News / Study Tips and Guides

How Do I Develop An Academic Writing Style?

Sunday 2nd April 2023

Developing skills in academic writing is an ongoing process that ideally never ends.
Voice Study Centre Lecturers Kerrie Obert and Sophie Scott both suggest that the first step to developing your academic writing style is simply to start writing!

Kerrie says, “The important thing about getting into academic writing is primarily to start writing. Sometimes we wait to start writing, hoping for a flash of inspiration or a clear path forward, when what we really need to do is write the first word, the first sentence, and the first paragraph. I often find structure begins to evolve once I’ve made myself get started.”
Sophie suggests that reading is just as important during these early stages, “There are two skills and activities to undertake when beginning to develop any type of writing style. The first is to read. Read as much as you can in your chosen style. Then, write, write, and write some more. Then read some more; and write some more. All of this amounts to practice – with which you will already be familiar, perhaps, just in different areas.”
Sometimes, it can be intimidating to read another person’s work and realise you’ve got a long way to go to level your skills.

If academia is very new to you, you may want to begin by reading shorter articles and research-based thought pieces. You may find it helpful to turn to high quality grey literature as your starting point before moving on to longer or more technical pieces.

Often, the terminology is an obstacle to reading academic research. However, familiarity will gradually make words that once seemed foreign finally appear as part of your common language.

Remember, don’t impose your idea of what academic writing is on your own writing. Aim to keep language simple, sentences short, and structure clear. A highfalutin style with impenetrable language and interminable sentences benefits practically no one, whatever the context, and is often mistaken for being academic in style.
As you delve into reading you will discover there are researchers whose language and tone resonates with you.

Academia has an individual and recognisable tone, just as so-termed literary fiction, genre fiction, memoir, biography, broadsheet and tabloid journalism, and other written work has. The more you are steeped in a genre – here, academia – the easier it will be to develop your own writing in that style.
Recognise that trial and error, regression and improvement, are all part of the learning process. Then, practice.

Kerrie adds “My final piece of advice is to immerse yourself in academic reading. You will quickly learn the shared style of writing that exists in research journals.  Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “what goes into the well comes up in a bucket.”  The central concept around this notion is that it takes a lot of input to equal even a little output.  By reading and remaining curious you will assure your well is being filled. The rest will come.”
For all of our MA Voice Pedagogy students, we offer frequent 1:1 meetings with an allocated tutor.

From the very start of your MA journey, your tutor will guide you in developing your academic reading, writing, and research skills.

You will have access to guides which will assist you in navigating the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's vast academic library.
Start Your MA Journey Today

Recent Posts

MA Alumna Launches New Website For Opera Festival

Voice Study Centre
Friday 8th December 2023

We are so pleased for MA Voice Pedagogy Alumna Katherine Haataja, who has recently launched Operosa's new website! In 2006, Katherine founded Operosa, home to the Operosa Montenegro Opera Festival, and earlier this year the festival celebrated its tenth anniversary!

Student & Alumni News

MA Voice Pedagogy Alumna Develops UK's First Widows Choir

Voice Study Centre
Thursday 7th December 2023

MA Voice Pedagogy Alumna Sophie Garner has collaborated with UK widow coach Karen Sutton The Widow Coach to set up the UK's first Widows Choir, and we are thrilled to share this incredible video of the choir in action

Student & Alumni News

Meet Our Students: Donna-Marie Broomfield

Voice Study Centre
Saturday 2nd December 2023

Lyric soprano Donna-Marie Broomfield has performed in oratorios, operas and opera galas, both as a solo artist and with various companies, throughout England and Europe. She has performed at many exciting venues and events, including the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix...