Main Difference – Academic Writing vs General Writing
Writing is an action that we all engage in our day to day lives. There are different styles of writing such as literary writing, technical writing, creative writing, academic writing, etc. Academic writing is the style of writing we use in academic disciplines, which requires a special set of skills. The main difference between academic writing and general writing is that academic writing is very formal, objective and concise in comparison to other styles of writing.
This article looks at,
1. What is Academic Writing? – Features, Choice of Language, and Use
2. What is General Writing? – Features, Choice of Language, and Use
3. What is the difference between Academic Writing and General Writing?
What is Academic Writing
Academic writing is the style of writing we use in the field of academics. Research projects, term papers, conference papers, essays, abstracts, reports, etc. in various disciplines are written in this style. The main difference between academic writing and other styles of writings is that it is more formal and structured. Academic writing also has its own set of rules and structures. The target audience or the readers of academic writing is the scholars of the same discipline.
Academic writing is generally objective, concise and impersonal. It is also more complex than general writing and may consist of technical jargon. Precision is also another very important factor in academic writing. Punctuation and grammar should be strictly followed. Contractions (don’t, can’t, etc.), slang or informal words, clichés, unnecessary filler words such as really, very, etc. should also be avoided in academic writing.
Referencing and citations is another major difference in academic writing. In academic writing, the writer is expected to support his argument by citing evidence by other sources. However, this evidence from other sources always has to be properly attributed according to an accepted style guide such as APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard referencing.
What is General Writing
Writing for non-academic and no-technical purposes can be described as general writing. This is the style of writing we use in our day to day life. Diary and journal entries, letters, emails, newspaper articles, advertisements, posters, etc. are all written in a general writing style. Although general writing also requires correct spelling and grammar, it is not as strict as academic writing. In addition, there are no restrictions on the use of slang, contractions, clichés and other words. General writing can be informal, formal or semi-formal, but it’d be simpler and easier to understand than academic writing. There is also no need to use strict referencing and citation in general writing.
Difference Between Academic Writing and General Writing
Academic Writing is used in research projects, conference papers, essays, abstracts, reports, etc.
General Writing is used in letters, emails, newspaper articles, diary and journal entries, etc.
Academic Writing uses formal, objective, concise language.
General Writing uses informal, semi-formal language.
Academic Writing does not use slang.
General Writing can use slang.
Academic Writing does not use contractions.
General Writing can use contractions.
Referencing and citations
Academic Writing always uses referencing and citations.
General Writing does not usually use referencing and citations.
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