Six Easy Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing

Are you a student challenged with trying to improve your academic writing?

To some students, this information for improving your academic writing may seem obvious, but to others who are new to writing an academic paper, it might give you courage to keep going. Listed below are five easy ways to improve your academic writing.

improve academic writing by studying other papers

Read and study published academic papers of other students at your school.

But, make sure they cover similar categories and topics as the paper you plan to write. For example, if you’re focusing on a scientific or mathematical angle, then you wouldn’t want to spend time reading academic papers that focus on classic literature.

Steer clear of doing excessive research on the art of writing, in general.

The layout, structure, and content requirements are available from your professor, adviser, and are usually available online at the school’s website. Useless research time just drains your brain from what it needs to focus on so you can start writing.

  Create a timeline that is realistic.

Given that your reading requirements, class time, research, and outlining may sometimes incur a faster approaching deadline than originally intended, create a timeline for completing the tasks that require your attention. Don’t let the date slide into the next day or weekend. It will only make you feel more stressed, and it will definitely take a toll on your writing. Tackle the task and complete it on or before the date written on your timeline.

Learn the required parts of an academic paper.

Academic writing is a style of writing. Most likely, you will begin by creating an abstract, and you’ll finish the paper with a bibliography and footnotes. When writing an academic paper, you’re reinforcing the topic that you’re writing about by providing evidence and authority references rather than just voicing your unsubstantiated opinion about the subject.

Structure your academic writing.

You can easily structure your academic writing by creating a strong introduction. Then create one paragraph for each of your main topics as a beginning outline to flesh out later.

Just as a novel is structured with a beginning, a middle, and an end, an academic paper’s structure has formal style and formatting guidelines that are set by the school and the writing style format guide (APA, MLA, etc.). If writing an academic essay, provide a summary for each of the arguments that you have developed.

writing pencil for editing and academic writing

Get feedback from another professional and definitely hire an academic editor.

You need constructive criticism that will help improve the academic paper, not emotional sentiments about your writing.

That’s why you hire professional academic editors. They do this type of work every day, they’re honest, they’re impartial, and they want you to succeed.

One final thought before submitting your academic writing to your advisers or readers…

Even if you can’t find a respected professional to read your academic writing and offer feedback and suggestions, make sure you hire a professional academic editor. You’re the writer, not the editor. Don’t try to edit your own work. Universities and private schools pay as much attention to grammatical errors and spelling errors as they do with your well-researched academic topic. Get the grade you deserve and keep your integrity intact. Hire an academic writing editor.

 

10 Proofreading Rules to Apply to Your Academic Paper Before Hiring a Professional Editor

10 proofreading rules for academic writers

 

When you’ve finished writing that academic paper, regardless if it’s an essay, dissertation, abstract, or an article you’d like to publish in a journal, read through these 10 proofreading rules before submitting your work or sending it to a professional editor. Don’t rush the process. These 10 guidelines, when followed, could garner you high honors and financial rewards. Why? Because most students will skip this step.

 

 

Ten proofreading guidelines for every academic writer

Here are the ten proofreading rules to apply to your academic paper before hiring a professional academic editor.

1.  After the writing phase is complete, set the work aside for two days. Schedule sufficient time before your deadline date to allow for the two-day rest period before you look at your materials again. You will see more errors when you take two days’ off then you will if you try to proofread your work immediately after writing it.

 

2.  Simplicity sells more than complexity. Read through your document and look for wordy phrases, words that an eighth grader wouldn’t understand, and extra-long sentences. Revise your paper with an eye for turning long sentences and paragraphs into multiple sentences that are easier for the reader to understand.

 

3.  Format the text in your document before setting it aside. Make sure that you have followed and applied the requirements and guidelines necessary for submission or publication. When you correctly format your document, you will more easily see errors and typos with the text that were not visible previously. For example, the right-hand margins should not be justified, and the font sizes and types must be consistent throughout the paper.

4.  Ask a friend or fellow student to read the words in your document to you while you listen. This might sound strange, but when another person reads your typed words, it will be extremely easier for you to hear the errors. When you’re reading text in a digital document, you could pass over crucial words or awkward phrases that should be corrected.

5.  Read the text out loud to yourself and listen for consistency errors. If your paper is written in the third person, make sure every sentence is consistent with that rule. This implies that your writing style will appeal to the reader. However, if you change suddenly to first person, or use an omniscient voice, the inconsistencies should be immediately apparent, and then you can correct your original document. The reason this is important is because sometimes documents are not written in one sitting. You might have written the document over several weeks or months, and the pronoun and voice errors will not be as apparent until you follow this rule.

6.  Check your document’s grammar with a software program. Many word processing programs have a grammar checker already available, but if you have not set the program to check for grammatical errors, you could be robbing yourself of a higher grade or having your paper accepted. The purpose of a grammar checker is to catch as many simple errors as possible before you hire a professional editor or turn in your paper for submission.

7.  Double-check any design elements inside your document. It’s important that you pay attention to and correct any design elements before submitting your paper. For example, does your paper include tables, charts, images, or graphic design elements? If yes, then it’s important to check everything that is not text-based before handing off your document.

