English academic writing is linear in nature. By linear we mean it has one central point around which the entire conversation revolves and contributes to the main argument. The core objective of academic writing is to inform and not entertain, unlike fiction. If we need to learn the nuances of academic writing one needs to know eight main features. They are
- Formal tone
1. Complexity: the complexity or written language is far more than oral language. It has longer words more lexical density and richer and diverse vocabulary. More phrasal use of noun words, grammatical intricacies and use of passive tone increases its complexity manifold.
2. Formal tone: the tone of academic writing is relatively more formal so which means colloquial words and expressions should be not included.
3. Objectivity: Written academic language should not be created with personal understanding. It should have an element of objectivity in it focusing more upon the information you give and the argument you present. Do not let it come near to the focus on you. Hence use more nouns and adjectives as compared to verbs.
4. Explicitly: it is the responsibility of the writer to ensure that there is a linkage between the various part of the text and the reader also is able to easily establish that link. Academic writers should use signalling words for this purpose.
5. Hedging: Academic writing requires the writer to make decisions regarding the point you are presenting and your strength should reflect in your argument.
6. Responsibility: responsibility is an integral term that is associated with academic writing. They go hand in hand. As an academic writer, you are also responsible for demonstration of understanding of your sources that you have used in the text.
7. Precision: Whenever you use facts and figures in academic writing, be sure to be precise and talk to the point. Many a times even a slight variation in the figures can completely change the comprehension of the context. Keep that in mind.
8. Accuracy: The use of vocabulary in academic writing has to be done very accurately, especially with words that have narrow specific meaning. There is a clear distinction between phonetics and phonemics in academic writing and writers should be cautious of it so that the correct interpretation of the words does not dilute with the use of improper or inaccurate vocabulary.