Introduction to Academic Writing

Academic writing is important to your profession and serves as a way to engage experts in the field in an ongoing conversation about a particular subject. Beyond summarizing the work of others, academic writing requires you to analyze and synthesize the key parts of a subject in order to create a well-supported viewpoint. Academic writing calls for you to critically read and research, select a meaningful topic, develop a thesis, and support your argument with clear evidence.   

This section introduces you to academic writing and the writing skills you will need to be successful at AU. 

Introduction to Academic Writing (Air Force Research Institute). The Air Force Research Institute (AFRI) produced this video as part of the Academic Writing for Airman Video Series, which provides a tutorial on the principles of good academic writing. 

What is “Academic” Writing? (Writing Spaces.org).  Chapter in Writing Spaces; Readings on Writing, Volume 1, a peer-reviewed open textbook series on writing. The essay details common myths about academic writing and identifies features of college writing assignments that student struggle with (Irvin, 2010).


Six Features of Academic Writing: A Guide for Students (The Morphing Textbook, Rhetoric Department). This handout provides a brief overview of the key features of academic writing. Students can use this handout to help analyze an argument and structure their own arguments.


What is an Academic Paper? (University of Washington). The handout provides an online article that defines academic writing and focuses on constructing an argument, choosing a topic, identifying your audience (rhetorical stance), structuring your essay, and using appropriate tone and style. 


Overview of the Academic Essay (Harvard University). This online article discusses selecting a topic with a purpose, creating a thesis, and structuring your argument. 


Exposition Essay (Purdue OWL). Brief summary of the exposition essay.


Argumentative Essay (Purdue OWL). Brief summary of the argumentative essay.




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