Consultation Make an appointment with a staff member at the Learning Centre for more specific advice or questions. Contact us How is academic writing different to other kinds of writing? In some ways, writing at university i. For example, academic writing is generally quite formal and impersonal.
All effective writing communicates something important clearly and concisely to its audience. At the same time, given the social-discursive-rhetorical nature of all writing, business writing does differ significantly from academic writing insofar as business organizations differ from academic research organizations.
The writing within these organizations serves different purposes, addresses different audiences, and arises in response to a very different set of problems. Since you are more familiar with student versions of academic writing rather than the kinds of writing your professors produce within their professions, the summary below covers some of the key differences between classroom writing and business writing.
Students write to learn. Academic and non-academic contexts for writing differ immensely. Schools and universities exist to produce and disseminate knowledge and to help students do the same. The writing you produce in academic settings can best be described as "writing to learn" and "writing to demonstrate what you have learned.
The writing you submit to your professors gives them a glimpse of the way your disciplined mind works when confronted with a significant topic in a particular field of study. Your instructors want to see that you are learning to think like persons trained within this field.
Business writers write to get work done — to recommend actions. Business organizations exist to produce and distribute products, whether that product is steel, a WEB browser, or an opera.
In the increasingly competitive, global marketplace, businesses must constantly evolve. Rarely do business writers write to learn, to communicate what they know, or to give a glimpse of how their mind works.
Instead they write to solve problems, to propose new strategies, to store vital information, to negotiate new contracts, to map out the future direction of the company, to track quality control benchmarks, to report earnings to stakeholders, etc.
Audiences for business writing — managers, employees, customers, engineers, regulatory agencies, lawyers, stockholders, etc. They want to know what to do or what the company is going to do next.
Therefore, writing within non-academic, business contexts can best be described as "transactional" or as "writing to do. Below you will find a very brief overview of some of the differences between classroom and business writing that emerge from differences in the contexts within which these kinds of writing are produced.
Prompt Students write because their instructors require them to write. Instructors design the assignments. Business Writers write either at their own initiative or because someone in the organization expects them to write.
Professionals often create and define their own tasks. Purpose Students write to learn and to demonstrate what they know. Business Writers write to make things happen.
Audience Students often write for one reader, their instructor. Business Writers often write for large and complex groups of people, various stakeholders who have different needs and interests.
Genre Students write exams, essays, journals, term papers, oral reports, etc. Business Writers write memos, letters, proposals, reports, performance evaluations, business plans, marketing plans, audit reports, sales presentations, manuals, handbooks, contracts, etc Ownership Students are graded individually and own their own writing.
Business Writers write for the company.The tone of academic writing can also vary significantly depending on the subject-area and the academic discipline you are writing for. The readings, textbook, and study guide of your course show you what tone is expected in the paper, so study their style carefully.
Just as college writing is specific to your mission as you earn your academic degree, workplace writing is specific to the needs of your job. Most of the time, however, the specific format and content of workplace writing have already been established by others. The tone of academic writing can also vary significantly depending on the subject-area and the academic discipline you are writing for.
The readings, textbook, and study guide of your course show you what tone is expected in the paper, so study their style carefully. Academic writing is, of course, any formal written work produced in an academic setting. While academic writing comes in many forms, the following are some of the most common.
Literary Analysis. Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and their specific areas of expertise.
Characteristics of academic writing include a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a. Just as college writing is specific to your mission as you earn your academic degree, workplace writing is specific to the needs of your job.
Most of the time, however, the specific format and content of workplace writing have already been established by others.