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The Language Features of Academic Texts

PART TWO - The Purpose of an Academic Writing Style

Most of the writing you do outside of university and the texts you read are likely to be very informal and conversational. Think about the emails you write, the posts you put onto the Internet, the messages you send on your phone, the magazines you read. Academic subjects are generally more complex than everyday communication and the readers of academic texts are often experts in their field who have certain expectations about the communicative style and language used in their specialist subject. One way of looking at the characteristics of academic writing is summarized in the figure below.

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Why does academic writing need to be formal, objective, complex, concise and specific?
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