8.  Check your document for plagiarism. This might shock you, but sometimes when you’re writing a document, researching the facts, etc., you could inadvertently have illegally used a copyrighted sentence, paragraph, or phrases. How do you check your document for copyright issues? You can use free programs online, or for five cents a submission, you can check up to 2,000 words through Copyscape (http://www.copyscape.com). Sometimes authors forget about these issues, especially when using quotations, creating an index, or styling words on your title page. It’s not worth the risk to skip this step. Validate your document before submitting it.

9.  Target your document to the audience who will read your paper. By reading every word, sentence, and paragraph, you can make sure that if you’re writing to the wrong audience, you’ll be able to rewrite a phrase or two so that it appeals to them, not just to you.

10.  Revise, rewrite, and revisit the document one last time. After you have completed the previous nine proofreading rules, go through the list one more time to make sure that you haven’t missed anything. When you’re sure you’ve done your best, then hire an academic editor at WordsRU to go through your document. Also, ask for written feedback for any areas that you’re doubtful about, and want advice.

2015 Best Practices

In conclusion, when you complete these ten proofreading rules, you’re ready to submit your document to a professional academic proofreader for one final editing pass. Good luck!

When to query

Are you wondering whether or not you should send out query letters in December? After all, if this is a busy holiday time for the average person, it is just as busy for agents. This means that they are feeling as stressed, frazzled, and exhausted as the rest of us–and that may not be the best frame of mind for a potential agent who is deciding your future. Then again, maybe your would-be agent is not feeling harried at all because the agency is closed for the holidays. What does this mean for you and your manuscript?

 

Does the holiday spirit extend to writers and agents?

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Healthy tips for computer users

What seems like a lifetime ago, after I finished writing my first novel, I drove to a neighboring city to buy a manuscript box, fussed with the papers, folders, and labels, then took my precious package to the post office, where I was provided with a dilapidated old box that looked like it had been hauled out of a dumpster.

Believe me when I say that I am so grateful for the advances in technology! Gone are the days of callused fingers, ink smears, and snail mail. However, we now have a new litany of concerns and precautions. Whether you are writing a dissertation, a novel, a science article, or a college essay, you’re likely spending a lot of time at the computer. If you are a willing slave to technology, as I am, take some simple steps to ensure that you receive all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks.

Even the most comfortable positions can do more harm than good.

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Tips to improve young children’s stories: The sound

I warned you in my last post, didn’t I? Writing a young children’s story can be more difficult than writing a story for an older audience. The previous post focused on the basics of young children’s story writing. This post concentrates on the musical quality, that is, the sound of the story. Certain literary devices, such as rhyme, alliteration, and rhythm, can make a solid story truly delightful to read aloud.

 

The magic of a young children’s story is often found in its sound.

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Tips to improve your young children’s story: The basics

In many ways, writing a story for young children can be more difficult than writing for an older crowd. Not only do you need to restrict your word count, but you also need to use fairly basic language and find your inner child. If that weren’t enough, you have to make sure that the prose sounds pretty. The task is not insurmountable, though–just challenging! Follow these tips, and you will be on the road to success.

Requirements are high for the discerning audience.

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Submission Tips

The relationship between a writer and an editor is precious; you are trusting us with your thoughts, ideas, and creative style. You are counting on us to find the missteps, improve the structure, and offer a solid evaluation. As with any relationship, incorrect assumptions–from the writer or the editor–can result in disappointment at best, and catastrophe at worst. In contrast, knowing the expectations can lead to a smooth, advantageous relationship.

The right expectations can lead to a satisfying relationship.

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Intrigued by Beacon Reader

Five dollars per month will grant me access to all of the articles on Beacon Reader. Five dollars! An argument has been made that people can access many online articles for free, and shouldn’t have to pay for this service. I suppose that a brief recitation of the facts might be considered a service, but true journalism, that which involves research, perseverance, and style, is not a service; it’s a craft. Why are people willing to invest hundreds of dollars into the latest communication devices, but unwilling to invest five dollars to support informative journalism?

A monthly fee is not going to turn me away. I think a little exploration is in order.

No matter the format, journalism is journalism.

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Tips for effective comma use

Commas: we either love them or hate them. Unfortunately, comma use is not a ‘take it or leave it’ issue. Although some people would love to litter their sentences incessantly with commas and others would love to never see a comma again, accurate writers do not usually have the luxury of choice. Commas serve specific purposes; to disregard those grammatical purposes for the pleasure of our personal desires only invites confusion.

The comma battle–it doesn’t have to be like this!  

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Tips for citing research

To cite or not to cite? That is the question. (Or something like that!) Many people feel that citing too much makes the paper look like a cut-and-paste. Others feel that citing too little takes the research out of research paper. The real question here should not be how much or how little to cite. Instead, ask yourself when you should cite. Are you actually citing everything you should be? If not, toil and trouble might be in your future!

 

Don’t be a copycat!

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