Saint Mary's University Writing Centre

Halifax, NS

4 Practical Tips for Writing with an Academic Voice

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Kaplan University

Patricia Drown, Kaplan University Faculty, Social And Behavioral Sciences

© 2014 Clipart.com © 2014 Clipart.com

Nothing can put fear in to the heart faster than the prospect of academic writing. Our mind immediately fills with pictures of quill pens, dusty libraries, and some robed and bespectacled scholar bent over parchment spilling out polysyllabic words that will ring down through the ages. Relax. Academic writing is far less complex than it sounds.

I will leave it to others to explain the nuances of in-text citations, formatting, and references. What we want to think about first is voice. The tone of your paper is what makes it academic just as assuredly as the format–perhaps more so.

We have become a world of casual writers. Online students commonly use texts, emails, and Twitter to connect with peers and faculty, which can take academic writing from the realm of formal communication to something akin to chatting…

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