Why do we write?
There is a lot of writing involved in education and research, and there are many reasons for this. Primarily, it is because it is through writing that we best can process the information we have gathered. If we just hear or read something, the information is often not stored well enough, or we think we have a good grasp of something when we have just barely scratched the surface. It is while writing that we discover if we are lacking context, need more information, or we realize that we are not done with thinking things through. Thinking things through is an important part of the writing process. It is also a good exercise for making convincing arguments and presenting the information you have gathered in a way that is logical and makes sense. Finally, writing is an excellent way of communicating what you have learned to others.
Summarized, we can say that we write to:
- Be a part of a community
What identifies an academic text?
For most of us, academic texts are something we first come across in higher education, and as such it is a genre that most students have little knowledge of from previous experience. There are many different types of academic texts, but what they all have in common is that they present information in a logical, structured, and accurate way. One important principle is that the reader should be able to see where and how the information was originally found, and how it has been used. The reader should be able to trace the author’s steps and end up with the same result. When writing academic texts, it is important to reveal all details, and be honest about all weaknesses in the text. The text must clearly show our arguments and follow all rules regarding structure and reference management.
In short, we can say that an academic text must be: