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Academic Writing

Just as there are differences in the way we use language for speech and for writing, there are also differences in the way we write for different situations; for example, compare the following written texts:

Dear Mark,
My accountant friend thinks that phone company shares are a good buy at the moment so I think I'll move some money into them...

Some financial advisors recommend purchasing communication industry shares.

Obviously, the second way of phrasing the idea is much more appropriate for your university assignment. This unit on Academic Writing will focus on the aspects of language that are significant for writing at university. It will also help you to apply this knowledge to your own writing.

Written language can be seen to vary on a continuum of formality from extremely informal text which is reminiscent of spoken language to highly formal or academic texts. Many factors contribute to the formality or informality of a text; major influences include the degree to which academic words, academic structures and academic conventions are used.

Rollover to see examples boxes.

The use of ACADEMIC WORDS includes factors such as:

The use of ACADEMIC CONVENTIONS includes factors such as:

The use of ACADEMIC STRUCTURES includes factors such as:


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Summary Conventions Structures Words Introduction