Study Skills for Higher Education Essay

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Study Skills for Higher Education

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The current essay is divided into two portions. The first one talks about some of the features of academic writing, maintaining which is imperative for enhancing the quality of a writer’s work. In its second portion, the essay presents a discussion about some effective ways to improve the academic writing skills of an individual.


Four important features of academic writing and their significance

Four features of academic writing mentioned in the article which I think are immensely significant, and the rationale behind the choices will be discussed below.

Writing that is supported by evidence

In academic writing, one's arguments should be backed up with credible sources of information. Evidence lends credibility to a piece of writing and lets the reader assess the writer's arguments, determining whether they are based solely on personal opinion or whether they are supported by thorough research (EAP Foundation, 2021). In academic writing, evidence should be used to support the author's opinions and arguments. Writing will frequently be dependent on material provided by experts in the subject, and it will be necessary to "reference" the information in the appropriate manner, for example by utilising "in-text citations" and including a "reference section" in the document (Jiang and Hyland, 2020).

Being Critical

Academic writing is more than merely a description of events. As an academic writer, one should not take everything that is read as gospel truth. Before selecting whether and how to include material into his or her writing, an individual must first analyse and assess the information he or she is writing about, in other words, he or she must make judgments about the information. This is referred to as "critical writing." Critical writing necessitates extensive research for the writer to gain a comprehensive enough comprehension of the subject matter to be properly critical of it (Shea, 2017).

Written work must reflect the author's reading and interpreting of the facts and source material, as well as how the writer has used that knowledge to establish his or her comprehension and subsequent perspective on the topic. When one writes with a critical mindset, one is actively participating in scholarly discourse and research taking place in the selected topic area.


Academic writing should be written clearly and accurately to ensure that the reader understands what is being said. A technical (i.e. subject-specific) vocabulary should be employed when it communicates the idea more accurately than a similar "non-technical" term, and vice versa (EAP Foundation, 2021). Sometimes it is necessary to define technical jargon, but only if the phrase is not regularly used by others in the same profession and will not be quickly absorbed by the reader in the first place. Schmieder is correct in stating that precision enables readers to readily comprehend the writer's process and argument in their own words. Additionally, it increases the possibility that readers will comprehend the research results after they have been presented (Zhang, 2018). The need for precision cannot be overstated, even when writing for an informed and initiated audience, as is frequently the case with a thesis or dissertation.

Maintaining a Formal Language

Finally, academic writing differs from daily writing in that it is more formal. In contrast to spoken English, it tends to utilise larger words and more complicated sentence structures, while avoiding contractions as well as colloquial or informal words or idioms that can be popular in conversation. Some certain words and collocations are used more frequently in academic writing than in non-academic writing (Mitchell and Clark, 2018).

When it comes to academic writing, formality is highly respected because it assists in avoiding misinterpretation and ambiguity in the final product. The importance of formality in academic writing stems from the fact that the message intended for the reader should be transmitted correctly and consistently without any degree of ambiguity on the part of the writer (Inderawati, Petrus and Jaya, 2019). When writing an academic paper, one's writing abilities are put to the test, which is why it is important to maintain a high level of formality throughout the work.

The formal writing, even though the identical idea is being communicated in both samples, has a more professional ring to it. It presents a thesis that is more specific and clearly expressed.

The Steps that can Improve my Academic Writing

Since the day I started with this course, I have learned much about academic writing and the various ways which can be implemented to improve one's own academic writing skills. Some of the most essential ones according to my understanding of the matter will be mentioned in this section.

  • Writing as I would Speak

Reading aloud my academic writing is one technique to make sure it's of high quality. After hearing it, you'll know immediately if the sentences are excessively long, the structure is convoluted, or the punctuation is insufficient (Fatimah, 2018). My article will be very readable if I read it aloud and sound natural while doing so. If it is difficult for me to read aloud, it will most likely be difficult for others to read as well.

  • Reading and Writing as Much as I can

Experience and practice are the best teachers when it comes to academic writing. As my confidence grows by spending time each day writing, I may soon find that putting pen to paper and expressing my thoughts comes naturally. A lot of reading would supply me with inspiration for my writing, as well as ideas and a sense of the academic paper's structure, vocabulary, and tone (Mitchell and Clark, 2018).

  • Getting Feedback Before I Submit A Final Copy

I must double-check that my essay's substance and organisation are correct. In this regard, I believe that showing my paper to teachers and even fellow students can be beneficial. They will be able to tell me whether my ideas are well-connected if I can maintain a level of consistency, and if my references and sources are enough (Shea, 2017). If I want the opinions of those whom I believe are capable of delivering me good advice, these difficulties should be addressed before presenting my final work.


The preceding sections of the essay evince that using pieces of evidence, being critical and precise and maintaining a formal tone of language is essential for academic writers. Furthermore, it is also understood that reading aloud a piece of academic writing, reading and writing as much as possible, and getting feedback before submitting the final copy can help me to improve my skills big time.


EAP Foundation (2021) What is Academic Writing - EAP Foundation, 5 June. Available at: (Accessed 9 August 2021

Fatimah, N., (2018). Students' Needs for Academic Writing at the English Education Department. English Language Teaching Educational Journal1(3), pp.161-175.

Inderawati, R., Petrus, I. and Jaya, H.P., (2019). Exploring and identifying technology-based dynamic learning through social media in academic writing. English Community Journal3(1), pp.317-324.

Jiang, F.K. and Hyland, K., (2020). Prescription and reality in advanced academic writing. Ibérica: Revista de la Asociación Europea de Lenguas para Fines Específicos (AELFE), (39), pp.14-42.

Mitchell, K.M. and Clark, A.M., (2018). Five steps to writing more engaging qualitative research.

Shea, D., (2017). Shifting positions: The development of textual features and academic voice in a university writing seminar. The Asian ESP Journal13(2), pp.7-34.

Zhang, Y., (2018). Examining the Application of Grammatical Metaphors in Academic Writing. English Language and Literature Studies8(2), pp.108-114.

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