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What is Academic Writing? The Ultimate Guide 2024

If you’re someone associated with the content writing industry, you must have come across the term “Academic Writing. Well, in this article we’ll learn about this type of writing in detail and explore more about its features, career scope, and things of that nature.


What is Academic Writing The Ultimate Guide



So, let’s start in layman terms so that it becomes very easy for fresh beginners to learn detailed facts and features about academic writing. The name itself suggests that Academic Writing has to be related to academics in some way. Yes, that is correct. It is a format of writing which is done for educational purposes usually carried out by high school and college students.

For educational purposes, we understand research papers, essays, discussions, reviews,s and more. So, overall from a layman’s perspective, we can derive that academic writing is a way of writing that is usually put to use for educational purposes.

If you browse through the web for academic writing, you’ll come across a Wikipedia page defining it as non-fiction created as a part of academic work. All of the above mentioned were from a broader perspective, so let’s try and understand the in-depth concepts of the work.

What is Academic Writing?

In a very simple way, Academic writing can be defined as a type/format/style of writing that is very much related to academics. May it is report writing, research paper, or anything else, Academic writing is one of the most sought-after skills when it comes to writing.

If you wish to become an academic writer, understanding or learning the definition won’t do any good, rather you’ll have to explore the very core concepts and fundamentals of academic writing to manage or build a career in this field.

Further in this article, you’ll learn about the features of academic writing, types, and career in this industry. Let’s decode some of the lesser-known facts about Academic writing, and help people become professional academic writers making a decent income through this profession.

Hopefully, the above details must have provided you with very relevant information on what is content writing. Going forward, we’ll be learning a lot more about the key areas of academic writing ad their importance.

How is it different from other formats of writing?

Academic writing in many ways is different from other formats of writing. Comparing it with different types of writing will get us several differences. However, there are a lot of common differences as well.

Other formats of writing involve a bit of creativity, perception, SEO, etc while academic writing is more of a formal type of content writing. This type of content writing demands more knowledge, observation, and analysis than creativity.

While the layout is most content writing styles is flexible and allows little changes here and there, academic content has set layouts, structure, and format which the writer has to comply with. There are literally so many types of academic writing, and each one of the types has its own set standard, layout, structure, and more.

From the above details, it is pretty clear that academic writing is very different on several parameters when compared to other formats of writing. This must have helped you with a little more clarity on the topic what is academic writing, and ahead of this, we’ll be learning about the features and career scope in academic writing.

Let’s start with features of Academic Writing

  • Formal Tone: 

One of the nicest features of academic writing is that it has to be written in a very formal tone. Since the content is going to serve educational purposes, it is required to be written in a formal manner. This makes the content relevant for the audience who consumes academic content. Formal tone also means to restrict the use of any kind of informal words or phrases.

So, while writing a piece of academic content or an article, you must ensure that you are using a very formal tone to write. This also speaks a lot about the purpose of developing such content. For example, research papers are something that is approved and published by international journals and educational institutions, and the audience who consumes such content are usually students, professors, scientists, and researchers. This is also one of the reasons why academic articles and write-ups are needed to be written in a very formal manner.

In fact, if written with your own analysis and research, you may also showcase your write-up in your CV to build credibility. Now that we know what is academic writing and one of its features, let’s jump on to the next feature and try exploring it.

  • Precision:

If you really want to know what content writing is and what are some of the really important features, then you must understand that precision is a key factor in academic writing. Unlike other formats of content writing, academic writing doesn’t involve a lot of context building. Usually, when we write a blog post or an article, we start with the intro, a little bit of history (if required), and some necessary details around it. But in academic writing, one is required to stick to the topic right from the beginning and remain precise throughout the article.

Like it has been already mentioned, that academic writing is relevant for a specific set of audiences. This audience mainly constitutes of students, professionals, and experts. There is a good variety of academic content that can be developed and is relevant to different groups of people. Since this specific audience consuming any form of academic content already has some kind of context to relate to the write-up, the academic writer need not build a lot of contexts since that would be unnecessary.

