Good academic content is the dream of every student. So, how should they go about writing such text in academia? Academic writing is one of the students’ most challenging aspects of school life. It takes time and requires effort, time management, etc. Today, we’re going to explore a few tips to help students make it easier. So, let’s get started.
5 Useful Tips For Students In Academic Writing
1. Read A Lot
If you’re going to write a lot, you need to analyze good writing as well. As an academic writer, you can analyze other work and see how they do what they do. There are plenty of people in this world who didn’t get any formal training, but they’re good at their jobs.
Simply because they learned by watching and observing. As a writer in any niche or writing style, you can learn much by simply reading. That’s where Google is your best friend. You can simply head to Google Scholar and read a ton of academic content. But when you do, keep these things in mind:
- Analyze the style and structure.
- See how much they focus on the main subject.
- See how a good writer builds interest, whether by anecdotes, segues, etc.
- Analyze the sentence and paragraph lengths.
This way, you will understand the basics of good content. And, if you’re already used to writing academic content, it’ll open up your mind to a few new things.
2. Write For Readability
When you’re writing academic content, you’re tempted to use big words and complicated phrases. That’s not always a bad thing. But you need to bear in mind that the teacher or professor who’ll check it will have to check the work of many others too.
So, they’re not going to appreciate it if the content is difficult to read and comprehend. Sometimes, the simplest way is the best way, and that’s exactly the case with academic content. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use quality vocabulary.
However, you can do a few things to ensure readability, such as:
- Not exceeding 3-4 sentences or lines in a paragraph;
- Keeping a sentence to 15-word max;
- Avoiding jargon or difficult words;
- Leaving as much white space on your paper as possible.
These are some of the golden rules for readability in any content type. As long as you follow these, you can create quality content. This way, you will avoid any issues relating to readability.
Moreover, it’ll make your teacher or professor easier to peruse your content. Hence, allowing them to judge your content a lot more easily.
Although it is easy to understand why difficult words should be avoided, some people may have trouble when it comes to actually doing it. If you happen to be in this category, don’t worry. You can simply write your content however you like, and then paraphrase it for better readability.
There are two main ways in which you can paraphrase content. You can either do it yourself i.e., manually, or you can take the help of a rewording tool. The latter can be better if you’re short on time and you don’t want to take the time to read and then alter the content yourself.
However, when it comes to using a rewording tool, you have to be careful about which one you pick. Not all of them work well and they can have trouble maintaining the context.
3. Use Active Voice
One of the most important writing tips you’ll ever receive is “write in active voice.” Students are taught this from an early age, as this happens to be one of the most important writing factors. Active voice makes content easier to read and understand.
So, what happens when you don’t use active voice? Here’s an example of a passive voice sentence:
“The assignment was checked by the professor.”
An easy way to spot the issue here is that the object (assignment) is coming before the verb (checked) and subject (professor). Now, here’s the same sentence in active voice:
“The professor checked the assignment.”
How exactly is this better? Because it puts the subject (professor) first, then the verb (checked) in the middle, and the object (assignment) at the end. So, here’s a formula to help you remember:
- Subject > Verb > Object – Active Voice
- Object > Verb > Subject – Passive Voice
If you remember this, you will easily remember that you’re meant to write in an active voice. Now, another key thing about the active voice is that it’s easy to understand and flow through. Sentences that put the object before the subject aren’t exactly flowy or smooth.
But, as proven in the two sentences above, an active voice sentence is easier to read and flows like water. Simply because it puts the subject before the object. However, both these voices always put the verb in the middle.
4. Always Check & Eliminate Plagiarism
Plagiarism is one of the most annoying issues in any academic content. It’s problematic for the teacher and dreadful for the student. Now, the thing about plagiarism is that it’s not always intentional either. Sometimes, forgetting to cite a source or accidentally using the same words can cause plagiarism too.
So, the first step to avoid this issue is to check for plagiarism before you submit your content. And that is somewhat simple to do as you only have to run it through a plagiarism checker. However, the problem is when it comes to eliminating it.
Some people can simply remove the plagiarized parts whereas others can put the plagiarized parts in quotes. But, depending on the situation at hand, both of these steps may not be viable. In these sorts of cases, paraphrasing is the solution that can help you out.
If you opt to rephrase online with a tool, you can get your work done quickly. Dedicated tools that are made for this job can synonmize the given content and give it a new look.
But, once again, as we mentioned earlier, you have to be careful about the tool that you use for this purpose. It should have a smart and intelligent working, and it should not spoil the context of the input text.
5. Research More Write More
A simple rule of writing is that the more you understand something, the easier it’ll be to write about it. As a professional writer, you might find it easier to write about something you love—simply because you know so much about it.
The same goes for any topic you’re given in academic content. The more you know about it, the easier it’ll be for you to formulate quality content for it. Hence, you need to research more. Once you do, it’ll be easier for you to write about it as well.
These are some of the tips and golden rules of writing academic content. Following these tips will not only help you formulate quality content for academia but also help you stand out as a quality writer. So, make sure you tend to each aspect mentioned in these five tips.