Required Academic Paper Work
Academic writing has been in use since the dawn of human civilizations. Different concepts and techniques have been use to pen down the academic work. An analysis of established good academic writing techniques is necessary to spell out the precise requirement of good academic work. A brief overview of modern citation styles and types of academic assignment is also essential to provide basic information on the subject. Educational qualifications may be a plus point for an academic writer but might not be the solitary requirement for a good academic writer.
Academic writing is a medium to express thoughts in writing about any topic. This topic could be a part of syllabi, research, or a social topic. Such sort of writing has been in use since the primitive human history. Most of these early writings were literary works of authors or research based efforts. In preceding paragraphs, tips/guidelines about writing good academic papers will be marked. The basic of plagiarism and its avoidance is also a part of discussion. Then we will take a brief overview of modern citation styles and types of academic assignments. What should be a bare minima educational qualification of an academic writer? We will try to unearth the mystery.
Desired Results in Good Academic Papers
Many jinx and myths exist about academic writing; Hartley 4 has described few comments of the people regarding academic writings. As per the general views, academic writings are complicated, boring, and too much technical from reader's point of view. Such kind of issues can take away the objectivity of an academic article and may not bring desired results for the writers.
With all these perceptions and ideas what is the best way to write an article? Before proceeding further, let us first discuss the aim of an academic piece of work.
While writing a manuscript, the writer desires to reach a particular set of audience and convey his thoughts. For example, an article written for Royal Aeronautical Society would contain more details that are technical then the same written for a newspaper. The difference is target audience. The specific target audience in case of Royal Aeronautical Society is learned scientist who would be interested to know the precise technical details. The same article with specific technical details might not attract common readers of a newspaper.
Any academic paper must follow objectivity. The vague object of a paper would achieve desire results for the writer. A right nexus of objectivity, content, and organization of paper would add into weight of an academic writing. Usage of easily understandable language would also increase the audience understanding. Has indicated that the most popular articles of their times have a Flesch readability index of 15-60. Has also highlighted the used of balanced language.
Usage of sources and their appropriated referencing would add to the academic value of any academic writing. A well-integrated and referenced material would add to the beauty of any academic work. These referencing materials can be use to illustrate, prove, or disprove your point of concern. However, inappropriate usage of such materials can dent the credibility of a writer.
Plagiarism in its literal meanings is illegal usage of intellectual property without appropriate acknowledgment of the source. According to (American Psychological Association 14-15) plagiarism is defined as the presenting the work of others as if their own work.
With dawn of information age and bulk of publicly available information, Plagiarized use of intellectual property has been on the rise. The worldwide-established academic writing does not prevent consultation with other academic material. However, an illegal tagging of someone else thought by his own name is not legitimate. Use of proper referencing and acknowledgment of source is what is required to avoid plagiarism. Different academic writing style have issued instructions regarding verbatim copying or paraphrasing of source material. If these instructions are complied, then genuine academic work may still be produce even with the usage of other academic writings.
Modern Citation Styles
Hartley classifies the modern citation styles into four different categories. These classifications along with their brief description are enlisted.
American Psychological Association (APA) Style
As per (American Psychological Association Xiii) in 1929, the brief introduction of publication Manual of American Psychological Association marked the standardizing of scientific communication. The main goal of subject standardization was to increase the ease of reading conception of the scientific material. As per (Hartley 57) this style is also call as Harvard or the name-date system. According to (Hartley 57), "The author surname is followed by the date of publication in brackets, and entries in the reference list are listed alphabetically, starting with the name and initials of author(s) followed by date of publication." Similarly in-text and bibliographical formats of other sources like news paper articles; web site content and journal are also specific.
For example if an extract or paraphrasing is taken from James Hartley's Book on Academic writing its in-text APA citation would be like this and on reference list or bibliography page it would appear like Hartley, J. Academic Writing and Publishing. London: Routeldge.
Modern Language Association (MLA) Style
It is another version of referencing and formatting of an academic work. According to Hartley:
The authors' surnames (with or without dates) appear in the text and the first authors' surname comes first in the reference list. This is follow by his or her first name, but first name then come first for any additional authors. Dates of publication are given after journal titles, or at the end of the references for books.
For example if material is take from James Hartley's Book on academic writing then the in-text citation would be like (Hartley) and on reference list or bibliographical page it would appear like: Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) style
As per (Hartley 58), in this style "the authors in the text are numbered in order of their appearance in the text, some time without their names, and the numbers are enclosed in square brackets. The reference list is then numbered sequentially."
It was originated by the International Steering Committee of Medical Editors in 1987. This style is a mostly used in medical journals. As with the IEEE system, the authors are numbered in the text in order of their appearance, and the numbers are enclosed in square brackets. The reference list is numbered sequentially, but the authors are listed surnames first, followed by initials. Again, the dates of publication are given after journal titles or at the end of references for books.
Types of Assignments
Types of academic assignments, their definition, and scope are mention by (Massey University 32-86). Based on the classifications different types of academic assignment and their theoretical definitions are enlisted.
Essay is an academic work, which involves debate around a particular topic. Ideally, it should contain both pro and anti arguments regarding a particular topic. The essay needs to be drafted like a skillful lawyer.
Report is a critical assessment of a specific issue. A report must contain the events related to the issue and unbiased results. It can also include the investigation or research results pertaining to a particular topic.
It generally contains analysis or case study of a real situation with application of business theories to produce certain recommendations for improvement.
It is the critical analysis of a literary work often done to lay the foundation stone of further research.
It is a proposal of a research topic containing both theoretical and practical aspects like budget, time, and goal definition of a research topic.
It is critical assessment of a book and its evaluation in different aspects. It is not a summary description of the book under consideration.
It is a list of source with brief description of source covering its content and purpose.
It is the documentation of response to a literary or physical work. They are also use for encouraging deep and evaluative thinking.
It is the preparation of a talk or leads for a discussion in a forum.
Educational requirements for Academic Writing
Educational qualification is a plus point for any academic writer. It has to bear in mind that it is not the sole requirement for being an academic writer. Academic writing is basic explanation of thoughts on a particular topic. The educational requirement may be very crucial for writing specific science material. For such case, education might prove to be a plus point. Historical records indicate that many of great inventors like Thomas Addison were not formally educated or electrical engineers. Similarly, many other exceptions also exist in history.
In short, formal academic education may be an additional advantage for an academic writer but it is not the sole criteria for their success. Modern information age provides easy access to the relevant information on any subject, just the skill of thought processing and their elaboration in writing might suffice needs of an academic work.
Academic writing is elaboration of thought process in writing. Objectivity, clarity, organization, and readability are essence of a good academic work. Original academic work can even be produce by using or inspiring from other literary works with proper acknowledgment. Educational qualification might add feather to a good academic work but is not the only requirement for a good academic work.
American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington D.C: American Psychological Association.
Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing. London: Routeldge.
Massey University. Academic Writing: A guide to Tertiary Level Writing. Palmerson North: Massey University.
Trzeciak, John. Academic Writing. New York: Pheonix Elt.