Online Writing Lab

Academic Writing

The term academic writing is often used to refer to formal writing assignments that are completed for a particular course or academic field of study.  As a college student, anytime you write an essay for a particular class, you are engaging in academic writing.

Like other forms of writing, academic writing follows its own rules and guidelines.  For example, academic writing is generally more formal and structured than other forms of writing.  Whereas the goal of other types of writing is often to simply communicate information, the goal of academic writing is greater than this; the goal of most academic writing is to make an intelligent argument for or against something and to sell yourself, as the writer, in addition to your ideas.  In order to accomplish this successfully, a writer must understand proper format, grammar, punctuation, citation, and the techniques that can be used to bring it all together.  

Whereas small mistakes in areas such grammar may be overlooked in other forms of writing, these types of errors become more problematic in academic writing.  As a college writer, it is important to slow down the writing process and make sure that all sentences and paragraphs are clear, well developed, and grammatically correct.   It is also important to devote significant time to the revision process in order to craft a successful essay.