This could better be understood with an example. Let’s say you are writing a research paper on solar energy. You need not provide context around what is solar energy and the fundamentals of it, since the people who chose to read the research paper picked it only because they can relate to it, meaning they already have the context.

  • Accuracy:

Unlike other forms of content writing, academic writing is backed with statistical data, which is required to be very accurate and to the point. Accuracy plays a big role in academic writing since the write-ups are used for references in research, educational purposes, and they are also cited in several other research papers.

So, clearly, academic writ-ups hold a lot of importance and inaccurate information can cause unimaginable damage in a lot of aspects. This is the reason, the facts and figures in any academic content are required to be very much accurate. If you’re someone, trying to understand what is academic writing and various details about it, you must understand how accuracy matters in such styles of writing.

To develop a flawless piece of an academic write-up, you must keep in mind that whatever facts and figures you mention in the content shall be backed with proper research and shall be collected from a trusted authentic source, and the data you’ll mention will have to be very much accurate.

  • Format/Way of Writing:

We must have read this in school, that every formal piece of writing has a defined format. For example, a leave application has a different format as compared to an email or a formal business letter. The same theory applies everywhere, especially, when it comes to academic writing as well.

Till now we’ve understood that any academic content is required to have a formal tone along with several other features. One more feature you must be aware of, in case you were wondering what is academic writing and its fundamentals is the format or the way of writing the academic content.

Like it has already been mentioned, that there are several types of academic writing practices, and each one of them has set formats. One as an academic writer has to make sure that they maintain the format of their write-up. For example, a research paper has a very different format as compared to a report.

In the process of understanding what is academic writing, you must first understand the various kinds of academic content and their nature. This helps you to identify the purpose of the content and write in the required format.

On top of that, one also has to take care of the way academic content is produced. Let’s say we have to write one simple blog post, and then the way we write is pretty simple. We start with an eye-grabbing headline, an intro followed by a little bit of context building followed by main content, and end with a summary or a conclusion.

Similarly, different types of academic content have different formats that one as an academic writer has to learn and get used to in order to master the craft of academic writing.

  • Objective/General views instead of individually subjective:

Many a time, it is suggested that developing content in the first person using words like “I” and “Me” referring to personal observations and analysis. However, academic writing is slightly different. Since the content will be for educational purposes, it shall have a more generalized presentation rather than a personal one.

Academic writing is more about theories, facts, and statistics and more rather than personal experiences, observations, and analysis. So, the right way of developing a well-written piece of academic write-up is to make it more objective and write it in the third person.

Overall, we can understand from the above points that there are certain features of an academic write-up that one needs to keep in mind to precisely develop a well-written piece of academic content.

We believe, people starting with academic writing or those who are curious to know what is academic writing, shall find the details very valuable and helpful in understanding the core fundamentals of the topic.

How to Become an Academic Writer

Now, this is a very interesting question to answer. Well, not everyone who understands all the features of good academic content becomes a writer in that genre, but one also has to be a subject matter expert or at least hold the knowledge to a good extent to be able to write academic content.

Since it serves educational purposes, it has to be written by someone who holds relevant knowledge and expertise in the given field or topic. For example, someone who is good at chemistry, might not manage to write compelling pieces of academic content around physics, etc.

Therefore, it’s more than just mere English writing skills that make an academic writer successful in their genre. If you aspire to become an academic writer someday, you must first recognize the subject you hold expertise in and then work on your writing skills, it is recommended to learn academic writing since just reading about the content parameters and everything is not enough.

Every time you develop a piece of academic content, you must keep in mind that your content piece has all the features that resemble the same as for academic write-up. Since there are many types of academic writings and practices that are followed, it is recommended for you to learn the formats, writing standards, and everything else about such types of writing to be able to become a good professional academic writer.

Overall, that was about the ways in which you can also become an academic writer. It doesn’t require a lot of effort top write an academic content, however, the practices involved and the parameters to be taken care of shall be followed very precisely while writing academic content.

