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Scholarly writing by Mind Map: Scholarly writing
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Scholarly writing

1. Think about your topic

What will you enjoy writing about?

Why will someone who reads this be interested?

What's your goal for this paper?

Inspire someone about your topic?

Specific grade?

Do your best work?

2. Research

Compile some ideas

Supporting sources

Find examples

Find relevant quotes

References, Books, News sources, Blogs, Supporting Data, Expert reports, Third party research, Survey data, Size of topic

Social media and scholarly writing

3. Structure

5 Part argument

Adapted from

Introduction, It must attract the interest of a specific audience and focus it on the subject of the argument., For academic writing it must be scholarly in tone and format. See APA 6th Ed Manual Chapter 3 Writing Clearly and Concisely/, Writing should project an image of an advanced scholar, It must provide enough background information to make sure that the audience is aware of both the general problem as well as the specific issue or issues the writer is addressing (for instance, not just the problem of pollution but the specific problem of groundwater pollution in Columbia, SC)., What is the context for this argument?, It must clearly signal the writer’s specific position on the issue and/or the direction of her/his argument. Usually a classical argument has a written thesis statementearly in the paper—usually in the first paragraph or two., Thesis is based on a current theoretical perspective and is supported by, Includes citation of the originator of the theory, Description of how the theory explains and predicts behavior, Why you think this is the best lens for this argument.

Position, What argument are you making about the theory you have chosen as your lens?

Confirmation, Why should your reader accept your argument?, What scholarly research supports my argument?, Peer-reviewed, Scholarly research, Primary and Secondary Sources, Do not include citations of tertiary sources like dictionaries, encyclopedias, or textbooks

Concession/Refutation, What are the other sides of the argument?, What other theoretical perspective could be used to analyse this issue?, How have opposing arguments been supported by scholarly research?, What concessions could you make that would not defeat your argument?, How do you refute other arguments?, Can you demonstrate that opposition is based on faulty logic?, Logical Fallacies

Conclusion, Restates your position and provides observations about the theory from the introduction.

4. Write and Edit

Don't be afraid to edit. Simple, memorable information is hard and requires filtering.

Parsimiony=saying the most with the least number of words. Imagine each word costs $10.00 and you are on a strict budget.

Read it aloud. Does it make sense? Do all the sentences work?

Read it aloud to someone else who will give you honest and correct feedback.




5. Proofread & Finalize

Cover Page

Table of Contents


Features of Academic writing


Written language is relatively more complex than spoken language. Written language has longer words, it is lexically more dense and it has a more varied vocabulary. It uses more noun-based phrases than verb-based phrases. Written texts are shorter and the language has more grammatical complexity, including more subordinate clauses and more passives.


Academic writing is relatively formal. In general this means that in an essay you should avoid colloquial words and expressions.


In academic writing, facts and figures are given precisely.


Written language is in general objective rather than personal. It therefore has fewer words that refer to the writer or the reader. This means that the main emphasis should be on the information that you want to give and the arguments you want to make, rather than you. For that reason, academic writing tends to use nouns (and adjectives), rather than verbs (and adverbs).


Academic writing is explicit about the relationships in the text. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the writer in English to make it clear to the reader how the various parts of the text are related. These connections can be made explicit by the use of different signalling words.


Academic writing uses vocabulary accurately. Most subjects have words with narrow specific meanings. Linguistics distinguishes clearly between "phonetics" and "phonemics"; general English does not.


In any kind of academic writing you do, it is necessary to make decisions about your stance on a particular subject, or the strength of the claims you are making. Different subjects prefer to do this in different ways. A technique common in certain kinds of academic writing is known by linguists as a ‘hedge’.


In academic writing you must be responsible for, and must be able to provide evidence and justification for, any claims you make. You are also responsible for demonstrating an understanding of any source texts you use.

How to Write An Article in No Time

Sections and Word/Page counts

Analyze a paper in the journal where you want to publish. Depends on the journal for word length Do a page count of the sections and work out a ratio. For this paper the total number of pages is 27 , so the ratio for the Intro is 1/27, for the lit review 3/27 and so on.

Intro 1 page 260 words

Lit Review 3 pages 780 words, Set smart goals, Who are the obligatory shout outs, experts in the field, seminal works etc, What are the gaps that my findings plug, Find evidence that gaps exist

Historical Context 2 - 520

Methodology 3 -780

Findings 10 - 2600, What are the sexiest findings in my study?, Get feedback from peers about what sticks out.

Discussion Conclusion 5 - 1300

References 3- 780

The Plan

Set a modest writing goal, 300-400 words per day is a doable in a busy life.

Set up a schedule, Attach the plan to a calendar

Stick to the plan, Get it written even if it is rough

Let it go

Find 1 or 2 expert friends ask them if you have done anything totally boneheaded., Ask for a 30-60 minute read, most reviewers don't spend much more time than that

Get your paper to 80% -- don't burn out. Send it out.

Give yourself a treat

Thomas Boswell 40 Paragraphs in an Article

5 Introductory and concluding remarks

5 will establish a general, human background

5 will state the theory that informs the analysis

5 will state the method by which the data was gathered

5 for results I

5 for results II

5 for results III

5 Implications of the research