The style of Academic Writing

The style of academic writing? What is it exactly? Many students are not familiar with this concept. This article, drawn from a tutorial by RMIT University, provides you with tips how to optimize your academic writing style.

6 tips for improving your academic style

  1. Be concise and specific
    Do not dodge your viewpoint or conclusion by using long and irrelevant sentences. Quality is more important than quantity. Be specific and concise such that your reader is only provided with the necessary information.

  2. Be tentative
    Do not immediately state your findings to be true. Most theories are open to some modification. Use words or phrases as: ‘suggests that’ and ‘there is a possibility that’.

  3. Use impersonal language
    Often you have to make judgements and include your own views. However, in most subject areas you are required to avoid the pronoun ‘I’.

  4. Use formal language
    A university assignment requires a more formal type of language. Avoid slang and use full forms in stead of abbreviations.

  5. Use strong reporting words
    Give extra significance by using more precise reporting words like ‘concedes’ and ‘says’.

  6. Use your own voice
    Do not overuse quotes from different sources. This might undermine the strength of your own voice.

For more tips on the style of academic writing or academic vocabulary go to the RMIT University website.