Academic Writing

Fotograf Erik Cronberg

Academic Writing: Video Tutorials

In these video tutorials, created by Academic Writing Instructor Anna Borgström, receive hands-on tips on how to improve the structure and cohesion of your texts.

Academic Style

When writing an academic text, it is essential to adhere to academic conventions regarding structure, style and language. Your ability to do this will determine how your text is received. Imagine the following situation: you are out for a walk when you see one of your more conservative lecturers coming towards you. As the lecturer walks past, you exclaim, "hey, teach, what's up?" This casual greeting, while acceptable in one context, may be unacceptable in another. Your lecturer likely thought much more about how you greeted them than on what you said.

The same is true for academic writing. If you do not adhere to the conventions of academic writing, the reader will focus more on how you have written (form) than on what you have written (content). Adhering to convention, however, allows the reader to focus on content rather than form. It allows you to effectively communicate your research and ideas to your audience.

Writing Clearly

One of the most important conventions of academic writing is clarity. The stylistic features that create clarity are:

  • Structure
  • Objectivity
  • Precision
  • Concentration

The Structure of Academic Texts

Of the stylistic features that help you achieve clarity in your text, structure is perhaps the most important. The structure of your text should make it easy for the reader to find the content they are looking for and understand it. To achieve this, you have to work on several levels, from how the text works as a whole to how sentences are constructed and connected.

Additional Stylistic Features

Objectivity means that you do not include your own opinions in the text. Your task as a writer is to present information objectively; information the reader can then assess. You must reference anything that is not your own and avoid emotive language. Thereby you allow the reader to focus on the content of your text, not on you as a writer. See examples of how you can make your text more objective.

Precision is achieved, to a certain extent, by using the precise terms which describe different phenomena, such as words that are specific to the field. Learn more about achieving precision in your text.

Concentration means that you give the reader the relevant information as concisely as possible. See examples of how you can make your text more concentrated.

The Writing Process

A text rarely develops in a linear manner. Instead, writing is a process that involves several stages, from gathering sources to drafting, to revising your draft. You may find yourself switching between the different stages, or even pursuing them in a different order. Do what works best for you!

Learn more about what to bear in mind during the different stages of the writing process.

Using Sources

A central aspect of writing academic texts is using sources. Using sources correctly shows your reader that you know your field and are able to build on previous research. You must always acknowledge any material that is not your own by providing a source.

External Resources

Here we have collected a a list of external resources you might find helpful as you write.

Make an Appointment

Academic Writing Support can help you improve your academic writing skills. Make an appointment and receive individualised help with your text, in person or online.

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