Is there a Difference Between Academic And General Writing?

Do you know the difference between academic and general writing? According to published findings, 47% of college students believe their high school education didn’t adequately prepare them for academic assignments. 

College students around the world are struggling with academic writing because they can’t properly distinguish between it and general writing. Let’s take a closer look at the differences and similarities between the two so you can have an easier time getting your assignments done.

Academic and General Writing Types

The easiest way to start differentiating the two types of writing is by categorizing their formats. Academic writing is intended for academia – it is used either as a tool for students to develop academic competencies or for research publication. Some of its formats include:

  • Essays
  • Case studies
  • Research papers
  • Journals

General writing on the other hand is far more open to the writer’s interpretation – there are no strict rules to follow. Today, it’s most often used in online content creation, especially on social media. Some general writing formats are:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media captions
  • Video descriptions
  • Product descriptions

When they’re separated like this, it’s very difficult to mix up the two by accident. However, there’s more that goes into each writing type, so let’s delve deeper into their differences.

Different Audiences and Expectations

Academic papers have a very different audience compared to general writing articles and texts. Professional academics read each other’s papers to further their collective research for the benefit of everyone. In comparison, general writing can be anything from a cooking guide, and lifestyle ideas, to a how-to on building a home office. 

This kind of content doesn’t require the writer to do extensive research or to back their claims up with data or findings. However, general writing cannot find its way into academia for that very reason – it’s purely subjective and open to interpretation. This is why you shouldn’t put too much trust in general writing publications found online or in print because their writers tend to have ulterior agendas or personal motives to write the way they do.

Different Approaches to Research

Academic writing requires writers to be far more cautious and calculating when it comes to gathering their resources. Writing studies, research papers, and other academic writing meant to further a certain field is a delicate job. You cannot write academic papers based on partial or improper research. 

You can also use college essay writers for hire when you need help finding resources or writing your papers on a tight schedule. Comparatively, general writing is more lenient and you may not need any resource to speak of, especially when writing opinion pieces or poetry.

Different Purposes and Longevity

News reports, trending articles, and social media content often become outdated only a few days or weeks after publication. However, academic writing has a much longer lifespan and can be relevant even a hundred years after its publication. 

This means that academic writing has to be based on facts, findings, and the reputation of its author or authors. General writing can be done by anyone without any proper training or education. However, academic writing only gains value and credibility when the person or persons who wrote it are reputable researchers or professionals. This makes general writing more approachable but less valuable in the long run comparatively.

Learning the Difference Between Academic and General Writing

Whether you’re a professional blogger or a college student working on your thesis, knowing the difference between these two writing formats is important. While the other may not be a part of your lifestyle, knowing more about your primary writing format can help you become better at it. 

Use your tools of the trade to become a better writer, content creator, or academic. The next time someone asks you about the differences between academic and general writing, you’ll know how to explain them properly.

Bio: James Haynes is a professional content writer, journalist, and academic writer. He is an expert at delivering clear, concise, and actionable writing to his audiences through his essays, articles, papers, and studies. James spends his free time outdoors with his dogs, as well as catching up with the latest academic writing trends.

Originally posted 2022-09-13 22:50:51.


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