Academic Writing


Academic writing is associated with undergraduate or graduate students at the College or University level study. You can start this type of writing after understanding the main requirements of the topic assigned from your department. After doing some necessary research work and reading using your University library or from online resources, you can plan and develop different drafts of writing. After proof-reading and editing, you then come to the stage of developing a final draft. Students must narrow down their assigned topic and they should write their topic as a question, the selected topic should be concrete enough to be researched. The topic you have selected must be according to your interests, in accordance with the college/university standard and should justify the word count. In Academic writing, your writing must be based on thinking (brainstorming) and you must do in depth research work for your writing with proper planning, setting up and following your schedule and recording all the necessary resources. In some cases, students must be required to show a thesis statement with main idea of the paper, purpose of the paper, answer to the research questions raised in the research paper and complete clarity of the findings (Anne Whitaker, 2009, pp. 4-7).

Basic Guidelines in Academic Writing

Academic writing always starts with secondary research and students must read various range of articles, books and journals in order to grasp the general theme of the research. Mostly students read secondary sources but the course work may also require analysis of from primary sources with in-depth study of your assigned topic or issue.

Primary Data Sources

These sources generally include investigations, reports of governmental agencies, annual reports of different organizations, minutes of meeting, articles written in journals, collection of data through interviews and surveys and some well-known publication related to your topic. Primary data source included all the sources of first-hand information that it obtained through the source and is not published on any other source.

Secondary Data Sources

These sources are mostly studied by students to get all the necessary knowledge about their assigned topic in different disciplines. They are based on original works by other writers, articles, journals and summary of primary materials. Tertiary sources also counted as secondary sources and they are based on books on related topics, leaflets and the brochures.

Collaborative Writing

In Academic writing, collaborative writing is much more important task assigned to students at postgraduate level. To meet these criteria, you must have additional skills and judgment and you must have research skills and judgements for debating to underpin your research findings in a well precise report manner (Dr. A. Murphy, 2009, pp. 5-8).


After gathering primary and secondary sources, students must find out appropriate literature from written articles and other sources available. After making proper notes and recording excerpts, students must adopt critical reading approach. In postgraduate studies, vast range of studies must be conducted by taking necessary knowledge from the written materials, written materials as proposition or arguments making purposes, written materials as emotionally subversive and as discourse. Then you must recognize your own voice on the said topic as the students are often asked to make their own views on different issues and you must present your value based understanding.

Academic writing is required to access the skills and learning of the students in their respective disciplines that’s why they are asked to find out a topic and start writing after conducting initial research through various sources. Graduate level writing is based on a clear objective to collect all the necessary information, analyzing it and then creating and developing original concepts and conclusion after conducted a comprehensive research. In assessing a task it is examined how your skills have improved, what relevant resources of said task you have used and what are the criteria adopted for giving marks after assessing your academic writing (UTS Library, 2013, p. 3).


  1. Dr. A. Murphy. DIT 2009. ‘General Guide for Academic Writing and Presentation of Written Assignments’.
  2. UTS Library. 2013. ‘Academic Writing Guide’, University of Technology Sydney.
  3. Anne Whitaker. 2009. ‘Academic Writing Guide 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Academic Papers’, City University of Seattle, Bratislava, Slovakia.