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English for Academic and

Professional Purposes
Lesson 1: Academic text vs Non-academic text
Myths about Writing
• Writers are born, not made.
• “Good” writers write fast.
• “Good” writers rarely struggle.
• “Good” writers get it right the first time.
• The longer the words, the better they are.
Myths about Writing
• After drafting, “good” writers look for their grammar
mistakes right away.
• There is only one way to write.
• The introduction should be written first.
• A well-stated point does not require proof.
• The longer the writing, the better it is.
“Academic or Not?”

1. He bought a couple of things.


2. He purchased several notebooks.
He purchased several notebooks.

This example uses more formal vocabulary and is more


specific, so it is considered more academic.
Which example is more academic?
1. I think that writing good writing means taking your
ideas and writing them so that other people can get
your meaning.
2. Effective writing presents ideas in such a way that
readers can clearly grasp the writer’s intended
meaning.
Effective writing presents ideas in such a way that
readers can clearly grasp the writer’s intended
meaning.

This example uses more formal vocabulary and


grammar structures, so it is considered more academic.
Which example is more academic?
1. According to a study by Smith, students that use cell
phones in class are more easily distracted than those who
do not. So, cell phone use should not be allowed in the
classroom.
2. My friend and I like to text in class, but sometimes we
miss what the teacher says while we are texting!
Sometimes, the stuff we miss is on the test and I score
poorly.
According to a study by Smith, students that use cell
phones in class are more easily distracted than those
who do not. So, cell phone use should not be allowed
in the classroom.

This example uses research from another writer to


make a point, so it is considered more academic.
Academic Writing Definitions
• A writing genre which people in
academia use to communicate their
ideas according to a shared set of
standards and conventions
Academic Writing Definitions
• “…writing done by scholars for other scholars.”
(wwnorton.com)
• “…professional writing that trained ‘academics’—
teachers and researchers—do for publications…and
conferences attended by other academics.”
(www.classweb.gmu.edu/bhawk)
Academic Writing Definitions
• Academic writing is formal and follows some
standard conventions
• Each academic discipline has its own specialist
vocabulary which will be expected to be learnt and
used in writing (Surono, 2015)
Writing is a form
of communication
that is shaped by
the following
factors:
Differences Between
Academic and
Personal Writing
Personal Writing Academic Writing

Tells a story Comments, evaluates, analyses

Non-technical vocabulary Subject-specific vocabulary

‘I’ at the centre ‘I’ as observer and commentator

Information comes from the writer’s Information comes from sources and
experience refers to what others say

Personal views and feelings Evidence and arguments

Conventions for citation


Textbooks
Textbooks
Textbooks

Academic Writing Texts


• Textbooks
• Shorter student texts: essays
• Longer student texts: dissertations and theses
• Research articles
• Case studies
• Reports
Textbooks
• Textbooks are specifically
designed to help the learner.
For example, they might have
summaries or review quizzes.
Textbooks vary in style, tone
and level depending on their
audience. They are a good place
to start when learning about a
new topic.
Student essays
• Student essays vary in length
and formality, but they
usually contain three
sections: Introduction, Main
body, Conclusion. They
usually need to include
citation of sources.
Longer student texts: dissertations and theses
• You will probably have to write
longer texts at postgraduate level.
Longer texts include dissertations
(typically 10,000 to 20,000 words)
at Master's level, and theses
(typically 60,000 to 80,000 words)
at Doctor's level (PhD). These texts
are the result of a long period of
reading, research and reflection –
perhaps several months or years.
Research articles
• Research articles are written
mainly for a specialist
audience – researchers,
academics and postgraduate
students.
Case studies
• Case studies may be found in any
discipline, though they are most common
in disciplines such as business, sociology
and law. They are primarily descriptive. A
typical structure is as follows:
• Context (what is the focus, where, when?)
• Description of the setting (person,
company or place)
• An account of how this changed over the
period of time under investigation
• Headings help the audience work through
the text
Reports
• The purpose of reports is to describe what
happened (e.g. in a piece of research) and discuss
and evaluate its importance. Reports are found in
different disciplines, such as science, law and
medicine. They typically include some or all of the
following:
• Context/Overview (Title, Contents etc.)
• Introduction
• Methodology/Description of the event (e.g. piece
of research)
• Findings/Main points
• Discussion/Evaluation
• Conclusion
Sources:
• https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/4.3_presentation_slides-
_final_version_for_website.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1yyB-
HRgo81moIAKRcCFFiCqZJHaNVq2Wuxxv2sdIIVIOmroDqmljnddY
• https://americanenglish.state.gov/files/ae/resource_files/unraveling_the_mystery_of_academic_writing.pdf