What Makes Research Writing Different?

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What Makes Research Writing Different? | Part One

Appreciating The Art of Research Writing

Detailed references, scholarly type of language, citations (lots of it), thoroughness, formats, are just some of the basic peculiarities of research writing.

You see, research writing is a form of academic writing; a type of writing where your ideas or opinions are presented through very rigorous and structured channels; unlike some other forms of writing, let’s say writing essays or articles or blog posts, where you are free to postulate or declare, no hard rules (in some cases).

But in research writing, you are guided by a hundred rules (if not a thousand), break one or a few, and you are marked down (phew).

In research writing, you can’t come across a fact that interests you, and then suddenly you want to shove your own opinions up the face of others just like that…

If you decide to do it this way, it’s no longer research writing, it’s something else. 

In Research writing, the author’s freedom is limited.

In the world of academia, there is ample room for anecdotal opinions. Where the ideas of a seasoned professional in a certain field are considered (not necessarily accepted) based on years of experience and exposure to the working principles of a concept or idea or phenomenon. Sounds cool, right?

When researchers write, they write with other academics in mind. So, they are not trying to grab the attention of the other fellow, it’s assumed that they already have an interest in the literature or subject. This often means that the audience is sometimes always very small. 


Related: What To Look Out For In a Good Research


Research writers will never go close to colloquialisms or contractions (Oops), it’s a no-go area, though some suggest that you can use them minimally especially for emphasis sake (or what do you think?)

All forms of writing are unique, you just have to look for your writer’s itch, and scratch it until it grows into a sweet sore (gross). 

We may not all become proper research writers, but that does not mean we can’t appreciate the art of research writing, and what better way is there to appreciate the art of research than learning a bit of it? 

The uniqueness of research writing is one of the reasons why many shy away from the world of research (I once did; Uhm; I still do; sometimes). 

The rigors and processes could be tiring if you have not developed a genuine passion. And it takes more than just professing that you love research to grow an intense interest in it. 

As formal and as rigid as it may look (from the outside), you can appreciate its difference from understanding what makes it unique. 

In this series, we will be intimating ourselves with some of the basic characteristics of research writing. 

We will be talking about (but not limited to): 

  • Its Formal Nature (there is an order to follow; steps & procedures, rules & guidelines).
  • Its Extensive Detailed Nature (Thoroughness; the writer must make sure that he/she has a degree of command of the topic, subject, or theme). 
  • Its Specific Characteristic (Research writing is always for a specific group of professionals or scholars).
  • Referencing (Your arguments must rest on already published arguments or opinions of other academics and scholars in that field). 
  • Tone & Objectivity (Research writing should be succinct, clear & objective in nature). 

There we go. Here are some of the basic characteristics of research writing that we will be looking at in this series of blog posts/articles. 

In the next part; the second part. We will talk about the Formal Nature of Research. 

Do stay tuned. And if you have not yet joined The Journal Club, you can send in your details through this link. 

There’s so much you are going to learn from that community of scholars. 

See you soon…

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