Academic Writing

Academic
writing is any formal written work in an academic setting. It is a
different genre in its scope and style. It is a clear, focused,
well-structured and evidence-based piece of writing. This is writing for
education and its main purpose is to enhance the reader’s understanding
of a certain debatable issue. Unlike copy writing, academic writing is
highly formal in tone, style and use of language and it requires certain
writing conventions.

Academic writing
is a style of expression which has a formal and logical structure and it
defines the intellectual scope and expertise of the writer.


Literary Analysis is a Form of Academic Writing

Academic writing
comes in many forms. The most common is literary analysis in which we
analyze a literary text such as poem, drama, novel etc for the purpose
of appreciation and understanding. This is not mere summarisation; it is
a complete close reading with stylistic and thematic examination of the
work of art. I have written many stylistic and literary analysis of
literature. One example is John Ashbery’s Poem, ”Melodic Trains’ and
‘The Painter’. An extract from the poem, ‘Melodic Trains’ is quoted
here:

According to Ashbery, ‘Life is in motion’.
The poem shows melodically sounding related series of thoughts that are
developing in mind. They are called Melodic trains for they have the
power to transform the minds of people from some ordinary experience to
some particular. The poem is a fine example of stream of consciousness
technique. The poem shows the complexity of thoughts as they pass
through a sensitive mind of a poet. A poetic mind has a greater capacity
for associating this similar and distinct thought. That is why; the
poem has more than one layer of meaning. The title itself suggests the
thought process growing on within the poet’s mind. The outer journey in
the real train is paralleled by a symbolic train of thoughts and
melodies, poetic ideas running through the mind. The first thought or
theme present in the poem is the expression of vanities through
appearances. When the little girl asks the poet what time it is. Melodic
Trains becomes a journey of life, the faces of passengers and what all
the time goes in their minds – like every one of us.

 The Painter by John Ashbery:

Sitting between the sea and the buildings/ He enjoyed painting the seas portrait
The sea is a symbol of creativity and the unexplored depths of human
consciousness. It also resents the vitality and essence or life, which
has been long ignored. The buildings and their architecture are the
explored and achieved conditions of art. The painter symbolizes the
creative and modern urge and the people in the buildings are traditional
critics who fail to understand the philosophy of art. Symbolically, the
poem shows the condition of the artist sandwiched between two
contrasting forces behind art; conventional, traditional and superficial
approach on the one hand and modern, creative, experimental and
innovative on the other. The modern artist is not restricted by the
limited and restrictive view of life. He is the controller of his art
and defines its parameters. He believes that art is all-powerful and
vast and it cannot be conceived in a traditional narrow thinking. His
analogy of child’s prayer is not analogy only; it presents a philosophy
of art – the art too is like a prayer.

An extract from Anthem of doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen as anlysed by Prof. Naeem

Stylistic Analysis: There is no
morphological complexity; however, there is syntactic confusion. The
poem starts with a rhetorical question; which shows the poet’s anger;
which ironically means that there should be formal prayers for these
soldiers and not passing bells only. The question mark which should end
the four line ends the first line to foreground it and the last line as a
result of the lines in between which are short and not complex. So the
first 4 lines become foregrounded. The auxiliaries have been dropped; as
it is done in informal situations. Auxiliaries show connection and
construction; their absence in the poem shows the absence of
construction in society due to war and destruction of people. The first
sentence has embedding in it as it should be read as: What passing-bells for these who die as cattle/Can patter out their hasty orisons. ?…..-Only the monstrous anger of the guns/Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.
The parallelism of Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes shows
identity and contrast in a unique way. Candles are held in the hands;
but their eyes will be burning like candles for the grief they share.
Doomed’ links ‘doomed’ and ‘youth’ through assonance, thus tying the two
concepts more closely tied. The presupposition of ‘doomed’ is also more
poignant. Dead youths must already be dead, but doomed youths are not
yet dead but doomed to die. A textual world is thus set up where the
persona is walking through the battlefield, talking about not just those
who have died, but also those who are in the process of dying and those
who are soon to die.


Another form of Academic Writing is Research Paper

Another
very common form of academic writing is research paper or thesis
writing. This form of writing largely depends on outside information to
make an argument or support a thesis. Research paper includes sources
and sources are cited normally according to in APA or MLA writing
conventions. One example of research writing can be traced in the
Introduction extracted from an Academic Essay, ‘Happiness and Personal Choice‘:

Happiness
doesn’t spring from hereditary composition of human genes; it lies in
human control that can shape and determine how happy we are and how
happy we can become. Human beings are not helpless pawns in the hands of
genes to seek happiness; on the contrary, happiness can be very much
triggered by human choices made at will in different distressing
situations where happiness needs to be most sought. In this essay, I
will discuss how happiness is a personal choice regardless of whatever
composition of genes have been inherited from our forefathers, how this
personal choice can be executed and why genes are not a barrier to our
happiness.

Another example from the conclusion extracted from the argumentative essay, ‘Happiness comes from within, not without’.

The
crux of the above discussion is that we can only enjoy permanent and
lasting bliss in the midst of hardships and sufferings by changing our
self and our perspective so that we can stand happy, excited and joyous
regardless of any positive or negative stimulus from the environment.
Material happiness is temporary and transient while spiritual happiness
produces far-reaching results. Happiness is a choice; it is not an
event– it is something creative – you can create happiness by changing
your perspective and state of being.

Academic
writing is a highly specialized form of writing that follows a clear,
logical and impersonal tone and supports our point of view in an
evidence-based approach.

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