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The challenge is to convince the reader of the validity of your opinion through a well-documented, coherent, and logically structured piece of writing.
However, most college-level research papers require careful attention to the following stylistic elements: I.
The Big Picture Unlike fiction or journalistic writing, the overall structure of academic writing is formal and logical.
Note that a problem statement without the research questions does not qualify as academic writing because simply identifying the research problem does not establish for the reader how you will contribute to solving the problem, what aspects you believe are most critical, or suggest a method for gathering data to better understand the problem. Complexity and Higher-Order Thinking Academic writing addresses complex issues that require higher-order thinking skills applied to understanding the research problem [e.g., critical, reflective, logical, and creative thinking as opposed to, for example, descriptive or prescriptive thinking].
Higher-order thinking skills include cognitive processes that are used to comprehend, solve problems, and express concepts or that describe abstract ideas that cannot be easily acted out, pointed to, or shown with images.
In academic writing, the author is expected to investigate the research problem from an authoritative point of view.
You should, therefore, state the strengths of your arguments confidently, using language that is neutral, not confrontational or dismissive. Diction Diction refers to the choice of words you use.Equally important, the scholarly convention of citing sources allow readers to identify the resources you used in writing your paper so they can independently verify and assess the quality of findings and conclusions based on your review of the literature.Examples of other academic conventions to follow include the appropriate use of headings and subheadings, properly spelling out acronyms when first used in the text, avoiding slang or colloquial language, avoiding emotive language or unsupported declarative statements, avoiding contractions, and using first person and second person pronouns only when necessary. Evidence-Based Reasoning Assignments often ask you to express your own point of view about the research problem.Awareness of the words you use is important because words that have almost the same denotation [dictionary definition] can have very different connotations [implied meanings].This is particularly true in academic writing because words and terminology can evolve a nuanced meaning that describes a particular idea, concept, or phenomenon derived from the epistemological culture of that discipline [e.g., the concept of rational choice in political science].Therefore, it is important that you use unambiguous language.Well-structured paragraphs and clear topic sentences enable a reader to follow your line of thinking without difficulty.Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and their specific areas of expertise.Characteristics of academic writing include a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a clear focus on the research problem under investigation, and precise word choice.It should be an objective stance presented as a logical argument.The quality of your evidence will determine the strength of your argument.