8 Steps Toward Better Academic Writing


Writing doesn’t come easy for all of us. While some students are more skilled at it, the others struggle in delivering their thoughts on paper.

However, writing is a skill that can do you well not only in high school and college but later in life too. That’s why it’s so important to build and strengthen this skills – and, lucky for you, these days it’s much easier to do so. All you have to do is to learn and practice, as well as follow various useful tips – just like these 8 ones I’m offering you.

1. Polish the basics.

Usually, the academic writing is all about conducting a research and delivering strong facts. However, no research would be taken seriously if your grammar is very flawed. Sure, some proofreading services could help you improve it a bit but you still should work hard to improve it.

Also, read: Full Guide on How to Become a Great Content Writer

Even if you think that your grammar is already strong enough, polishing the basics definitely won’t harm you.

2. Start early.

Putting your writing away until the last moment is the worst thing you can do to it. Sadly, too many students do so, and some even claim they work better under these circumstances.

Unfortunately, they don’t. When you don’t have much time left, it is harder to conduct a decent research and to deliver your thoughts right. Moreover, writing when the deadline is near most likely means that you won’t have time to proofread and polish your paper, which will also affect its quality in not a good way.

3. Plan everything.

In order to avoid writing in a hurry, you have to plan the whole writing process. It might look like a completely foreign concept to many students, but that’s the best way to deliver a strong paper without stressing yourself and suffering from sleep deprivation.

Try planning everything, starting from research (making a list of books you might need, planning the dates you’re going to visit the library) and ending with time for writing. For example, if you start writing 500 words per day, you might finish your paper much sooner than you expected and will have enough time to proofread it. But what’s even more important is that you’ll hardly even get tired in the process.

4. Write an outline.

An outline is a perfect tool for structuring both your paper and your thoughts. It will help you remember everything that you would like to mention as well as ensure that your paper will be properly structured. Don’t miss this part of the process.

Also, read: 6 Tools for students for better writing and Learning

5. Understand the words you use.

Some students try using words that sound more formal and serious, wanting to impress the professors. However, it’s hard to maintain the balance here: in some cases, a paper written like that might look too complex.

Moreover, if you are going to use words that you don’t use often, make sure that you know the exact meaning of them. Sometimes students do misuse words – and that could ruin all the impression they were trying so hard to create.

6. Avoid Wikipedia.

Yes, Wikipedia is a convenient source – you can find almost everything there and the information there is very detailed and simply written. However, almost every student uses Wikipedia and if it’s one of your main sources of information, your paper simply won’t look serious enough.

It’s okay to credit Wiki for some simple things or things that you couldn’t find elsewhere, but avoid crediting it on a regular basis and aim for other sources instead.

7. Accept the fact that first few drafts would probably be bad.

It’s hard to write a good paper quickly – and that’s another reason to start writing it as early as possible. However, even while knowing that some students do get too frustrated when they realized their drafts are poor.

Don’t worry and don’t get discouraged. A strong academic paper means a well-polished one, so keep trying to make it better as long as you have time.

8. Always proofread and polish.

After you finished the final draft, you can start proofreading it. It’s obvious why proofreading is so important – it makes your paper not only sound good but look good too. However, don’t settle with proofreading only before you submit your writing.

Checking the content of your writing is just as important. Make sure that you support all your arguments with facts, that the formatting is right, that the conclusion is strong. Put the paper away for some time if possible and then resume your editing.

Academic writing is not only about writing styles and deep research – it is also about paying attention to the details and learning how to present your thoughts on paper in the best way. Hopefully, these tips will help you strengthen your skills and make the most out of your writing.

Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students.

Richard Nolan

Richard Nolan is a writer and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of writing, blogging, entrepreneurship, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers and students.