Career in Academic Content Writing

  • Career Scope:

If you wish to become an academic writer, then just learning about what is academic writing is not enough. You must understand the career scope in the field of academic writing at present. Considering the present status of the industry, we may conclude that, the profession of an academic writer is very profitable.

The demand for academic writers has grown immensely over the years. Earlier, the concept of academic writing didn’t exist in a very commercial way, however, at this point, may it be college assignments, research papers, reports, or more career every form of academic writing service is available.

The ratio of demand of academic writers to their availability shows that there is good potential in the industry. It is not very difficult to achieve mastery around craft of academic writing, however, it is very important to learn the features and professional aspects of it, if you wish to become a professional academic writer.

So, if you’re wondering about career opportunities in academic writing, then you must be assured that it is a very fruitful career to pursue, and with experience, you can master it and even make a living out of it as a professional.

  • Salary:

Like we just mentioned, academic writing is a very profitable profession, and it is not just in terms of the availability of job opportunities or space in the industry but also with the pay structure as well. If we consider the payment of academic writers, it is way better as compared to blog writers and other kinds of article writers.

This is because an academic writer is not someone who has good English communication skills and just merely writes on any given topic, rather one has to be a subject matter expert with relevant knowledge in a certain field to be able to write academic content.

For example, it can be very difficult for someone with a biology major to be able to develop academic content around computer science. The name very clearly suggests that the content can revolve around any academic subject, may it be mathematics, management, finance, etc.

According to one of the reports about academic writing by Glassdoor, the average national salary of an academic writer is Rs 37,223, which is relatively more than that of the writer in any other genre. So, if you’re worried about the payout as an academic writer, then we must let you know that the salaries are pretty good.

  • Growth Opportunities in the Future:

Considering the importance of academic write-ups, it can be concluded that there is a good growth opportunity for academic writers in the near future. This is because educational institutes are paying immense attention to essays, reports, and more which is the reason, many students and even professionals seek academic writing services.

A very popular example of that is the application process to many reputed international colleges. May it is Harvard or one of the ivy league colleges or even something like yale or Stanford university, one thing that remains constant in their process is the essay.

The essay plays a very important role in the admission process, and therefore, many students who might not have that good vocabulary and writing skills seek academic writing services. Another such example can be seen in the admission procedure of German universities.

Unlike the American universities, the german ones seek a Letter of motivation and a Statement of Purpose. These are of immense importance to the students, and since the acceptance rate is very less, one has to be very perfect at these writeups. So, to write the letter of motivation and statement of purpose (SOP), and everything the students normally choose academic writing services.

On top of everything, once the students get into these colleges, they are required to write semester assignments, project reports, and more which are also evaluated based on the writing standards, and therefore, students prefer to go for academic writing services.

Many students pursue a Ph.D., which involves a lot of research, and towards the end of their degree, the students are required to write a thesis around their subject and research. So, considering all the mentioned situations where it seems very clear that the students, professionals, and even experts will continue to need academic writing services.

So far we have read about what is academic writing, the features, the importance, career, and more, and we’ll be knowing more about how to learn the art of academic writing.

How to learn academic content writing

To learn anything at this point in time is not at all a difficult task. Especially because of the internet facilities, everything is within easy access since we can find courses, resources, and more on the web for free. Internet is literally loaded with information around academic writing. In fact, you’ll easily find some professional academic writers sharing their experiences on their social profiles. This makes it very relatable and easy for beginners to learn about the basic fundamentals of academic writing.

However, to be very practical, learning just the fundamentals or the basics of academic writing is not enough, which is the reason why many students and aspiring academic writers choose to go with courses. It will take one comparatively more time to learn organically from the web, moreover, they must know what to look for.

There are several courses that provide great insights into the art of academic writing, as the institutes make efforts to compile the necessary information around academic writing to create a compact, comprehensive, and highly valuable course that can help people learn academic writing in a much shorter period of time.

On top of everything mentioned, the trainers and instructors in such organizations are experienced professional academic writers who have spent years practicing the craft on a professional level and have done remarkably well. Learning from someone who has relevant experience and expertise makes it easy for you to understand and comprehend the topics.

