7 Useful Resources for Academic Writers | Full Guide

Resources for Academic Writers: Academic writing is an integral part of schooling, especially at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. However, such writing can be very hard for some, depending on the quality of education you receive.

Things can get even harder if you aren’t fluent in English or if it’s your second language. To overcome these challenges and produce the best results when working on academic articles, we will review 7 valuable resources that any academic writer should know. But first, we explore what academic writing is all about.

What is Academic Writing?

Academic writing, also known as scholarly writing, is produced as part of academic work by students, teachers, and other academic community members. The topics it covers vary from natural sciences to important events affecting society. Unlike some other types of writing, academic writing is purely nonfictional and aims to deliver information in a clear, concise, and structured manner that’s supported with evidence.

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Key Features of Academic Writing

Regarding academic writing, 3 major features help distinguish it from other forms of writing. In this section, we go over these features in detail.

1. The Type of Academic writing you are doing

There are mainly 4 different types of academic writing, namely:

  • descriptive, 
  • analytical, 
  • persuasive and 
  • critical

Your choice of words will change depending on the type of academic writing. However, most academic texts will include two or more different writing styles.

2. Quality

When it comes to quality, academic writing takes up a formal approach. Sentences are written clearly and concisely. At the same time, it’s also common for sentences to be long. The words used are usually complex, so having pre-existing knowledge on the topic of an academic paper would prove very useful in understanding it.

3. Goal

Ultimately, the goal of academic writing is to share original analysis based on carried out research. Usually, the audience of academic texts includes the members of the academic society. However, in many cases, it’s a professor looking to grade a student’s ability to write well according to standards.

Now that we understand what academic writing is and the key features that differentiate it from other forms of writing, we must go over some of the resources academic writers will find useful.

Best Resources for Academic Writers

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After thorough research and based on the reviews of many academic writers, here are 7 of the best resources you might want to consider.

1. Google Docs

When working on academic texts, in many cases, you will have to do research. Depending on how your team is set up, different individuals will be responsible for researching and writing different sections that make up the overall text.

Trying to ensure everyone is on the same page can be challenging, especially if meeting in person isn’t possible. The best way to do this would be to use Google Docs for writing. 

What makes Google Docs great is that you can write without worrying about backing up your data as long as you’re connected to the internet.

So, if your laptop crashes or your battery dies, you can pick up and continue from where you stopped at any time. Also, with Google Docs, different people can work on the same document simultaneously. This means progress will be easily made and can be tracked very well.

2. Harvard College Writing Center

The Harvard College Writing Center is an excellent website that’s packed with several useful writing guides.

For example, students looking to learn how to write more concise and meaningful conclusions should give it a browse. A quick visit to the website today, and you will be able to find other guides that cover outlining, developing a thesis, and much more.

However, just reading the guides isn’t enough, and you would need to apply them in your writing. Easier said than done, but with time and effort, you will see the benefits as you improve.

3. X-mind

When it comes to academic writing, despite how long texts can be, the majority of time isn’t spent writing. In fact, planning can be very tedious and important to how your academic text turns out. X-mind is a tool that aims to make the planning stage shorter and less tedious.

While there are other tools for academic writers that operate in a similar fashion, X-mind is the preferred choice for many because of how easy it is to get started with.

With this tool, academic writers are able to plan the outline of their texts without going into too much detail. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with writing, you can use X-mind to ensure you are always aware of the bigger picture.

4. Purdue Writing Lab

Whether you’re looking to brainstorm a good research idea or need proper citations on your academic texts, Purdue Writing Lab is a wonderful resource to try.

It’s one way to keep your mental health in check by not worrying about what your research topic should be. It comes with various tools and reading materials that are bound to prove useful to most academic writers.

To help students prepare for GED, Purdue Writing Lab has lessons where they guide students on the steps to take when trying to come up with a research topic. 

It’s detailed and comes with useful tips to improve anyone’s writing skills. Also, as citation is very important in academic papers, you must ensure you follow the correct format.

With Purdue Writing Lab, you can easily browse through the different citation preferences for professors. This will allow you to decide on the right one for your projects.

5. Zotero

When it comes to academic writing, many writers complain about how hard it is to remember the correct way of citing sources for the various formats.

After researching several books, websites, and academic journals, it’s normal to forget one or two sources contributing to your final text.

However, this can lead to serious problems. For one, if you fail to cite a source properly, using it can be considered plagiarism. Many academic institutions, especially the toughest colleges to enter, frown heavily on plagiarism, whether or not it is intentional. The implications of plagiarism can range from a failed course to expulsion.

Zotero understands these challenges academic writers face, which is why it was created 15 years ago by the Corporation for Digital Scholarship.

With Zotero, the boring task of remembering every website you visited becomes a thing of the past.

All you have to do is install the browser plugin, and the rest will be handled automatically. Once you’re done with writing your academic text, Zotero will add the citations for you.

Over the years, Zotero has been improved to become compatible with academic journals such as Elsevier and Springer.

6. Grammarly

Even the most brilliant minds in the world might find it difficult to spell a particular word at times. This kind of mind block is common, but you can’t be seen making such mistakes when writing academic texts.

As mentioned earlier, academic writing is quite strict and formal, and in most cases, your audience will be professors and other important members of the academic community. Instead of re-reading your texts multiple times, you can use Grammarly to proofread your writing for you.

Grammarly also comes with features like a free plagiarism tester and AI feedback to help you write more concise and informational texts. It can help you monitor your writing style, text readability, and more.

7. Workflowy

It can be very hard to stay motivated when working on any project. Eventually, some tasks might begin to feel underwhelming, and as a result, you might start to see your productivity start to decline.

However, like the writers from the best essay services, you need to be able to handle your tasks with great efficiency.

One tool that can help you keep on track is Workflowy, and while its user interface might appear rather dull at first, it’s a tool you would eventually find very useful.

Like X-mind, Workflowy helps writers keep track of their tasks in the form of mini and large milestones.

Not only will it keep you motivated, but you will also be able to track your progress much better. It’s simply a great way to maintain a schedule.

In Conclusion

Academic writing will require to have a strong mind and writing talent. After researching for months, documenting your steps and analysis can be very tedious. This is why it’s important to have the right tools at your disposal.

Each resource we mentioned in this article can work well with each other so that you can combine them for the best results. If you enjoyed this article and found one or two resources you like, make sure to give them a try.

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