Basics of Academic Writing: Guide for Beginners

Writing an academic paper might seem frightening to some students because it demands a certain level of knowledge, preparation, time, and creativity. After all, you do want to impress your teachers, students, and other readers by proving expertise in a given field. But how can you achieve the projected level of writing prowess and proficiency?

There is no only one solution to the problem because academic writing requires a fair share of research, planning, scheduling, and inspiration. Besides that, there are so many different forms and each comes with a highly specific set of rules and features. However, some aspects of writing a superior college paper remain the same regardless of the format. In this post, we will show you the basics of academic writing that even beginner-level authors can follow and execute successfully.

Related: Developing Methodology, Tips for Writing Thesis

Types of Academic Writing

Before we delve deeper into the subject, we need to emphasize that academic writing comes in many different styles and formats. It is important to know the right format for your course because it is going to influence the way you approach the work.

Generally speaking, we recognize the following types of academic documents:

  1. Argument papers, research papers, expository papers
  2. Exam essays and lab reports
  3. Book reports and literature reviews
  4. Grant proposals
  5. Dissertations and thesis

The list of options is long and versatile, so we recommend you to explore each format before taking any action writing-wise.

Academic Writing

Related: What is Course Work, Guidelines for Writing Good Coursework

6 Rules of Academic Writing

We’ve come to the main part of our post, but we decided to divide it into six chapters to make it easier for you to digest and remember the most relevant information. Let’s see how to approach your academic writing projects in a step-by-step manner.

  1. Obey technical requirements: The first advice on our list is fairly simple – you need to obey the rules and follow the guidelines as requested by your mentor, teacher, or institution. Every college has a predetermined list of instructions that you must embrace and write accordingly. These rules cover a wide range of technical elements such as fonts, word counts, alignment, and so on. Following these rules, you avoid getting penalized for amateurish blunders.
  2. Mind the structure of your paper: The second tip can also be considered technical, but it is so important that we have to dedicate a whole chapter to it. Namely, a typical academic paper should use the standard three-part structure:
    1. Introduction: The first segment of your paper is all about presenting the subject and telling readers what to expect from it. You should use it to explain the research question and your main statement.
    2. Body: This is where you do your best to elaborate on a subject, give an overview of the main theories, and present the evidence to confirm your thesis.
    3. Conclusion: The end part serves as a brief summary of your findings and you should use it to remind the audience of all the major conclusions of your paper.
  3. Keep the audience in mind while writing: One thing you need to remember is that you don’t write for yourself. On the contrary, you write for the audience and so you have to write according to their preferences. This is particularly important in academic writing because you are addressing highly educated peers and professors who know a lot about your subject. How can you write for the audience? The goal is to use the language that you know will make the readers satisfied. If you are writing an IT-related paper, don’t forget to use the corresponding vocabulary because it is the only natural thing to do. However, we do recommend you to simplify the language whenever possible. If it doesn’t hurt the authority of your paper, it is always better to make things easier for the readers.
  4. Keep it direct: This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one. Academic papers come with a word count, so you better keep it as direct and concise as possible. That way, you won’t get distracted by fancy vocabulary and you won’t forget to include any of your major statements. Keep in mind that academic writing is not about plot twists and unusual stories. The simpler it is, the better it looks like in the eyes of a typical reader.
  5. Proofread and edit: One of the quintessential rules of academic writing is to proofread and edit every document before submitting it. This is extremely important because any grammar or spelling mistake, however big or small, may ruin hours and days of hard work. We always encourage students to proofread documents manually and also to use at least one editing tool. Here are some of the proofreading platforms and services you can find online:
    1. College paper writing service is a team of professional authors who can check your papers to find mistakes and suggest interesting corrections style-wise.
    2. Grammarly is a proofreading plugin that automates the process and gets the job done within seconds.
    3. Hemingway App can proofread documents and asses the overall readability of your college paper.
  6. Add references properly: The last rule of academic writing is to add references whenever you rely on someone else’s thoughts and ideas. You must never forget to add citations and quote other authors because you will get accused of plagiarism. Besides that, adding references is always a good idea because it makes your work seem better and more complete.


Academic writing is a challenging and time-consuming task that forces students to stay focused and invest a lot of work. You can make so many mistakes along the way, but the writing process gets easier when you follow the fundamentals of professional writing. In this article, we showed you the basics of academic writing that even beginner-level authors could follow and execute successfully. Make sure to remember our tips and leave a comment if you need any additional information – we will be there to answer you!