Tips for Academic Writing: Writing Fundamentals FAQs

Video: Tips for Post Graduate Writing: Writing Fundamentals FAQs

Hello and welcome back!  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today our focus for Tips for Post Graduate Writing is on a review of writing fundamentals.

We begin first with: Organization

–  Introduction –Tell them what you’re going to tell them – future tense

–  Body – Tell them –present tense

–  Conclusion –Tell them what you’ve told them –past tense

Each chapter must always present an introduction (which introduces your chapter and your writing objectives), body paragraphs (which cover the details), and conclusion (which reviews the main points as offered by your writing as well as reviews the writing objectives from your introduction to prove that these expectations have been met).  This formula is designed to bring your writing full circle.  Remember, whether a short essay or the lengthy Great American Novel, these three writing fundamentals are imperative to the success of your writing outcome.

Next, let’s address the idea of academic voice.  In formal or academic writing, we must craft our academic writing voice which means the use of Third Person per APA format standards.  We would avoid the use of: first person (either I ‘singular’ or we ‘plural’), second person (you/your), as well as the use of what I call first person disclaimers such as the phrases: I think, I feel, or I believe.  These phrases quite simply imply doubt in your writing.  Academic writing is not an opinion piece or creative writing.  If you are not sure, then how will your reader be?  Remember that you the writer is already implied.  Simply avoid their use, and begin your writing directly.  *smiles*

It is not just what we know, but what we can prove that is important to academic writing.  This leads me to my next point—the integration of evidence. 

◦      To be persuasive our writing needs to expand beyond our opinions alone.  Please be sure to offer evidence that supports the conclusions your writing offers.  Let’s keep this clear, concise, and brief.  Remember quotes support, not substitute for our writing.  Shorter quotes are best so as not to share too much control of your writing.  Your faculty and reader want to know what you think supported by evidence from your text authors or additional research.  A good rule of thumb is the 85/15 or 80/20 rule where 85% of your writing is original writing, supported by 15% quotes or evidence by scholarly research.  If a quote extends beyond 2/3 of a page, consider placing these longer quotes into an Appendix.  Then simply refer back to this (see Appendix A) in your writing.

For more tips on effective academic writing, please visit me at my blog at  Thank you for joining me.  My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz and I hope you find these suggestions within this video helpful. Good luck to you in your academic writing pursuits.  Cheers!

With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®
The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating scholars publish.

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February 15th, 2011 by admin

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