Academic Writing Resources

Academic Writing Resources

Other people
In general, every writer is his or her own worst critic, which makes it hard to know whether or not you're doing something well. Given that, having other people who are willing to write my paper can be an asset in the drafting and editing process. These informal editors and second readers needn't be professional academics; they only need to be told what it is that you're going for and what you want from them.

If you're unsure about something you've written, have a friend or family member look it over and give you feedback. It's important to note, however, that before you do this you should provide guidelines so your editor knows what to look for.

Academic journals
Writing daily is one of the best ways to improve your writing, but reading other sources of academic writing can also be a tremendous benefit to you. As previously noted, academic writing is comprised of a very particular style, tone, and format that can seem foreign to students who don't have much experience with the style. Therefore, the easiest way to get comfortable with it is to see how it's done.


Through your school or public library, you likely have access to different databases of academic journals like JSTOR or EBSCOhost. These give you access to countless journal articles from nearly every discipline, which is an otherwise expensive resource. Taking some time to look through different academic journals to get a sense of how professional scholars write may help you to understand what you should and shouldn't include in your writing.

Pen and paper
The purpose of academic writing is to convey a message or demonstrate knowledge of a specific subject area. This may sound fairly simple, but when you get down to it, it can actually be difficult. Sometimes you may be unsure of what you're trying to say or how to say it. If you find yourself stuck on structuring or forming your academic paper, it might be best to go back to the basics and sit down with a pen and some paper. Rather than try to write a final draft, just sketch out some ideas or start writing free-form to see what comes out.