Style and Voice Considerations in Academic Writing

Academic writing types

Throughout the academic year and prior to graduation, you will be asked to write any of the following:

Academic essays

The academic essay is a particular type of academic writing that can be assigned as homework or done in class.

In order to successfully complete any of the assignments listed above, you will need to master academic essay writing. That’s because you will use and develop skills such as close reading, comparison and contrast, analysis, exposition, clarity, and persuasion. You will also learn to be concise and clear in your writing.

There are four essay genres that you will most likely have to write; these are:

  • Description
  • Narration
  • Exposition
  • Argumentation

How to write well?

  • Active versus passive voice

    A common problem with many students is deciding when to use the passive voice and when the active. In order to do that, you should understand the difference between the two.

    Most pieces of non-scientific papers are written in the active voice, since this keeps your sentences concise and renders your meaning clearly. Writing an academic paper in active voice helps you express the same information in fewer words than when choosing passive voice.

    This being said, scientific writing often uses passive voice, and for good reason: passive voice makes the whole academic paper sound more objective as it renders the use of personal pronouns unnecessary. Just bear in mind that even though scientific writing is geared towards facts rather than personal experience, using the passive voice too many times can render your assignment unclear in places.

    And a final tip on the right voice usage: when you start a sentence in one voice, stick to it. Shifting from active voice to passive in the same sentence will make it sound sloppy. The good news is academic writing help is here in case you still struggle with the correct use of voice.

  • Formatting and style

    When it comes to citing sources, the most commonly used style for writing an academic essay in the humanities is called MLA (short for Modern Language Association). The MLA style can be extended to virtually all types of writing, though. It focuses on the author’s name, which comes first at the end of the essay, in the “Works Cited” page.

    On the other hand, the APA (or American Psychological Association) style is mostly reserved for writings within the social sciences. An academic paper written in this citation style focuses on recording the date when a particular work was created. You will have to write down the date in the “References” page at the end of your essay, after the cited author’s name.

    Finally, there is also the Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) which comes most handy in history courses. One of the citation systems it uses is a notes and bibliography system, where you have to make footnotes and endnotes.

If you need help with academic writing, just contact us right away.

Order a custom paper written from scratch on practically any subject
Qualified writers only Plagiarism free guarantee It takes just 2 minutes