What Makes an Outstanding Academic Writer?

Have you ever had a class with someone who didn't speak up much, yet got great grades? You would not think of them on the surface as being a standout student, but somehow they always ended up on top of the class. Chances are they earned those grades due to their outstanding writing abilities. A large portion of grading in any class is based on writing, so those skills can go a long way to getting top marks. So what makes an outstanding academic writer? The following qualities are a great place to start.

  • Thorough Researcher. No good academic paper is written without a solid background of research. Any good writer will invest the time upfront to study the topic, seek out a variety of resources, and create a definitive statement that the paper will be built around. Without good research, an academic paper becomes simply an editorial article.
  • Attention to Detail. More than any other kind of writing, academic writing is all about the details. The formatting, editing, and revising all need to be handled carefully and professionally. An academic paper is not about demonstrating style or even creativity - it is more about presenting a logical argument or concept in a clearly written layout. Students who receive great grades on academic papers are surely paying attention to even the smallest details.
  • Focused in Class. Quite simply, those who pay attention in class are more likely to be able to create great papers. They will have a good understanding of not only the material, but what topics the professor seems to focus on the most. Knowing the professors personal tastes and personality allows the student to tailor their writing such that it will be well received. Every paper submitted doesn't need to agree with the professor's viewpoint, but it does help to at least understand whom you are writing to.
  • Proactive. Instead of waiting until the last minute, an outstanding academic writer will get started on a paper as soon as it's assigned. By leaving plenty of time to work, the final product will be able to be revised several times ensure the overall quality is of a high standard. Having extra time also allows a good writer to consult with classmates or the professor if they should get stuck on a specific section. Not writing papers at the very last minute is actually a powerful way to become an outstanding academic writer.

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