Welcome to SAGE Knowledge

Academic Writing

Explore the skills necessary for clear and effective writing at university and beyond.
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By: Alex Baratta, Editor-in-Chief

This module focused on academic writing is designed to give you the relevant skills needed for your academic essay writing in college and university. With this in mind, the module will delve deeper into more than just ’the academic essay’, and provide you with information on the various types of academic writing that you might find yourself exposed to (e.g., a research paper, a reflective essay). Going further, the skills you will learn apply to both academic and your future professional contexts of writing, helping you to understand how to:
  • use punctuation correctly;
  • develop a style that is deemed appropriate by first considering the context of writing (e.g., a personal blog, a cover letter);
  • develop your critical thinking - and subsequent critical writing - skills;
  • consider the importance of the discipline or major in which you’re writing, to then determine what is ’appropriate’ or not;
  • construct a coherent piece of writing; and
  • foster more skills beyond this.

The importance of developing these skills, and others, is to help you to succeed in your academic assignments while at university, precisely by explaining to you, and showing you, what kinds of skills your teachers need to see in your written assessments. Thus, by learning these various skills, you will then be able to apply them to your written work and in so doing, become a more successful and accomplished academic writer. From here, you will then be able to take these skills with you for the rest of your writing life, including skills that can be applied to professional, work-based contexts. Therefore, while the skills are housed within the ’academic writing’ module, you will find that the skills can, and will, be applied to your future world of work.

Overall, then, the most important skill that you can take away from this module is self-reliance in terms of your current, and future, writing needs.

Suggested Reading
  • Baratta, A. (2021). How to read and write critically. SAGE.
  • Wyrick, J. (2010). Steps to writing well (11th ed.). Wadsworth.
  • Purdue Owl. (2021, November 6). Purdue online writing lab. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html
  • Murray, N. (2012). Writing essays in English language and linguistics. Cambridge University Press.
  • Baratta, A. (2020). Read critically. SAGE.
  • Oshima, A. & Hogue, A. (2005). Writing academic English. Addison-Wesley.
  • Creme, P., & Lea, M. (2008). Writing at university: A guide for students. Open University Press.
  • Swales, J., & Feak, C. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential skills and tasks. Michigan University Press.
  • Bailey, S. (2015). Academic writing: A handbook for international students. Routledge.
  • Craswell, G. (2004). Writing for academic success. SAGE.
Page citation: Baratta, A. (2022). Academic writing. SAGE Skills: Student Success. https://sk.sagepub.com/skills/student-success/academic-writing