Academic writing skills need time and effort to hone. But how would you develop your skills to write like a seasoned scientist? As a university professor, I found the following five tips useful in writing articles and long academic papers easy, fast, and professional looking. Read on to find out.
Ten Tips in Developing Academic Writing Skills
1. Use technological aids
The age of information brings with it lots of technological aids useful in writing academic papers. Just minding the underlined words in your paragraph and reading the suggestions offered by MS Word using its spelling and grammar function can help improve your academic writing skills. Take time to correct your spelling and grammar using the tips, and definitely, you will deliver a better paragraph.
While I am confident that I can write and express myself well in English, I once subscribed in Grammarly to improve my grammar. My once too busy schedule and a change in routine at home prevented me from writing regularly and making full use of the app. Hence, I stopped using it.
However, knowing that my blog, this website, gains more traffic with each blog I write and realizing that additional income significantly supplements my regular job, I resolved to post articles once again frequently. I re-subscribed in Grammarly to help me compose my articles better yet. Pieces that are virtually free of errors get ranked well and gain more views. I believe it is a good investment for a blogger like me.
2. Use Free Sources of Literature
Google Scholar is an excellent aid to help develop academic writing skills. It is an indispensable online, freely accessible search engine that lets you browse digital copies of articles related to your research interests.
Decades back, I have a hard time looking for related literature and judge whether a topic is worth pursuing. Google Scholar makes it easy as it archives articles from scientific journals. Just read the metadata and decide whether it suits your theme. You may read my previous post titled How to Start a Review of Literature and see how to make full use of the search engine.
If you cannot afford the price of the article you are interested in, you may use free online sources like the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), CORE, Science Open, and Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), among others. Open access articles allow you to read the essential contents of the scientific paper like the methodology. Hence, you can improve your academic writing skills by citing relevant scientific articles.
3. Use Statistics in Your Write-up
The use of numbers in your write-up makes it more interesting. Summarizing them in the form of tables, graphs, or infographic even make information much more enjoyable. According to an infographic by MDG Advertising, articles with relevant images get 94% more views (Fig. 1).
4. Look for Mentors to Hone Your Academic Writing Skills
Finding a good mentor to give you feedback on your write-ups helps a lot. Have constant interaction with a colleague who has a keen eye in spotting spelling, grammatical problems, or even your logic.
Asking people to comment on your paper makes peer review a critical process in developing your academic writing skills. Even small but significant punctuation errors reflect on the accuracy and reliability of your article. Common mistakes like the use of colons, semi-colons, and the correct written form of “et al.” say a lot about you as an academic writer.
5. Maintain a Habit of Writing
Practice makes perfect. You cannot perfect your trade with just a few essays here and there. Develop your writing style and establish a habit of writing.
Allocate specific time frames to write, and do it whether you are inspired to write or not. It will help if you know when is the best time to write. I usually allocate two hours to write an article. But I noticed an article written in 30 minutes gained a lot of views!
Are you a morning person or a night person? Knowing your writing preference relieves you of mental blocks. Make sure that you can do your writing without interruption on those times to avoid breaking your flow of thought.
Recognizing the time when you can best compose an article makes the task easy to do. For sure, with constant practice, your academic writing skills will gradually improve through time.
To summarize everything and I recap, remember the five tips I have just described. I know these tips helped me write high traffic articles in Simplyeducate.me. The tips also enabled me to write books which took a lot of time to produce.
Do you have more tips in mind that works for you? Please share in the comments below.
© 2019 May 25 P. A. Regoniel