What is Academic Writing and Scientific Text – Features and Genres of Writing

Scientists from English-speaking countries are well aware of what academic writing is, but in our country this discipline is just beginning to develop. It implies the ability to formulate thoughts concisely and clearly when writing scientific papers.

This knowledge is essential for researchers who want to develop in scientific fields, especially at the international level. The academic style is distinguished by a clear structure, clarity of presentation of thoughts, and the absence of errors in the text.

This article will tell you what academic writing is and how to master this writing style.

What is Academic Writing?

Academic writing is a style of presenting scientific papers. It represents the ability to express thoughts in scientific papers in a concise and accessible form. This style is distinguished by:

  • The presence of certain requirements for the structure of the text and its design;
  • The use of a scientific or journalistic style of presentation;
  • The ability to argue and paraphrase;
  • The ability to correctly insert links and draw up a list of references.

Academic writing is characterized by a concentration on the problem being described, and not on the expression of personal opinion. Instead of the first person, it is preferable to use the third, to avoid using colloquial vocabulary, abbreviations, phraseological units. Unlike other styles, here it is allowed to repeat the same words for a better understanding of the material, less often synonyms are used.

The academic style of storytelling is used in higher education institutions to maintain educational and scientific ties between countries. With its help, students, graduate students and more experienced scientists write reports, term papers and develop research activities outside their native state.

The principles of this style of writing are guided by editors of international scientific journals, so it is necessary to master its skills for every scientist who wants to succeed in the world of science and publish scientific works abroad.

Researchers from foreign countries have long been using academic writing. In addition, English-speaking scientists also make a major contribution to its development. In our country, knowledge on the academic style is not so actively disseminated, although scientists from various fields are engaged in solving the problem – philologists, linguists, sociopsychologists, information technology specialists.

Academic Writing Genres

Specialists involved in the development of the academic writing system have identified primary and secondary genres of texts. The first include the following:

  1. A scientific article is the main source of transmission of scientific and technical information, the text contains the results of the scientist’s research, logical reasoning, and substantiation of the data obtained.
  2. A review is a critical assessment of a scientific work by other reputable scientists.
  3. A monograph is a work devoted to a specific topic, which is written by a researcher based on a large number of sources found on scientific topics.
  4. A dissertation is a voluminous scientific work necessary for an applicant to obtain an academic degree of candidate / doctor of sciences.

Among the secondary genres are:

  • An abstract is a text that is similar in meaning to the original source and conveys truthful information, but with the possibility of adding new information.
  • Abstract – a summary of a scientific work, reflecting the essence. It can be in the form of a list of abstracts on a topic or a description of the structure of an article, dissertation.
  • Scientific discussions – finding a solution to a specific problem through discussions, voicing contradictions, critical consideration of different points of view.

Despite the differences in content, volume and other specifics of writing, all genres of academic writing have a common feature – accuracy, clarity and consistency in the presentation of the material.

 Features of Academic Writing in English

The English academic style differs significantly from other styles in that it is considered to be more complex and structured. However, you can master it if you know basic English and follow certain rules. The structure of the narrative must be observed:

  • Introduction – a clear and short disclosure of the topic in order to bring the reader up to date;
  • The main part is a retelling of existing information on the topic under study and the presentation of your own vision of the problem (this can be a literary review, discussion, consideration of an illustrative example);
  • Conclusion – the formulation of conclusions, prospects and forecasts for the further development of the issue under study.

Sometimes researchers include additional sections in their work: content, bibliography, applications, links, words of gratitude.

  • In addition, other requirements must be met:
  • The idea that the author wants to convey to the reader is clearly formulated, and after reading the topic is fully disclosed so that there are no questions left.
  • The main idea of ​​the scientific work is confirmed by facts, arguments.
  • The text is faceless, there are no pronouns “I”, “we”.
  • Suggestions are easy to understand and understand the first time.
  • The work is written in a certain font (most often Times New Roman, size 12, but different educational institutions put forward their own requirements).
  • The rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation is strictly observed. Spatial reflections that are not relevant to the topic are missing.
  • The text is unique, any work is checked for plagiarism, so they write it in their own words, and quotes are drawn up according to the rules with a link to the author.
  • Citations and references to the work of other scientists are only welcome, but they are used appropriately so that the reader understands the purpose for which the quotation or reference is provided. This demonstrates the author’s ability to conduct complex research and extract the essence from other works.

In academic writing, it is imperative to observe the scientific or scientific-journalistic style, any information should be supported by links to research of other authors working in this direction. You cannot use abbreviations without decoding them, common words and jargon, long and illogical sentences.

 7 Top Tips for Beginners

For those who are just learning what academic writing is and how to master its skills, there are some useful guidelines:

  • Take courses in academic writing. You can practice teaching style when writing scientific papers, but it is much more effective and faster to complete training in special courses. You don’t have to go to classes, there are many distance learning programs that you can study on your own at home.
  • Learn to write by observing all the rules of grammar. The ability to correspond in English does not mean knowledge of the academic style, because it is important to follow all grammar rules here.
  • Use the stylistic grammar guide. In addition to standard grammar rules, academic writing involves adherence to style standards. Special guides will help you study them, which describe the rules for setting capital letters, formatting quotes and links, lists of literary sources.
  • Learn by example. Not only regular writing practice, but also reading the scientific works of other scientists will help you quickly master the style of presentation. After reading a few articles, it will be easier to understand what academic writing is.
  • Plan and train. You should start working on the text with preparation. It is necessary to draw up a plan according to which a scientific work will be written, it can be in the form of an outline, a list, a diagram. It’s not superfluous to write a draft and then edit it until an excellent result is achieved. You can ask the supervisor for help to check the work and indicate comments.
  • Formulate the main idea, back it up with facts. The main position is in any scientific work, this is the key idea around which the work is built. The author formulates the statement and proves its correctness in the text.
  • Receive feedback on work. Having written an article, abstract or other scientific work, it is useful to give the material to classmates, colleagues, teachers to read. A fresh look will help you see typos, errors, and other remarks that are invisible to the author.


Every aspiring or established scholar who wants to achieve recognition in the international scientific community should know what academic writing is. This is a special style of presentation that is used in scientific papers and is distinguished by the observance of certain rules for the structure, content, design and other requirements.

It is important to study the academic style for graduate students, teachers and aspiring scientists engaged in science and submitting their work to international journals, and the acquired skill will be useful not only in science, but also in work.

Great importance is attached to the consistency and consistency of the narrative; the presence of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors is unacceptable. When studying English academic writing, regular practice, teaching grammar and stylistic rules is important.


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