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The key features of academic writing

Find out about what is considered ‘academic writing’ in this article. The key features of academic writing is that we will focus on as part of this course:

  • content
  • organisation, and
  • language.

You’ve just shared your ideas on the features of academic writing and had a look at what other students have had to say. You’ve probably read comments about academic writing, discussing complicated ideas, using perfect grammar with good vocabulary, giving evidence to support your points, being well organised, being formal, and so on. And we’ll look at most of those areas on this course. But the features of academic writing can really be put into three main categories. That is content, organisation, and language. Content refers to the main ideas and information you want to give in your essay. What are the main points you want to make? What evidence– that is, details and examples– can you give to support your main points?

The key features of academic writing

Content is really the reason for writing in the first place and will obviously determine how well you answer the question. So it’s important to think carefully about it.

Organisation refers to how well you arrange those ideas. Are the paragraphs well structured and in a logical order, well linked together? Is there an introduction that hooks in the reader and makes them want to read your writing and a good conclusion at the end to remind the reader of your main points?

Finally, language— is your essay well written with accurate grammar, good spelling, and in a formal academic style? This week, Anne is going to talk to you about the first of those areas, content, in a bit more detail.

Next lessons
  1. What ideas would you include in an essay?
  2. Main ideas and supporting evidence in an essay
  3. How to organize an essay
  4. Analysing the organisation of an example essay
  5. How to link the ideas within an essay
  6. Sample structure of an IELTS essay


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