Text structure in academic writing

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Text structure in academic writing

A well-structured text enables the reader to follow the argument and navigate the text. In academic writing a clear structure and a logical flow are imperative to a cohesive text.

Furthermore, in many university assignments the correct use of structure is part of the final assessment. Most academic texts follow established structures. This page describes some common structures in text structure in academic writing writing: Structure should be considered on all levels of text so you will also find information on structuring paragraphs.

Common structures The structure of your writing depends on the type of assignment, but two common structures used in academic writing are the three-part essay structure and the IMRaD structure.

Even shorter essays that are not divided into titled sections follow such a structure. Longer texts may be further divided into subsections. Different disciplines or departments may prefer that students use a certain structure, so make sure to check with your instructor if you are not sure what is expected of you.

The three-part essay structure The three-part essay structure is a basic structure that consists of introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction and the conclusion should be shorter than the body of the text.

For shorter essays, one or two paragraphs for each of these sections can be appropriate. For longer texts or theses, they may be several pages long. You may write the introduction at the beginning or at the end of the writing process.

If you write it early in the process it can serve as a guide to your own writing, but be aware that you most likely will have to go back to it and edit it as the writing progresses. More advice about introductions Body This is the main section of your text and it should also be the longest.

Depending on the length of the text, the body may be divided into subsections. If your text is divided into subsections, remember to briefly introduce each section.

For longer works you may also need to conclude sections. The body of the text is where you as a writer and researcher are the most active. It is the most substantial part of the text; this is where the research or findings are presented, discussed and analyzed.

This is also where you present your arguments that support your thesis or answer your question. The structure and contents of this main part may differ depending on your discipline. More advice and tips on how to write the body of the text Conclusion In the conclusion you should return to the thesis or problem that you presented in the introduction.

But be careful to not merely repeat what you wrote in the introduction; instead, show your reader how what you have written sheds new light on the problem presented at the beginning. For longer works a brief summary of your findings may be in place, but this should not be necessary for shorter texts.

Be careful that your conclusion is not just a repetition of what you have already written. In your conclusion, you may also evaluate and explain whether or not you have reached the aim or solved the problem presented in the introduction, and how.

No new material should be introduced in the conclusion, but it is quite common to suggest topics for further studies. Watch this short film about the IMRaD structure: Method In this section you describe how you have conducted your study.

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This is where you present your material and your research as well as any previous research and background material. You describe what method or methods you have used and how you have come up with your results. You may also explain why you have chosen a particular method.

Read here for more tips on how to write the method section. However, you should be aware that there can be differences between disciplines in the contents and structure of this section.

Results In this section you report the results of your research.


Usually the results are not discussed or analyzed in this section but you may have to explain some of your findings to avoid misunderstandings.Developing a structure or framework for your writing will ensure that the most important points are covered at the appropriate point in the writing.

A framework such as the Written Report Structure, above, will also allow you to break down the daunting task of writing a report into more manageable sections. Why a Scientific Format?

text structure in academic writing

The scientific format may seem confusing for the beginning science writer due to its rigid structure which is so different from writing in the humanities. One reason for using this format is that it is a means of efficiently communicating scientific findings to the broad community of scientists in a uniform manner.

Academic writing is, of course, any formal written work produced in an academic setting. While academic writing comes in many forms, the following are some of the most common.

Essay Structure. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea at a time—they must present their ideas in the order that makes most sense to a reader.

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they suggest that the essay simply reproduces the chronology of the source text (in the. The structure of an academic text should be clear throughout the text and within each section, paragraph and even sentence. The Structure of the Entire Text and of Each Section Most academic texts in the sciences adhere to the model called imrad, which is an acronym for introduction, methods and materials, results, and discussion.

The Structure of Academic Texts Structure is an important feature of academic writing. A well-structured text enables the reader to follow the argument and navigate the text.

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