Academic writing is exactly what it sounds like, it is when students and academic researchers do formal writing for educational institutions such as universities as well as independently such as writing research papers under their name. 

There are different characteristics of academic writing. You might find excellent academic writing examples online but you must keep in mind that there are certain differences between any regular writing and academic writing.

These differences can only be understood well when we find out the characteristics of academic writing. 

Let us find out some of the most important characteristics of academic writing that will help you understand the definition of academic writing even better. 




No matter if you are writing a research paper or an essay or any other type of paper for your academic writing assignments, there is one thing that has to be absolutely true for all. 

It is that academic writing should be written in a very formal as well as impartial way without any humour so that it fulfils the one and only purpose it is created for. 

And that is to prove a point. This is not the kind of paper where you are writing a speech and you need to have a lot of emotion but this is a paper that needs to have a lot of proof. 

This is a paper where you need to be concise and you need to prove the point of your research and also fulfil the goal of your research in the clearest and most balanced way possible.


One of the other most important things you must understand about all types of academic writing is that they have to follow a rigid structure that is prevalent in the research community. 

This is not an exercise in creative writing and this is not where you will write your novel where you can follow any structure possible and there have to be a few important things that you must follow. 

The academic paper should have a clear introduction as well as a clear conclusion and the chapters must be divided into eligible sections that have clear headings. 

You must also understand that when you move to a new paragraph that automatically means you are moving on to a new idea and you must be spot on with punctuation.


An academic paper does not emerge automatically out of the thin blue sky and it is something that is the culmination of a lot of information and research which you have decided to bring to a single place. 

This means that there are going to be a lot of areas where you need to cite your sources. If you keep throwing in ideas without any source then that will question the credibility of your academic paper.

You must use relevant sources and phrases as well as quotations as pillars of your argument and that will create the backbone for your paper which you will expand further. 


Now that we know what is academic writing, we must also understand what is not considered academic writing and the most important thing you must keep in mind is that this is not personal writing. 

Therefore, you must avoid using ‘you’ at all times. You must also make sure to also avoid using the first-person pronoun ‘I’. It’s a safe bet to use ‘one must’ etc.

You must make sure that your academic paper is not long-winded because the whole purpose of your paper is to clear out topics and not complicate them. 

Sometimes the pressure of exams and word limits might compel the academician to expand something that could have been short but that will ultimately not do any benefit to their paper.

The paper will be regarded as good when it is concise and it will also be a good paper when it will avoid phrasal verbs and replace them with one-word equivalents. 

You must also avoid any emotion because this is not a speech for a political campaign but an academic paper where you always need to sound balanced and non-biased. 

Now that we know what is an academic paper and what is not an academic paper, let us find out the different kinds of academic papers. 



A research paper is a continuation of a topic in detail and it can also be called an academic investigation into certain topics that are taken up by the academician and looked into in detail. 

This is probably the kind of academic paper that the general masses understand as academic text however they are other kinds of academic papers as well. 


The lab report is also a very commonly produced academic paper where the methods and also the aims of an experiment are listed in detail.

That is followed by the results as well as the conclusion of the experiment.


A thesis can be called a detailed research paper that is usually taken up by a research student at the end of the year research project in order to showcase all the learnings that they have acquired from the research.

This is usually something that is paramount for any researcher to get a PhD.


This is one of the shorter kinds of academic papers where the academician presents their argument and their opinion on certain topics. 

An essay can be formal but it can also have emotion and the scholar can express their opinions with more freedom. 


This is also sometimes called a critical analysis or a critical synthesis of an existing piece of literature which can be anything from a novel to a book to anything else and even a piece of art.

The literature review is usually something that comes in handy whenever any new academician has to understand and look at the research of another academician on a particular piece of literature. 


It is self-evident from the name that this is an abbreviated version for the outline of a topic for the future that the researcher wants to delve into.

This is the kind of paper that has a lot of information which includes source references along with short evaluations or descriptions of each of the sources. 

We hope this blog has been helpful to you in order to understand everything about academic writing and also what is considered academic writing and what is not. 

However, if you are someone who simply does not have the time to complete their academic writing then we are here to help you. 

We are GhostWriting India and we are India’s fastest-growing and most popular ghostwriter-for-hire agency. We have one of the finest academic writing divisions with teams of skilled academicians as ghostwriters. 

We would love to complete your research and present you with a complete and concluded research paper on any topic that you want us to write about. We welcome you to check out our website. 


Lily Williams

I am an Author and what makes me the one is my ability of playing with the words.

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