Not just that, but while trying to learn by ourselves from the web, it is very much possible for us to miss out on a lot of information such as what tools we can use to conduct research before writing and things like that. Going with a good institution or a good course can help since the experienced instructors will take you through the very detailed basics of the course to good professional levels.

So, from the mentioned points, we can conclude that learning academic writing or in fact, any kind of writing is not a difficult thing to do. Moreover, there are 2 primary ways of learning academic writing. The first is the organic way of browsing the web and researching on our own to find resources, blog posts, informative videos, and even content by experienced professionals. The second way is to learn through the medium of paid courses which are offered by authentic and reputed institutions that have developed comprehensive courses.

If you were to take our suggestion regarding this, we would rather recommend you to go with courses over the choice of learning on our own about what is academic writing and the professional aspects of it. There is a strong reason we advise you to go with courses, and one of them is the fact that courses feed you with organized information that is necessary. You might come across a lot of unnecessary information while trying to learn on your own through browsing the web, which will waste your time and extend the period of learning and mastering the skills in academic writing.

Along with that, like it has been mentioned already, the courses come with a lot of perks such as placement assistance, the opportunity to intern, access to tools, lifetime access to courses, and more. Although not many institutes offer all these amazing features, there are some which actually do.

IIM SKILLS is one such institute that has made a remarkable name for itself in the content writing industry and has been dominating the ed-tech space with many other professional courses and coaching. It offers a Content writing course, digital marketing course, GST course, and CAT coaching as well.

When it comes to professional courses, this institute makes it to the top of the list as one of the best organizations offering the finest quality courses. So, if you’re interested to know what is academic writing and the skills related to it, then you must try browsing through the course page of the IIM SKILLS content writing course.

This course interestingly covers more than 15 types of content writing, including academic writing, and it is rated by the students as one of the most valuable courses out there to learn academic writing. It not only guides you about what is academic writing but also the professional aspects of it.


You  might also be interetsed in the top Technical Writing Course offered by IIM SKILLS


Let’s learn a little about the IIM SKILLS content writing course:

  • Practical Course:

The course provides you with professional insights into academic writing skills. The professional aspects of academic writing is a very important thing to learn because it allows one to understand the key aspects of academic writing practices.

  • Modules

What modules are covered during the course, talks a lot about the topics a course prioritizes. Like it has been mentioned earlier, a good course is identified by its ability to filter out unnecessary topics and keeping what is relevant to the student’s requirements. Now that we know IIM SKILLS Content Writing Master Course is very practical, it keeps the unnecessary theory away, making it a very relatable, compact, and comprehensive course to pursue aspiring academic writers.

The picture below shows what all modules the course covers:

course modules for technical writing course

  • Case Studies

Theories are good to learn, but examples are what give a practical idea and detailed insight into a subject. Case studies are one great way of finding relatable examples that correspond to the theory that you have learned justifying the concepts. In the IIM SKILLS content writing master course, there are mainly 2 case studies that will be covered through this course. The first one is an affiliate marketing case study that gives you a clear understanding of how affiliate marketing works, how to make money through affiliate marketing, and how easy or difficult it is to make people buy stuff through affiliate links. The other case study involved in the course is a content marketing giveaway campaign that shows how hosting giveaways can boost your engagement.

content writing case studies

  • Certificates:

The course offers some really valuable certifications including the HubSpot content marketing certification and IIM SKILLS content writing master course certification. Both the certifications are internationally accepted and make it easy for the candidates to get through job applications and interviews because of the brand presence of IIM SKILLS as an institute.

content writing certification

  • Experienced Instructors and Team:

IIM SKILLS is led by Mr. Vaibhav Kakkar, who happens to be one of the best content writers in the world. He holds 10+ years of experience in the content writing industry and has worked for some of the finest companies in the world, proving himself as the very right person to guide the students through the course.

