Skip to text alternative of the following infographic

How to Write Academically

How to write Academically

Writing academically doesn’t mean using complex language or long, complicated sentences. In fact, the key to successful academic writing is being able to explain your ideas clearly, concisely and in an objective way, with support from relevant external sources.

Whether you’re new to writing academically or simply need a refresh, the handy hint below will help you.

Infographic:

How to write Academically

Writing academically doesn’t mean using complex language or long, complicated sentences. In fact, the key to successful academic writing is being able to explain your ideas clearly, concisely and in an objective way, with support from relevant external sources.

Whether you’re new to writing academically or simply need a refresh, the handy hint below will help you.

Plan it out:

Read the essay question carefully and keep it in mind throughout.

Write down all your ideas before planning the structure of you essay, grouping ideas together.

Focus on the transitions between paragraphs to ensure each one leads well to the next.

Make every word count:

Ensure every word is doing a job. Don’t include unnecessary adjectives or phrases for the sake of using them.

Be balance in your discussion of each idea. Try to explain and support each on equally.

Be specific:

Avoid generalizations such as ‘in the past…’, or ‘many people believe…’ Be specific about when and who you are talking about.

Be careful using words like ‘it’, ‘they’, ‘them’ etc. Make sure your reader knows who you are referring to.

Do…

Use the third person. For example, ‘It can be said that…’, rather than ‘I believe that…’

Use passive language rather than active. For example, ‘Research has been carried out…’, not, ‘Scientists have carried out research…’.

Make your case objectively. Unless you are stating facts, use verbs like ‘may’ and ‘could’, and softer adverbs such as ‘apparently’ and ‘arguably’.

Be clear on tenses. Did your subject affect the past – ‘The Wars of the Roses impacted 15th Century England…’ or is it still relevant now? ‘Junge’s assertions support the theory…’.

Do not…

Use contractions, such as ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’. Use ‘do not’ and ‘cannot’ instead.

Include informal language, slang or colloquialisms.

State your arguments too forcefully – remember that your essay will be adding to a wider subject discussion.

Use references as support

Back up your ideas with relevant material from within your subject area.

Use quotations and citations to clearly differentiate your references, in line with the specific referencing system our course uses.

Remember to include a bibliography with a list of your references.

It’s important to remember that help and support is always available throughout our online courses, with lecturers available to guide you, particularly in preparing assignments. To find out more, speak to our Admissions team about our online courses and the support available to help you be successful.

Nottingham Trent University