Stories Tips & Tricks Academic Writing Style: Mastering The Art Of Formal Writing In Student Essays

Writing an academic essay can be a daunting task. Meeting the highest professional and academic standards takes a lot of learning and skills. You need to be able to master all foundational writing skills to manage the writing process as a progressive activity centered on continuous improvement and learning.

Top-quality academic writing goes beyond acquiring advanced writing skills. You need to master a range of best practices, rules, and standards that will make you stand out. See below a list of things to look out for if you want to turn your writing style and skills into a masterful and rewarding experience.

Clarity and precision

Clarity beats eloquence. It does not matter how rich your vocabulary is or how diverse your use of idiomatic language is if you fail to convey your thoughts clearly. After all, what matters most is not how and what you communicate but what your audience understands you are saying. That’s why it is so important to strive for clarity and precision at all times. This explains the urge to write in clear and simple language to ensure easy comprehension.

Formal tone

Since you are involved in academic writing, you should always use a formal tone. Colloquialisms and slang are not your friends unless their use serves a specific and deliberate purpose. Always opt for a more formal synonym when writing an academic essay. Use an online thesaurus to give yourself a broad range of options. That is why you should not use personal pronouns in your student essay. By using personal pronouns, you deprive your content of the necessary degree of objectivity. It is best practice to use third-person pronouns to maintain an overall sense of formality.

Structure and organization

A great essay is always well-structured and well-organized. It does not leave the reader looking for information, logical links, and sources. It is all laid out clearly to facilitate a great flow of narration. You need to state your goal, essay subject, and main thesis up front. When you do so, you make it easier for the reader to navigate through the content. Make sure you use the main body to unpack your main thesis, backing it up with specific arguments and data points.

Your conclusion should not introduce any new information or data that is not covered in the main body. This will confuse your reader, derailing your effort to explore the subject clearly and effectively. Use TopEssayWriting services to learn more about how professional writers sum up their essays with compelling conclusions. 

Proper citations and referencing

Proper citations and references are an integral part of a high-quality student essay. You cannot write one without using a wide range of sources. Otherwise, you might be accused of bias, compromising the academic integrity of the essay. Use all credible sources, and make sure you use the citation style required by your college or tutor. Whether it is APA, MLA, or Chicago, the point is not about using the best one but rather about using the one accepted by your university.

Grammar and punctuation

Don’t damage your content by using bad grammar and wrong punctuation. So many great essays have been marked down because of students’ failure to have their essays checked for proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Don’t be one of them. Learn more about different types of math and technology essay-writing skills and tips from solution copywriting to see how qualified writers can make essays stand out as error-free pieces of academic writing.

There are so many great resources available online that this would be a great oversight on your part. Use a trusted resource to check and double-check your essay when done. Make it part of your writing routine to make the final piece error-free.

Key Takeaways

Academic writing does not come easy. It takes a lot of practice to improve a level at which you can produce high-quality content that will pave the way for high academic grades. To pull it off, you need to strive for utmost clarity, good structure, and best practices in academic writing.

Stick to a formal style at all times. Draw on credible sources and make sure you cite them properly, using the citation style required by your college.


Chris Brown is an experienced writer, tutor, and translator. For many years, Chris used to work as a teacher in academic writing. He has also sat in on multiple evaluation committees appraising essays written by undergraduate and graduate students. Chris’ skills are evidence-based, and his tips are easy to follow.