What is Academic Writing?
Academic writing is focused, concise, well-structured and supported up by evidence. Although it “has a formal tone and style…it is not complex and does not require the use of long sentences and complicated vocabulary” (University of Leeds, 2020a, para. 2). It should not be unnecessarily complicated or difficult to follow. You should focus carefully on what it is you are trying to say, then write it as clearly and directly as you can, using credible and scholarly sources to support your argument.
Academic writing is generally quite formal, objective and includes technical vocabulary. The formality is achieved by avoiding contractions (isn’t, can’t, won’t), idioms, clichés and conversational language. The objective tone is achieved by writing with an impersonal voice, like in the third person. The technical element of academic writing is achieved by using discipline-specific vocabulary and terminology (University of Leeds, 2020c).
To make your writing more formal:
To keep your writing objective and impersonal:
As well as writing formally with an objective tone, you also need to write technically. To write technically you need to: