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WRITING / Academic Context

 Academic Context – the ‘you’ in writing

Student’s questions??

Often students ask why can’t I write about my own opinions and what I think?

Why do I have to repeat what other scholars have said?


It takes time for International students to understand the ‘me’ in academic writing. The first important point is to realise that academic writing needs peer-reviewed, scholarly articles to be credible and evidence current theories and understanding. The second point is that students are voicing their opinions through the whole process of academic writing from the choice of topic to how they evaluate the arguments. Below is infographic on this process…

what is 'me' in academic writing?

What you bring to an academic essay

Here is more information on how your opinions are realised in the process of academic writing.

1.The Topic / area

 You are given a title(s) / question (s) BUT you decide which one, what to focus on and write about.

2. Your knowledge, understanding and research

Your background knowledge, education and culture all influence the way you begin your research.

3. Choosing articles / authors

Through your research you identify key ideas / support and choose what to use and what not to.

4. Analysis

You decide how ideas connected and whether they are important to use.

5. Argument

You make a decision which arguments hold validity and how to incorporate these into your writing.

6. Evaluation

You decide to what extent ‘you’ agree with these arguments / ideas and what could be questioned?

7. Synthesis

You look for more authors / articles that consolidate and counter your ideas / key points.

8. Organisation  

As you research and look for more synthesis your organisation begins to evolve into own understanding.

9. Voice

As you begin to write you make decisions on how important ideas using language (see voice)

10. The conclusion

Here ‘you’ bring all the essay together, highlight what you think and make your recommendations.

N.B: This list is just to highlight key ideas but can easily be in a different order.