Language in Academic Writing: Features and Topical Issues

Proceedings of ‏The 2nd International Conference on Research in Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2020


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Language in Academic Writing: Features and Topical Issues

Ifeyinwa Awagu



The quality of language of a scholarly paper determines its acceptability for academic publication. Different academic publications have house styles that include language, referencing and citation.  Whether books, editorials or journals, there are distinguished styles of expressions, sentence construction, lexicon and mode of writing or reporting within the academic domain. Given that authors are expected to communicate the organized thoughts and research findings with accuracy and sensitivity, challenges abound in conformity to house style or grammar. Sometimes, the authors encounter the interference of structural construction or the interference of the mother tongue for a non-native speaker, writing in a second language. Through a review of the literature and guidelines laid by some academic house styles like APA 6th Edition, this paper examines the specific features of language that an author writing in any language for publication need to consider for acceptability. The paper posits that scholarly research is a specialty, thus the language is within the unique set of rules governing academic writing. The nature of some scholarly research disposes the report to an exclusive audience which might demand language conceptualized within the boundaries of the discipline. Language barrier between thoughts and written words constitute hindrance for non-native speakers. Academic writing needs special tutoring in the language both for native and non-native speakers. Academic brokerage should be encouraged.

Keywords: authorial-presence, clarity, objectivity; scholarly-language.