Clarity and focus in academic writing are crucial. Diverging from these principles is akin to sin. Academic writing is characterized by unity and coherence, resembling the writer’s expertise and writing skills. Clarity and focus can be developed in academic writing with persistence and practice. Writing clear and lucid texts requires certain techniques and language devices. Academic writing revolves around one controlling idea, which is the text’s central theme, and develops and expands upon the core idea. Therefore, students in college and university must master the art of developing clarity and focus in academic writing. This article will guide you in developing focus and clarity in your writing.
What is meant by focus and clarity in academic writing?
Focus and clarity in academic writing impinge on consistency between the ideas and taking a strong stance on an issue. Students often contradict themselves and write in vague terms. Vagueness imbues the text with ambiguity and makes the text incoherent and disjointed chunks of sentences that fail to convey the author’s stance. Focus and clarity are structured around one central theme the author develops and expands in the text. The central theme is outlined by stating the thesis statement in the introduction section.
A thesis statement is the author’s stance and a logical statement that captures the essence of the entire piece of academic writing. It helps the reader understand what should be expected in the following passages. The author provides supporting ideas to strengthen the thesis statement by employing evidence and explaining the significance of the key points by relating them to the central idea. This technique maintains unity in academic writing and helps the reader understand the author’s stance on the issue.
Why do focus and clarity matter in academic writing?
Nobody likes to read a disjointed text which is incoherent and verbose. The rule of English writing necessitates writing clearly. Focus is important in academic writing because it keeps the writers to stay on track and explains the significance of the chosen topic. Broad and generic statements fail to convey the intended meaning and make the text look vague. Clarity and focus in academic writing because it helps you develop the skill of argumentation, analysis, and developing a case for something. Therefore, the most important rule of academic writing is maintaining focus and clarity throughout the text by focusing on one central idea.
What are the steps to ensure clarity and focus in academic writing?
Choose a Specific Topic
The foremost step is to choose a specific topic for your academic essay or assignment. This rule applies to academic assignments, essays, and dissertations. A specific topic helps you maintain focus and clarity throughout the text. Broad and generic topics are too lengthy and can be taken up for book writing. However, the same principle applies to book writing because the researcher focuses on one central aspect of the subject. For instance, Fareed Zakariya’s book Democracy: The Future of Freedom focuses on one central aspect: freedom’s future within the broad contours of democracy. Therefore, it is imperative to select a specific topic.
Introduction is the most important section in academic writing since it develops the context for your academic writing and introduces the reader to your topic. The introduction starts with a topic sentence, the paragraph’s central idea. A topic sentence encapsulates your topic and controlling idea. You can also start the introduction section with an attention grabber, such as a rhetorical question to capture the reader’s attention. However, it is imperative to remember that you cannot start the introduction by simply stating, “Democracy is good.” Instead, if your topic is Democracy: Merits and Demerits, you can start the sentence with “Democracy is antithetical to monarchy, aristocracy, dictatorship and all kinds of despotic rule”. In the ensuing lines, you can develop this idea and briefly define democracy, provide a brief historical background and take your stance on the issue.
A thesis statement is usually written at the end of the introduction section. A thesis statement must not be vague and provide some context. There should not be an abrupt jump toward the thesis statement. The golden rule is to present the counter-view point first. For example, “Democracy is an ideal and even the most developed democracies have fallen short of the democratic idea. Democracy is not the perfect system among all the other alternatives however it is the best form of government that can guarantee human development, liberty, economic progress, moral autonomy, justice, and freedom” Now, as you can see that the thesis statement takes a strong position defending democracy by taking a balanced approach and the ideas stated in the thesis statement will be used to develop the later passages and revolve around defending the thesis statement.
The introduction is the most important part of academic writing. It sets the tone and direction of the entire writing; therefore, writing it with precision and clarity is imperative. Many students write a vague introductory paragraph leading to a vague piece of writing; therefore, if you need any help writing a focused introduction with a strong thesis statement, you can always get help from expert writers at assignment writing services.
Paragraph structure is crucial in academic writing. Rules of academic writing require that every paragraph develop and expand upon the central idea stated in the introduction. Depending on the scope of your academic writing task, you can develop as many ideas as possible. These ideas serve as the key points that can be classified into sub-points. For instance, each key point, as stated above, such as freedom, can have sub-points that you can use to support the central idea. However, the golden rule is to keep one idea per paragraph and incorporate evidence and supporting sentences to strengthen the central idea. Use the following structure as a reference guide for academic writing:
P stands for a point which is often the paragraph’s topic sentence. A topic sentence includes the key idea of the paragraph and provides supporting sentences to defend the thesis statement. For example, Freedom is the central tenet of democracy, and democratic countries value freedom over subjugation. Now, the supporting sentences will incorporate evidence to defend the stance.
E stands for evidence. Authors provide evidence such as statistics and historical and contemporary examples to defend the key point stated in the topic sentence.
After presenting the evidence, the author explains the relevance of the evidence in strengthening the key point and presents his or her argument.
L (Linking Statement) or Concluding Statement
The linking statement refers to the concluding statement. A linking statement links the previous statements with the central idea, gives coherence and structure to the paragraph, and makes it one unitary whole.
Clarity and focus in academic writing can be maintained consistently throughout the text. It is imperative to remember that you must not contradict your central viewpoint while discussing the issue. Including counter-evidence strengthens your claim and helps develop a balanced account that is analytical and comparative.
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