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Friday, 29 January 2016

The Characteristics of Academic Writing

In general it may be said that the academic writing as practiced in the English language happens to be linear. This means that a single piece of academic writing has a central theme or point and all of the parts contribute towards building up the main argument presented without repetitions and digressions. The aim is to inform and not simply to entertain or serve as a recreation. A standard formal form is followed. Academic writing is by and large characterized by 8 main features and the style of writing is accurate and precise. The characteristics happen to be:

  • Complexity

Writing is usually more of a complex nature than mere speaking. Writing makes use of longer words, the lexicon is denser and the vocabulary also is more varied. It makes use of more phrases based on nouns rather than those based on verbs. The written manifestation of language is grammatically more complex and makes more use of passives and subordinate clauses.

  • Formality

Academic writing is more or less formal. This usually translates to avoiding colloquial expressions and words.

  • Precision

In case of academic writing precise figures and facts are provided.

  • Objectivity

The written manifestation of English generally tends to be more objective and less personal. So there is a lesser amount of reference to the writer themselves. This basically translates to an emphasis on the information given and the arguments made rather than your personal details. This in turn leads to increased use of adjectives and nouns rather than adverbs and verbs.

  • Explicitness

Academic writing explicitly states the in-text relationships. Further there is the additional responsibility on the shoulders of the writer to clearly state the related parts of text. These connections are forged through the use of diverse signaling words.

  • Accuracy

Academic writing makes use of accurate vocabulary. The meanings of subject words are narrow. There is a marked difference in terms of linguistics between phonemics and phonetics. However General English usually does not differentiate between the two.

  • Hedging

In all of the academic writing penned down by you, it is required of you to make to determine a specific stance on a particular issue or topic or subject or the strengths of the claims that have been made by you. There are diverse ways to accomplish this. In this context there is a common technique prevalent in academic writing referred to as Hedge by linguists.

  • Responsibility

Finally in case of academic writing it is your, the writer’s responsibility to provide justification and evidence for any of the claims made by you. You also remain responsible for making demonstrations of understanding of source texts used by you.

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