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Introduction

To Academic
Writing
Effective Academic Writing
Audience and Tone
Adapted from: Harris B Leonhard, Discoveries in Academic
Writing, Thomson Heinle Publishers, 2002

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the lesson, students should be
able to:
define

academic writing
identify the differences between personal
and academic writing
identify the characteristics of effective
academic writing
apply appropriate tone for related audience

Academic Writing

What is academic writing?


Personal writing versus
academic writing
Effective academic writing
Organization
Audience and tone

What is Academic Writing?


A

generic term for writing at tertiary


level (college and university)
Writing emphasizing formal structure
and organization
It differs from informal letters to
friends and family and creative,
descriptive writing for stories

What is Academic Writing?


In

academic writing, the words,


grammar and way of organizing your
ideas differ from other types of writing.

Certain

elements e.g. format, sentence


structure and organization are essential
in academic writing.

Academic Writing vs. Personal


Writing

Academic
X

abbreviations
Incidentally,
X slang
superior
X
contractions
does not,
has not

Personal
abbreviations
BTW

slang
top notch

contractions
doesnt,

hasnt

Personal Writing vs Academic


Writing
Features of Personal Writing:
1. Purpose: communication with people close to you
about any
subject
2. Your knowledge of topic: subjective, depending on
the purpose
3. Audience: personal acquaintance with varying
degrees of knowledge on the topic.
4. Criteria for evaluation: informal, simple sentences.
5. Statistical and graphic support: usually none.

Academic Writing vs. Personal


Writing
Features of Academic Writing:
1. Purpose: demonstration of knowledge on a
topic, to justify a high grade
2. Your knowledge of topic: less than the
evaluator
3. Audience: person who requests the assignment
i.e. lecturer, who will read it thoroughly
4. Criteria for evaluation: organization, depth,
logic, clarity, unity and grammar
5. Statistical and graphic support: visual aids
and tables to explain and summarize

Effective Academic Writing


Three main
characteristics:
convincing

content
clear organization
effective use of the language

Effectiveness 1: Convincing
content
Informative

and thought-provoking

- supported by specific, logical details; examples; facts;


statistics and case studies
The

writer must have a clear purpose


and strong control over the content
-

message is clear, logical and direct

Relevant

support

- relating to the thesis without digression

Effectiveness 1: Convincing
content
The content shows depth of thought
i.e. demonstrating elements of critical
thinking:

analysis of information

interpretation of facts

making judgments

drawing conclusions

summarizing

defending opinions

Effectiveness 2: Clear
organisation
Most academic writing in English is linear
Preliminaries / Introduction
Main text / Body
End matter / Conclusion

every part contributes to the

main argument without


digression or repetition

There should be a clear argument and points to follow which


reflect the writers thoughts.

Effectiveness 2: Clear
organisation
Deductive
approach
1

Generalisation stated
first and followed by
supporting

details and facts

Inductive approach

Supporting details
stated first, followed
by

generalisation

Effectiveness 2: Clear
organisation
Within the main text the organization on the
rhetorical level may be:
Argumentation
Cause and effect
Classification
Comparison

Description
Definition
Narration
Process

Effectiveness 3: Appropriate
use of language

Clarity
Subject-verb agreement; spelling ; punctuation

Style
Use complex, compound- complex sentences
and avoid too many simple sentences
Substitute simple conjunctions e.g. In addition,
moreover instead of and; However instead of
but
Use a wider vocabulary range

Effective Academic Writing


Always consider :
1. Audience
2. Purpose
3. Tone

Effective Academic Writing Audience


Who is going to read your work?
Consider the readers age, status, profession,
interest,
Cultural /racial background, feelings /attitudes,

The correct level of formality helps the writer


to connect with the audience e.g. Informal
language for friends, formal for lecturers

Effective Academic Writing Purpose


The reason for writing is also
an important consideration.
If it is to fulfill and academic
assignment, then the correct
level of formality is required.

Effective Academic Writing Tone


This is an expression of attitude in your
writing:

Objective
Persuasive
Enthusiastic
Serious

Effective Academic Writing Tone


Objective

: used in a formal report to


present data clearly, precisely, impartially
supported by relevant evidence.

Example:
This experiment was performed and the results
did not support the initial hypothesis.

Effective Academic Writing Tone


Persuasive

: used in formal proposal for


thesis or final year project

Example:
The purpose of this study is to discover a
more efficient way to produce
hydrocarbons. The financial support for
this study will benefit many users.

Effective Academic Writing Tone

Enthusiastic : supportive of a particular


subject requiring approval from others

Example:
The discovery of medicinal properties in
this bacteria will eradicate Alzheimers
Disease. This is a very important and
exciting discovery in the world of medicine.

Effective Academic Writing Tone


Serious

: to convey the severity of an event

Example:
Our study has shown that if we do not
recycle, natural resources will be depleted
in the 21st Century and Earth will be
barren. This will cause economic and
environmental disasters.

THE END