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Academic Writing

There are several students and researchers that still find it very difficult to write good academic essays. There have been several debates on what should characterize good academic essay writing. Given the raging controversies, this article would aim to define how to write academic essays and what should be the characteristics of academic writing and how to write an essay generally.

Let’s begin by attempting to define what academic writing is. Academic writing may be defined as an academic paper for which credit will be given to the author. It is a means of clearly expressing thought and ideas, knowledge and information as it relates to discussing and solving an academic problem. It is generally based on analysis, deductive reasoning and its formality is sourced from the authors would must be in the academia.

Academic writing should follow certain grammatical structure, organization and arguments. It has a central theme with each part of the essay supporting the main idea.   Some of the main characteristics of academic writing include organization, accuracy, cohesiveness, appropriateness and references. The main idea of such writing is to inform the readers not just for leisure or entertainment. It seeks to make use of language precisely and accurately. Having known what academic writing means, how then does one learn how to write a good academic essay?

Some of the main features of academic writing are:


Written language has far more complex words and phrases than spoken language. It is also shorter with more complexes in grammar, with more subordinate clauses, more pronominal adjectives and far more passives, more phrases that are noun based and more variation in words than the spoken language.


In writing an academic essay, avoid the following:a. informal words and expressions; “”stuff”, “a lot of”, “thing”, “sort of”,b. abbreviated words: “can’t”, “doesn’t”, “shouldn’t”c. Compound word verbs: “put off”, “bring up”d. sub-headings, numbering and bullet-points in formal essays – but use them in reports.e. asking questions.


In academic writing you have to be very specific when giving information, dates or figures. Do not say “many people” when you can say “20 million people”. Instead of saying “sometime last year” say “on 23rd of June, 2016”.


This characteristic of academic writing means that the main thrust of your essay is on the information you want to pass across. Your readers do not want to know what your thoughts or beliefs are. They are more concerned about what you’ve learned from your research and how it relates to your conclusion.


In academic writing, you have the responsibility to make the various parts of your essay very clear to your readers. Although the reader may have general background knowledge about the topic, it is still your duty to give them detailed and specific information showing how each part connects with the other.


In academic writing, ensure that your vocabulary is very correct. There are some words that may appear similar but with a slightly different meaning. Words like “money”, “cash”, “currency”, “capital” or “funds” should not be confused one for another. Use only words that best convey the meaning of what you have in mind.

Coherence and cohesion

In academic writing, coherence means that your essay should make consistent sense while cohesion means your essay has a proven pattern of integrity. What this particular characteristic of academic writing means is that your essay must both make logical sense and show it is interlinked with each part. Make use of connecting words. Appropriateness The language style must be suitable to the title within an academic context.

In conclusion, knowing how to write a good academic essay begins with knowing and understanding its various characteristics and the role of language discourse in such academic writings. Therefore any student or academic researcher who wants to write good academic essays should take note of the above mentioned tips.