Writers' Treasure Academic Writing An Introduction to Academic Writing – Part II

An Introduction to Academic Writing – Part II

Read Part I of this post.

After learning the basics of essay writing, today let’s look at story writing, dialogue writing and informal letter writing. All three are taught to us from an early age, with the exception of dialogue writing, which doesn’t come until middle school. Anyway, let’s begin!

Informal Letter Writing

The best resource I can give for anyone wanting to learn more about letter writing is Letter Writing 101, but here are some pointers on how to write informal letters:

  • You must follow the format of an informal letter. Address and date at the top right, the salutation, the body, the conclusion and the subscription must be there in your letter in the appropriate order. If you don’t do this, your marks in your papers will be cut — inevitably.
  • The informal letter is usually written to family, friends or relatives. As such, you should begin the salutation with the word “Dear” and then the name of the person you are writing to.
  • The letter must be short, no longer than necessary. Its tone should be informal and simple. You are permitted to distance yourself from the “formal writing tone” and instead use slang, exclamations and so on. However, do so in caution!
  • Please don’t use any technical or “professional-sounding” words in the letter. Use end instead of terminate, use instead of utilize. Simple corrections. Big effect in readability.
  • Write a good conclusion, don’t just let it hang in your letter. Tip: Read premade informal letters for practice.
  • Don’t forget to write the subscription, and that too in the correct way with all the correct capital letters, correct usage of words (Yours faithfully, Yours sincerely, Your friend) as appropriate.
  • Do the above and your letter writing will improve — guaranteed!

Story Writing

Story writing in school is quite different from writing a normal short story. The short story is usually above 1000 words, the story in school falls below that word count. Then too, it has different dos and don’ts.

You are given an outline or some points which you must expand upon. Don’t make the mistake of just filling in the dashes: it really won’t work. Add your own details. Make the story your own. Give names. Add dialogue or narrative, whichever is suitable.

In middle school, the question is to write a story based on the points given, add a suitable title, and give a moral. I always hated doing this. I was glad to see that when I grew older, this question was skipped. It was a decision for the better.

Follow all the instructions for writing a story which are given here. Add your own touches — add everything that is relevant. And… your story is a winner!

Dialogue Writing

Once again, as applied to stories, dialogue in school paper questions is quite different from the dialogue used in fiction writing. Fiction writing dialogue has to be mixed effectively with narrative. In school, you only have to write dialogue. Easier? Harder? Depends on your perspective.

Dialogue Writing Rules

  • Begin your dialogue with a greeting from the characters. This is a must if you are writing dialogue academically. I know… it sounds incredibly idiotic to begin every dialogue with a greeting, but that’s how it is. If it is fiction, however, then you should avoid this technique.
  • Write the body. Formal language is a no-no! Write like you talk — write how the characters would talk. Short words, short sentences, short paragraphs, short everything.
  • Finish it with an effective conclusion which sums up everything.

Report Writing

Ever read an article in a newspaper? Most of the articles are reports. Observe them. Observe their writing style and voice. Observe everything, and use it in your own reports if you are asked to write them. Want to add your own touches? Do so at your own peril – it’s always good to ask your teacher!

Conclusion

This article wouldn’t cover academic writing if it didn’t have a conclusion. Thing is, without the rules academic writing is pretty much useless. Unlike creative writing where you can break many rules, academic writing is a strict, formal type of writing. But it can be equally fun to write. Read and learn, and your writing will automatically become better.

Do you have any academic writing tips and techniques? Feel free to share them in the comments.

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4 thoughts on “An Introduction to Academic Writing – Part II”

    1. Wow, thanks for the amazing tip! I can’t believe that I missed that. Thanks for the comment.

      (And also, by the way, I’m not a ‘sir’ or anything, I’m only a 14-year-old kid! Thanks anyway, makes me feel proud!).

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