resulted in the threat of total collapse from large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market also suffered, resulting in evictions, foreclosures and prolonged unemployment.


Global Financial Crisis by Anup Shah

The global financial crisis, brewing for a while, really started to show its effects in the middle of 2007 and into 2008. Around the world stock markets have fallen, large financial institutions have collapsed or been bought out, and governments in even the wealthiest nations have had to come up with rescue packages to bail out their financial systems.


Global Mobility Unaffected by Financial Crisis, as Remittances Remained Resilient

Press Release No:2012/DEC/506

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2012 – The global financial crisis of 2008/09 has not sent migrant workers streaming back home, despite worsening employment prospects and anti-immigration rhetoric in some destination countries, says a new book on migration and remittances, published by the World Bank.


Blogs X

The euro zone crisis

The ECB and OMT: OTT, OMG or WTF?

Sep 7th 2012, 9:01 by Buttonwood

Everyone knows that the Germans are the paymasters of Europe, and yet the Bundesbank opposed the programme. How credible can the ECB be in the long run if it is consistently opposed by the Bundesbank, the bank it was set up to replicate?

what is academic writing
What is Academic Writing?

  • News stories
  • Poetry
  • Magazine articles
  • Novels
  • University texts
  • Typical high-school English texts
  • Wikipedia


academic sources
Academic Sources?


Always check WHO wrote it and WHY

Is it reliable? Is the writer qualified?

  • Do not use clichés or idioms
    • Every coin has two sides…
    • What’s more…
    • As we all know…
    • Nowadays…

Academic Language…

…does not use idioms (figurative language):

Every coin has two sides…. X

There are two sides to every coin…. X

Get out of hand… X

Go with the flow… X


Academic Language…

…is very precise:

As everybody knows…. X

People always say…. X


It does not contain any ‘emotive’ or personal opinion words. (horrible, terrible, nasty, lovely).


Students’ Assignments

  • A logical argument
  • A clear structure
  • Show independent thinking
  • A formal style
  • Logic and reason (be analytical)
  • Supporting evidence
  • Reference list and citations


students assignments
Students’ Assignments
  • There are many approaches to academic writing. 
  • Reports, for example, should be presented in a very different manner to essays. 
  • Whenever you have to write for university, you should always find out the precise details from the lecturer or tutor or the unit.