Hone Your Academic Writing Skills to Produce a Winning Paper

by | Published on Nov 17, 2017 | Lecture Transcription

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Writing SkillsMany students rely on dissertation support services and academic transcription services to complete their projects in time. However, producing long and effective dissertations and doctoral theses is a challenging task that requires special writing skills. Academic writing courses help students improve their writing skills to achieve success in their university/college assignments. These courses are designed to develop students’ aptitude to express thoughts and ideas, and hone their ability to communicate. Being able to express yourself well effectively is a key requirement for success in education.

Today, a lot of communication happens on social media via laptop computers, advanced mobile devices, Wi-Fi or enhanced 4G wireless networks. Recent reports voice concern over whether texting has affected students’ writing skills. A study from Pew Internet and American Life Project, “Writing, Technology and Teens,” reported that the cell phone text-based abbreviated communications teens use are showing up in more formal writing. The issues that the study identified include students’ inability to spell correctly (due to computer spell checks), worsening grammar and inability to construct a sentence correctly, and incomplete thoughts leading to incomprehensible messages.

A study on academic literacy published in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning aptly summed up the problem: “One of the main problems with these communication methods is that they (students) may rely on the use of abbreviations and informal language. Punctuation, capitalization, spelling, organization and flow may be forgotten in favor of bits and bytes”. The study found that the majority of students do not possess the skills necessary to effectively communicate in a written format that will enable them to become successful upon graduation. This underlines the importance of academic writing courses for students.

Academic writing is unique in many ways. It is very different from personal or creative writing. In creative writing, you don’t have to stick to any specific style considerations. Academic writing, on the other hand, requires adherence to a specific style and certain parameters. You need to write in a structured manner and follow stringent guidelines. Many universities have academic writing courses as part of their curriculum. The basic differences between academic and creative writing are:

  • In academics, contractions are used only convey a point. Overuse of contractions is avoided as it can take away from the integrity of the writing.
  • Academic writing trains students to be analytical. They learn to take complex ideas, break them down, and explain and simplify them.
  • Unlike creative writing, academic writing involves use of technical terminology. However, it’s important to customize the content for your audience as heavy jargon may be lost on the layman.
  • Including proper references in academic writing is crucial to ensure information to support your argument.
  • Academic writing has a serious tone and avoids the use of colloquial expressions and clichés which are common in creative writing.

Another exclusive feature of academic writing is that the style is different for different disciplines. For instance, students studying chemistry have to write in a way that is different from students studying history or business or fine art. Writing for each discipline involves using different techniques of analysis and arguments, varying styles of documentation and citation, and so on. Developing academic writing skills helps students meet the specific expectations of their discipline when creating a dissertation or thesis as well as their institution’s stylistic guidelines.

Writing SkillsTo be successful academic readers and writers across the disciplines, students in higher education need develop skills essential to writing research papers. They need to learn punctuation and grammar, though academic writing is not only about good grammar. They also have to know how to develop paragraphs as well as understand techniques of summary, citation, analysis, persuasion, and information literacy. Being a good academic writer means being able to express your ideas in a natural flow.

Besides basic academic writing courses for graduate and undergraduate students, there are advanced academic writing courses. A recent article in studybreaks.com discussed the benefits and drawbacks of an advanced academic writing course. Though such courses can be grueling, time consuming, frustrating and sometimes confusing, they come with significant benefits:

  • Ideal for people who need to take an in-person writing examination and have to produce an essay in less an hour
  • Prepares you for a “real-world” job that involves writing extensive reports or proposals on a regular basis
  • Enables you to participate in workshops, read other people’s work, understand different writing styles, and get constructive feedback on your own writing

Effective writing is a skill acquired over time, and needs constant practice and support. Outsourcing academic transcription is a practical strategy if you want to devote more time and energy to your writing task. Reliable dissertation transcription companies can provide high-quality transcription of academic interviews, focus group discussions, lectures and seminars in quick turnaround time. Such support can prove invaluable for students seeking to master academic writing skills and produce a winning dissertation or thesis.

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