  • Tools

The tools play a very important role in academic writing since it involves a lot of research practices. The tools are capable of scraping through millions of websites and gathering details that will help the academic writer a well-written piece of content. Such tools are very expensive and thus, IIM SKILLS offers access to more than 30 tools for free worth INR 30,000.


  • Placement Assistance

The course provides complete placement assistance to the students where they get to learn about the best career opportunities. Many students have managed to find well-paying jobs, some have started freelancing, and a few have started their own startups. The institute has a placement cell that actively works to find good placement opportunities for students.

  • Alumni Status

The students who successfully managed to complete the course are now working at some of the best companies like Accenture, Amazon, Flipkart, BMW, and more. The alumni status of any institute reflects the quality of training that the students have received.

Alumni status of IIM SKILLS

  • Lifetime Access

The course provides lifetime access to the students that means the students get to access the video lectures, study materials, and other resources for the rest of their lives after completing the course. This is one of the key highlights of the IIM SKILLS content writing master course.

  • Reviews and Ratings

The reviews and ratings of this institute can be found everywhere on the internet. May it be Trustpilot, quora, google reviews, or anything else. The reviews suggest that the students have thoroughly enjoyed the learning process at IIM SKILLS through their content writing course. Many reviews point towards the satisfaction and gratitude the students have expressed towards the efforts of the instructors.

It is one of the finest-rated and critically acclaimed courses around content writing and academic writing of all time. You may also read the IIM SKILLS content writing course review here.

  • Media Coverage

IIM SKILLS has been covered by several media outlets for its extraordinary performance when it comes to guiding and training the students through the finest content writing skills and academic writing practices. Some of the media units that have covered IIM SKILLS are Z News, Primetime, Mid Day, India Today, The Statesman, The Times of India, and more.

  • Get your first article on TOI and first E-Book Published

By the time you finish this content writing course, you’ll have your article published on one of the biggest news platforms in India. Yes, as you progress with the course, you’ll learn to get your article published on news portals like the Times of India and more.

Getting your first e-book published is a very important accomplishment for any writer, and after learning what is academic writing and all the practices around it, IIM SKILLS helps you to publish your first e-book.

Still not clear about the course, try going through this video to get a detailed insight into the course


That was little from a lot about what is academic writing, what are the professional skills related to it, and all the other aspects to it. Through this article, we pretty much learn everything about academic writing, starting from what is academic writing to the features, what it takes to be a professional, and even how to learn and master the skill of academic writing as well. So, let’s dive into a short summary of this ultimate guide about what is academic writing and take a tour of what we’ve learned through this article.

We started off with the definition of academic writing, and in very simple terms, we may say that it is a way of writing content specifically for catering to educational requirements. It contains well-researched and precisely written educational content and the set parameters of how a certain piece of academic content would look like make it unique.

Academic writing is different from all other forms of writing in so many ways, however, if we were to highlight one, we would say, academic writing doesn’t allow much flexibility for it is bound by certain rules and format restrictions that one needs to follow to create a well-written piece of academic content.

Next, in the process of learning what is academic writing, we did learn about the features of academic writing that include precision, accuracy, formal tone, format, and objective writing. Keeping these features in mind, one has to develop compelling pieces of academic content.

And finally, we got to learn about how and from where we can get the training or guidance to understand what is academic writing and the concepts associated with it. Well, there cannot be a better source than the internet to learn not only what is academic writing but many other things.

However, learning academic writing on your own can be a very long process, and you might end up losing massive amounts of time on unnecessary things that come along while browsing for useful stuff. Therefore, considering all the requirements of any aspiring academic writer, we present to you the IIM SKILLS content writing master course, which covers not only academic writing but over 15 types of content writing.

The course comes with a lot of other features like placement assistance, free access to premium tools, internationally accepted certifications, lifetime access, best trainers, and a lot more.

Manish Kumar is a writer by Passion and Profession. Over the years he wrote for many projects, blogs and websites which actually pushed him through a phase of learning. With his excellence in other domains, he is now a day exploring depths of content marketing. As a thought leader in Content Domain, Manish understand the scope of Content Marketing Industry & wants to reach out to the world with his thoughts.

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