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Writing Tips: How To Successfully Write Academically

The master key to unlocking your academic essays

Welcome back toΒ Written Mirror. Sincerest apologies for the delay in posting the latest article. On account of a severe battle with insomnia things have been pushed back slightly. Today’s topic is about writing academically.
Thank you to all the readers who suggested this topic. As promised, here are some writing tips which are specifically aimed at the academics amongst us. For those of you who are no longer in the academic environment, please stick around, some of this may still benefit you as well.

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Unsure how to begin your next essay?

First things 1st…

Firstly, why is it important to learn how to successfully write academically? Those of you asking this question may already be clever in your own right and doing adequately in your respective fields of study. However, if you’re feeling like your grades don’t reflect the effort and care you put into your essays, this may be what puts you over the top.
No, it isn’t about changing your voice or taking away your authenticity. It’s about getting out of the way, and allowing your words to easily resonate. If the shortest route to any given destination is a straight line; this article is about eliminating the corners and avoiding detours.
With that being said, let’s get to it…

Writing Tips - WM Ltd

Let’s get ready to…

Formal is GOOD Form Al!

Good lecturers always stress that, “You shouldn’t write how you speak.” That statement used to cause some contention in lectures. Responses ranged from, “Are you trying to say something is wrong with my speech?” to “Is it because I’m…” Needless to say it’s a hot potato at times. If you’re the pragmatic, see it from another perspective type, you immediately know the worth in those words. It simply means write in a formal tone. It might not necessarily read like your words in places, but, it definetly will boost your chances of gaining the extra marks or goodwill of the lecturer.

Writers Tips - WML


What is good form?

What counts as good form? Unless it is specific or necessary, the elimination of all slang, abbreviations or lay language. In its place should be proper academic diction/discourse. For instance, in Film/TV/Creative Writing, stating, “The main role/character” in an essay, will not win you as many marks as using the word, “Protagnist/Antagonist etc.”. Both are correct sure, but one shows more familiarity with the subject material. In science, stating, “There was a significant change when X was introduced to Y” is not the same as, “The compound of X & Y promoted a chain reaction of…” Anyone who is continuing to argue that they are the same thing, is going to continue to pick up less marks in their written work than they think they deserve.

Same Difference

If both instances allude to the same thing, why should they end in different marks? That’s a fair question! I’m not saying they necessarily will in isolation (a singular occurance in the essay), but, if it is a trend which is saturating both theoretical essays, one will surely outscore the other. Can you guess which one?

Writers Tips

R. Nicole

Let’s break it down! You have an identical twin, both of you are invited to attend a formal event. You wear informal clothes (T-shirt, jeans and sneakers) and your twin wears a suit/dress (whichever suits your gender) and smart footwear. Both of you are wearing clothes, but people would be excused for thinking you didn’t read the invite properly…

Know where you’re going…

All good essays demonstrate a mastery of the journey. In three words, PLAN, PLAN, PLAN… Good essays are paced well and address the topic wholistically. They don’t bore you to tears or go off on unnecessary tangents.
On most occassions you’ll have a strict word count. Your job is to plan your essay accordingly. Get to stating and making your point clearly. Provide evidence by way of referencing (In accordance to the guidelines of said institution) other texts, direct quotes, statistics you name it. If you really want to endear yourself to a particular professor, you could even quote them directly from a lesson/text they’ve published…

Writing Tips - Written Mirror Ltd

The Tale of the Ox

Grammar is King

The best planned and intended essays, ultimately undermine themselves, if, the grammar fails to hold them together. This is a tough part, you care a lot and have bent your back for this essay. You know the words so well that when you re-read them, you start adding ones that aren’t on the page. I’ve done it, we all have!
You could’ve sworn there was ‘the/a/or/that/this/for’ but for some reason it’s not there. You also trusted the word processor to catch it. Guess what? It didn’t!

Helpful Methods

Some people are exceptionally gifted, in that they can edit their own work to a very high standard. Others see what they intend (Mostly Writers :D), more than they see the errors they’ve missed. Find what works for you. If it’s a trusted friend to comb through your work one more time while you do the same in return, great! If you’re a keen self editor, go for it! Just don’t be so proud you don’t bother to check and re-check your work. Seeing red ink corrections and bubbles on your essay will seriously dampen your spirit, especially if it’s a lecturer you’ve tried your best to impress.

The Final Ingredient

Drumroll please…


Are you not entertained?

The final ingredient is style! Yes I really said style! Firstly, style in terms of the strutcture which is expected for your essays to follow. Then secondly, style in terms of flavour you add to your essays which makes them that little bit more enjoyable, interesting and unique. Here we go, “But you said not to write how you speak!” Technically I said lecturers say that… Also, you’re now wrapping it up in academic discourse and academic terms. You’re still you but with the added skill of mastered essay writing alongside displaying your new adopted academic terms…

Repetition is Mandatory…

This does not come overnight and you may have to train yourself to use the correct terminology over and over. However, once this is engrained it becomes a skill for life.
For the non-academics who chose to stick around. This terminology is what will open doors in interviews within your field. You know what you’re talking about, it’s evidenced in you speaking the language of your industry fluently. It’s not enough to have a general idea, you MUST show a mastery of the lingo. It’s either that or they’ll usually go with the person who does.

Written Mirror Appreciates You!

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This article is a touch on the longer side and so I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read all the way through. Be sure to share it with your fellow academics or anyone looking to push through to higher levels within their industry. Anyone who writes reports, forecasts, briefs and so forth. I hope this has been beneficial to you in some way and it does indeed help you to write academically.


Help is on the way…

Speaking of pushing through to higher levels. The ultimate companion on your journey to your goals, ‘The Thought Book’ is still available for direct . Payments can be processed via stripe or paypal. For those of you in the US or Canada you can purchase a copy via Amazon where there is stock (Prime eligible) already in your country. Be sure to check the seller is Written Mirror.

the thought book Jay Mullings written mirror cover

For some strange reason Amazon does not delete false seller pages claiming to stock things they do not physically have…

Thank you all again for continuing to support the content. Best wishes for the week ahead and be sure to check out any posts you haven’t already read…

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Wiki says:

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweet about animals and thought I will check your website. I like it!

    I love pets. I have two beautiful thai cats called Tammy(female) and Yommo(male). Yommo is 1 year older than Tommy. He acts like a bigger brother for her. πŸ™‚
    I have even created an Instagram account for them and probably soon they will have more followers than me (kinda funny).

    I wanted to subscribe to your newsletter, but I couldn’t find it. Do you have it?

    Keep up the good work on your blog.


    • Jay Mullings says:

      Thank you for your comment. Yes I do often retweet posts with animals πŸ™‚ I prefer videos of cats than actually being up close with them if I’m honest. Tammy & Yommo are excellent names. Not really sure why they need accounts but hey, if it results in more cat videos for me no problem at all πŸ™‚
      I unfortunately do not have a newsletter. I am so busy Writing a whole lot of content and other things that it honestly slipped my mind. When I have a spare moment I will look into one. Thank you ever so much for your kind comment. My best to you, Tammy and Yommo!


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