When in school, write like the academics do. And we don’t mean the bad kind. No, copying the dense and complex constructions some academics keel towards doesn’t serve anybody. Instead, write the same way good academic documents look. Here are the three areas to focus on:
- Language. Use language that’s objective and formal, writing in the third person and steering clear of self-referential pronouns as much as possible. Jargon and technical language are allowed, provided you’re writing to an audience that will understand it (as is usually the case with academically-published material). Being conversational is acceptable, provided you don’t devolve into being chatty.
- Tone. Adopt an unbiased tone, using reasoning to argue your case, rather than letting your emotions loose. Personal beliefs, views and opinions shouldn’t make their way through any writing intended for the academe. Instead, your words must rely on logic, evidence and sound reasoning.
- Style. Pretentious language may seem like a part of academic writing. It isn’t. Instead, using obscure words, long-winded phrases and unnecessary complexity are hallmarks of poor writing skills, rather than an academic writing staple. Write concisely, tailoring your words to maximize reader understanding, just as you would in any other medium of writing.