Academic Research Writing

How to become good at academic research writing?

11 ways you can get better in communicating your research

As researchers, we spend years of our life building our research. But then when it comes to academic research writing, many of us still struggle. Writing your research effectively is .

Research communication is more than aggregating results and ideas in one place. A good research paper is one which is easy to consume with all hypotheses validated. The readers should be able to take away concepts from your research that they can further build on.

At , we talk to researchers and publishers every day in our journey to build . Based on our conversations, we see that researchers use a number of strategies to become good at academic research writing.

Writing better academic papers has two parts to it.

Breaking mental barriers to writing

 

  1. Daily Practice: From Hemingway to new age authors, there is an age old advice that still works — writing 1000 words a day. When you start writing, do not worry about publishing. Just write everything you know about your topic of research. This allows your brain to get comfortable with the writing process. With practice, you will find better ways to express your ideas and concepts.
  2. Initial Resistance: You will get uncomfortable. You will face resistance. But some of the best words will flow out of your hands and minds when you fight it out. When you keep at it, when you sit with a piece of paper until you can write something satisfying — that’s when the magic happens.
  3. The Struggle: Your struggle should show up in your work. Your pain should transcend yourself and become the words you write. First thing you write for the day will always be difficult — even when you have written a lot. Do not get bogged down by it.
  4. Read a lot: Most of the good writers are good readers. But be wary of mimicking any specific writing style. Focus on your own Voice.
  5. Writing as a way to thinkIn this amazing talk, Simon Peyton Jones from Microsoft Research explains how writing can “quick start” your thought process on your research. And the more you write the more quality content you produce. Only regular practice will help you produce good content.

Becoming good at academic research writing

 

  1. Collect as many references as possible in your research area. And read them all. Yes, it may sound like the best academic writers have a shortcut, but they don’t. The more you read academic papers, the better you become in assimilating and understanding the knowledge in your domain. And you will get better in citing the right sources for your research — an important part of building effective arguments in your paper.
  2. Use your academic research writing process more as a thinking tool. Understand your area of research better by writing about it in multiple ways. Find different ways of communicating the same concept. Have your written a 3 paragraph abstract? Can you write it in a single paragraph? Can you write it in two sentences and still be clear? Being concise and clear is a skill. And you acquire it by practice.
  3. Do a review of the best papers in your domain. Write a one page summary of the best papers in your domain. Can you understand their theme, main construct, the supporting argument and evidence? Can you present it all in one page? Better, post them in your blog. Get used to publishing what you write. You will have lesser resistance to writing and publishing this way.
  4. Share your paper with your friends, reviewers, whomever is ready — ask them what they understood. Is the idea clear? Is the solution clear? Is there a correlation between the two? What parts are found easy to read and what parts are difficult? Feedback is the best way to improve on your writing.
  5. Write like you talk. Try explaining your paper to people orally. Record it. See what words people find easy to understand. And then use a similar narration style in your content. The more you explain to people, the better you become in communicating your ideas. Writing like talking has become the biggest trend in business writing, recently. So why not in academic writing?
  6. Weed out unwanted parts of your research process using good tools. For example, use Mendeley to discover and collect all your references. So when you are ready to write your paper you can quickly get all your sources in a click. For following author guidelines, use Typeset.io- it automatically applies all the formatting rules on your content in a click.

In case you want to get started with your research paper immediately, try the . You can learn more about what we do and how we help you in your academic research writing .

For further reading

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