When authors and publishers set their sights on writing academic-type books and materials, they may be uncertain about what to expect. Often, academic-type books aren’t like those papers in college or high school. In the self-publishing world writing a book on an academic topic requires a lot more focus and depth. In this article, we’ll present four great tips for writing academic materials.
- Focus Is Everything
A common issue with academic materials is that they are too broad. All too often, authors try to cover too much ground in a single volume. This leads to voluminous materials while leaving the reader with too much information to handle. Additionally, publishers may not have a clear sense of where they want the materials to go. This can lead to losing focus.
The best way to focus on academic materials is by starting out with a basic premise. That basic premise must then drive research so that sources support the premise. When authors do research in order to build a premise, their work may spiral out of control.
- Credible Sources
Indeed, credible sources are the best way to go. Peer-reviewed journals, official government publications, and opinions by renowned experts are the best way to go. These sources can back up any claims, thereby sparing the author and publisher from ridicule. When publishers don’t double-check sources, it can lead to credibility issues down the road. While the claims may be true, their lack of valid support may call the entire work into question.
- Make Your Ideas Clear
When an author offers their opinion, interpretation, or theory, it is important to make this known. Of course, the basis for original ideas ought to be substantiated by credible sources. However, the author must ensure that readers know the basic premise is original. Therefore, it is necessary to use language that reflects original ideas. Since academic materials are mostly written in the third-person, authors should avoid phrases like, “in my opinion,” “I believe,” or “in my estimation.” These phrases are great for lecturing, but not the best for formal academic writing.
- Set a Neutral Tone
The bulk of academic materials give information on a topic without issuing a value judgment. Unless the work is a critique or openly attempts to persuade the reader, academic works should maintain a neutral tone. In this regard, a neutral tone means writing in the third person without offering any subjective opinions. Academic works differentiate themselves by their objectivity. Thus, providing objective information, based on credible sources, is the right formula for great academic works.
Ultimately, the core of an academic text is to provide useful information the reader can translate into real-world applications. Even when a text may be highly theoretical, the reader should leave with a sense of the unbiased discussion. When texts are meant to persuade, arguments ought to be framed within logical and congruent formats. Doing so enables the reader to get the author’s perspective clearly and concisely.