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SPH Writing Support Services

Getting started with SPH Writing Support Services

Academic Writing

Academic writing refers to a particular style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and their areas of expertise. It is characterized by a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a clear focus on the research problem under investigation, and precise word choice. Being a specialist language, academic writing is designed to convey agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts for a group of scholarly experts.

Adapted from Academic WritingWriting Center. Colorado Technical College; Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Handbook. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Want to know if your academic prose is "flabby" or "fit"?  If so, take the WritersDiet Test!  This writing test uses a simple algorithm to identify "some of the sentence-level grammatical features that most frequently weigh down academic prose."

Sword, H. The Writer's Diet. Retrieved from

Writing a Successful Academic Paper

This productivity tool will help you plan an academic paper by providing a timeline and targeted writing guidance:

These resources will help you write an academic paper:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Academic Phrasebank

The University of Manchester has developed the Academic Phrasebank to help academic writers find the right words.

The content is centered on the following areas of writing:

Grammar, Mechanics & Usage

Writing Resources & Tips

Amherst College Writing Center: Online Resources for Writers

George Mason University Writing Center: Quick Guides

Harvard College Writing Center: Writing Resources

Northern Illinois University Writing Center: Resources for Writers

Penn State Graduate Writing Center: Writing Resources

University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu: UHWO Composition Resources

University of Houston-Clear Lake Writing Center: Writing Resources

University of Massachusetts Lowell: Writing Resources

University of Nevada, Reno: Writing Resources