Four Basics of Good Writing

Academic writing is a genre of writing that is used in educational and scholarly settings such as universities, colleges, and research institutions. The following are some of the defining characteristics of academic writing:

  1. Formal tone: Academic writing is typically written in a formal, objective tone and avoids the use of colloquial language and personal opinions.
  2. Objectivity: Academic writing strives for objectivity, meaning that it presents information and arguments in a neutral manner, without allowing personal opinions or emotions to influence the writing.
  3. Evidence-based: Academic writing relies on evidence, such as data, research findings, and other reliable sources, to support arguments and claims made in the text.
  4. Structured: Academic writing is structured, with clear introductions, body paragraphs, and conclusions. It often follows a specific format, such as an essay, research paper, or lab report.
  5. Credible sources: Academic writing cites credible sources, such as peer-reviewed articles and reputable books, to support arguments and claims.
  6. Precision: Academic writing is precise and detailed, using specialized vocabulary and avoiding ambiguity.
  7. Referencing: Academic writing employs a specific referencing style, such as MLA or APA, to give credit to the sources used in the writing.
  8. Academic language: Academic writing uses academic language, a specialized vocabulary used in academic and scholarly settings.
  • Takes into account what the students already know and need.
  • Accomplishes the writer’s goal.
  • Contains a unique and clear point.
  • Backs up the main idea by providing evidence that clarifies or verifies it.

The people or individuals who can read whatever you write are your audiences. Your motivation for writing is your objective. The goal of your essay might be to explain, illustrate, or defend anything. You’ll write differently for your readers depending on your intended audience and goals.

14 Features of Academic Writing

14 Features of Good Writing 
14 Features of Academic Writing


In composition, cohesion uses cohesive devices, pronouns, and repetition to connect ideas within sentences and paragraphs. So, cohesion is the glue that holds your thoughts together. It makes the entire text clear and intelligible. It can be obtained in a variety of ways:

Important Features of Cohesion

Conjunctions: Using linking words that connect sentences with different ideas within a text. They are also called transitions. Using such cohesive devices, writers can create paragraphs and essays that flow smoothly and are easy to read.

Repetition: Repeating keywords or phrases throughout your essay can help to create cohesion. For example, if you’re writing about the importance of exercise, you might repeat the word “healthy” throughout your essay to remind the reader of your main point.

Pronouns: they are words like “I,” “you,” “he,” “she,” “it,” and “they.” Pronouns can be used to create cohesion by connecting different parts of a sentence or to connect other sentences within a paragraph. For example, if you introduce a character in your essay, you can refer to that character by using pronouns like “he” or “she” later on. This will remind the reader of who you’re talking about. For example, I’m going to the store. I need to buy some milk.


Coherence, on the other hand, is the overall flow of your writing—the way your ideas connect and create a logical argument. It develops a logical relationship between concepts and ideas.

This can be achieved through the use of transitional words and phrases, which signal to the reader the relationships between the different ideas. Coherence is a key feature of writing that refers to how well all the elements of a text fit together.

Because, it makes writing more purposeful, fluid, and enjoyable. Coherence in writing aids readers to understand how one point leads to the next.

Individual concepts should be linked together to form a coherent whole. When moving from one primary support point to another, use transitions. You can also increase the rhythm of your work using them.

One way to ensure that your writing is coherent is to plan it out before you start. This means having a clear idea of what you want to say and how you want to say it. Once you have a plan, you can then start to write, making sure to link each idea as you go. If you find yourself getting stuck, it can be helpful to take a break and come back to it later with fresh eyes.

Important Features of Coherence

  • The Logical relationship between ideas
  • The Repetition of keywords
  • And, the Use of Transitional words and phrases

Examples of Texts with good Coherence

  • A well-written essay
  • A clear and concise report
  • A well-organized speech


One of the most common features of writing in comparison. We often compare things in order to better understand them, to highlight their similarities or differences, or to make an argument for one thing over another.

For example, when we compare two different products, we are looking at their features side by side in order to decide which is the better option. When we compare two different people, we might be looking at their qualities in order to decide who is more qualified for a certain job. And when we compare two other ideas, we might be looking at their merits in order to decide which one is more worth our time and energy.

In each of these cases, a comparison is a helpful tool that can help us to make more informed decisions. But it’s important to remember that comparison is only as good as the information we put into it. If we are comparing two things that are not truly comparable, then our comparison is not going to be very helpful.

Examples of comparative forms

  • The Pacific Ocean is quite bigger than the Atlantic Ocean.
  • His work intrigues me more than hers.


Definition is a feature of writing that allows the author to create a clear and concise understanding of a term, concept, or object. This can be achieved by using specific language and avoiding ambiguity. To effectively define something, the author must first have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Additionally, the author must be able to articulate the definition in a way that is easily understood by the reader.

For example, when defining the term “love”, it is important to avoid using vague language such as “a feeling of strong affection”. Instead, a more precise definition might be “an emotion felt strongly towards someone else characterized by affection, passion, and intimacy”.

Another important consideration when writing a definition is to ensure that it is accurate.

In two scenarios, definitions are usually in demand in academic work:

  • To explain a word or phrase in the title in introductions.
  • To clarify a word or phrase that is technical or has no commonly accepted definition in general.


One of the features of academic writing is the use of examples. Examples can be used to illustrate a point, support an argument, or provide evidence for a claim. For example, when writing essays, it is generally preferable to back your claims with examples.

Examples can be effective in academic writing for many reasons.

  • First, they can help to make a point more concrete and understandable.
  • Second, they can provide evidence to support an argument.
  • Third, they can help to make a claim more persuasive.

When using examples, it is important to select those that are most relevant and representative. It is also important to explain how the example supports your argument or illustrates your point.

Examples can be helpful means in academic writing, but they should be used thoughtfully and sparingly. When used effectively, they can help to make your writing more clear, more convincing, and more memorable.


One of the features of academic writing is the use of generalizations. A generalization is a statement about a group or class of things that includes more than one individual instance. For example, a generalization about college students might be that they are all lazy and don’t care about their studies.

However, not all generalizations are accurate. In fact, many generalizations are based on stereotypes, which are oversimplified and often inaccurate ideas about groups of people. For example, the stereotype of the lazy college student is based on the idea that all college students are young people who party all the time and don’t care about their classes.

While it’s true that some college students do party a lot and don’t care about their studies, this is not true of all college students. There are many college students who are serious about their studies and don’t party at all.

Generalizations are quite beneficial in writing. Because they may be used to portray complicated ideas or facts in a straightforward and easy-to-remember format:

  • Large corporations can provide greater job prospects.
  • Language is a vital medium of communication.

There are two ways of making a generalization:

  • a) Using the plural: Computers are practical devices.
  • b) Using the singular + definite article: A computer is a practical device. (Less common/more formal).

8. Numbers

The earth’s climate seems to be accumulating 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon yearly.

  • A total of 1,800 youngsters between the ages of 6 and 13 were chosen at random.
  • In a broad sense, numbers and figures are both employed to communicate statistical information.

9. Opening Paragraphs

Introduce the subject by providing some basic information, such as:

  • The internet has become a significant instrument for academic study in recent years.
  • The utilization of wind power to generate energy is gaining popularity.

10. References and Quotations

A reference acknowledges that you have used the ideas or facts of another writer in your written form: e.g.

  • The relationship between cancer and food was investigated by Steinbeck (1965).
  • Giving references is important for three reasons:
  1. To avoid being accused of plagiarising.
  2. Your work may get additional credibility as a result of the mention.
  3. Using the bibliography, the reader may locate the primary author.
  1. REFERENCES Brzeski, W. (1999) The Polish Housing Market www. (Access date 15 Feb. 2000)

11. Style

The technique in which one expresses one’s thoughts through language we refer it as a writing style. It contains personal qualities as well as linguistic decisions made by writers. It also involves the emotional effects of specific technologies on viewers. Its parts go beyond the fundamentals of spelling, grammar, and punctuation marks. The style of writing refers to the words, phrase structure, and paragraph structure that we employ to effectively express meaning. The writer’s style refers to how he or she goes about doing things. (according to Wikipedia)

12. Synonyms

  To give diversity and interest to the reader, it is vital to discover synonyms when writing: e.g.

  • A decent synonym for a corporation is a firm, however, a boss is too informal for management.

13. Variation in Sentence Length

Short phrases are easier to read and understand: Long and short sentences are commonly used in effective writing.

14. Visual Information

Graphs and tables, for example, are useful visual aids. They present a vast amount of data in a way that is rapid and easy to comprehend.

By Waqas Sharif

Mr. Waqas Sharif is an English Language Teaching (ELT) Professional, Trainer, and Course Instructor at a Public Sector Institute. He has more than ten years of Eng Language Teaching experience at the Graduate and Postgraduate level. His main interest is found in facilitating his students globally He wishes them to develop academic skills like Reading, Writing, and Communication mastery along with Basics of Functional Grammar, English Language, and Linguistics.

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