Skip to content Skip to footer

Academic Writing Style: Definition, Types, and Importance

The way a person writes determines for which audience they create. If you write love stories, you’ll use a creative style that includes metaphors, descriptive language, and quite an emotional tone.

But if you’re a student, the same won’t work for you even if you do your best. A learning environment requires using a different writing style altogether, an academic one.

It may sound unusual, but many students face issues with their first assignments and essays because the style in which they write isn’t academic.

If you still feel as if writing in this new way is alien to you, read this small review, and it’ll guide you through the most important points to help you become more comfortable with your papers. 

Definition of an Academic Writing Style

So, what is this thing? Academic writing is a type of writing that is used in formal and professional settings like universities, colleges, research institutions, conferences, and similar places that require formal writing and communication.

This type of writing has its own features. Academic writing requires clear, non-metaphoric words that allow us to present the information clearly. It also has a well-organized order.

Unlike the creative pieces, academic writing has an accurate structure that has been long made a custom and requirement to use. It has its disadvantages, but such structures help students and professors to simplify their communication. 

Another crucial aspect is that academic style is often focused on one clearly defined idea. For example, if a writer has to explain some type of social issue, they choose one or a few ones that are connected and write only about them.

But that’s not the only thing that is different. In formal language, you won’t see shortened words or informal abbreviations: for example, you will never use “can’t” instead of “can not” or “isn’t” instead of “is not.” While it can seem redundant, it is an essential feature of academic style.

The words used are also much more complicated; they are longer and more sophisticated: college is different from school in how writers choose their words.

You are also not allowed to use phrasal verbs or proverbs as it would seem quite strange, wouldn’t it? Although the list can go on, this is the basics of academic writing. 

Types of Academic Writing

When you have to write a paper, consider the type of academic writing you need to use. That isn’t nearly as complicated as you may think. Although there are different attachment styles, you will quickly understand their differences.

The four main kinds of academic writing are descriptive, persuasive, analytical, and critical.

If you feel like coping with all these academic writing styles is too much and you need some assistance, you may benefit from reaching out for help to professional companies such as Custom Writings that offer academic writing services online.

If you choose to buy anything from a company like this and become its customer, you’ll get a chance to understand all the styles better. 

  • Descriptive style. It is one of the most common ones, and it requires a person to describe an event, a specific phenomenon, or a theory. In more creative pieces, it requires a person to describe something more vividly, but such assignment types are rare in formal settings. Usually, this writing style is easy to master: you just explain a specific issue from scratch. 
  • Persuasive style. This one is more complicated. It requires a person to build an argument that would help to persuade the audience of their idea. Let’s imagine that you’re an expert in the new toys for animals, and you have to persuade the owners that the new toys are more useful for them. To do so, you would draft a persuasive text. Such works usually require a lot of additional research to help you create your own argumentation and show your logical (and sometimes ethical) appeals to the readers. 
  • Analytical style. It requires writers to write an essay that studies different (often two) ideas and examines whether they are logical and reasonable. In analytical writing, the written text offers a statement on the similarities and differences of the concepts. It can be used if a person wants to compare two companies and explain how they worked with different groups. It can also be used to show a more in-depth analysis with more objectivity and search for facts, which makes it more complicated than the descriptive style. 
  • Critical style. It can be confusing, but this style and the previous one are quite unlike. The best way to put it is to associate this style with harder and longer work, like coursework or even final papers. You may need to describe a theory or someone else’s research paper and critically assess it, or you have to compare many opinions on the topic that interests you. 

The Importance of Academic Writing Style

For some, it may feel as if there’s zero need in writing like an old school professor from the past decade, but there’s actually a great reason to use academic writing.

For many, it truly represents the quality of work: try to imagine a text on a socially important issue told like this, “Yeah, and that’s why we should kinda do sth to stop global warming, thanks for your attention.” Doesn’t sound like serious business, right?

Even if it is a little outdated, you won’t find many places where a scientific company will accept your work, regardless of how great and original it is, if you don’t write it according to their conventions. 

Don’t lose your faith, though: even if you use this writing style, you still maintain your unique and personalized voice, though you may not find it first.

Even more, such a writing style actually creates a sense of belonging and helps to outline a group and its features. People write reviews and share comments on the recent publications using this language because it also helps them be a part of the group.

If you dream to sound official and persuasive, you’ll have to develop your academic writing style. 

How to Improve Your Academic Voice

It can require some time and this suggestion is by no means an extensive one, but if you feel that you sound too informal, some tips here might help you. 

  • Take inspiration from others. It can be hard to imagine how to sound, so check out papers online and on any service that offers cheap or free access to research works. 
  • Use proofreading programs and tools. As a beginner, you may be unaware of some of the words you used inappropriately. So you can utilize services like Grammarly or find a similar website in your own language if you don’t use English as your first tongue. 
  • Ask others to help. Many places in the USA and Canada offer proofreading and support from your professors or advisors. If you feel like you need it, you can always schedule an appointment with people who know how to write formally. 
  • Read aloud. Imagine yourself standing in front of a large audience of very educated and very smart people. Read your written piece aloud and think whether these people would like it.

It Isn’t As Hard As It May Seem

Academic writing can make you a top creator, and you’ll have many more options for employment and your research endeavors.

It can be hard at first, but once you’ve learned about the formula, it’ll be easy for you to continue as academic writing has its specificities. It can be unusual to learn at first, but it won’t require any effort after your first mastery.

Don’t be scared, you’ve got it! Just start, practice, and ask for help if you don’t cope with it alone.