What is an academic text?
They consist of texts that are products of intellectual processes and that develop specific topics or deepen an academic or disciplinary field in a formal way. They are characterized because, as their name mentions, they are part of the academy, which implies that they are of exclusive use for spaces in which information is disseminated in a formal way in a specific area of knowledge.
So, what is not an academic text? Any text that involves a subjective aspect and has a free structure of creation, for example. This is because in essence, the academic text is as objective as possible, follows a series of sources for its creation and has a construction scheme that facilitates the understanding and general reading of the information it presents.
Main characteristics of the academic text
We now review the main characteristics of this type of text, one of the most important in the history of literature, which has been built over time, especially in recent years.
Purpose of the academic text
The main purpose of this type of text is precisely to disseminate knowledge in a formal way, in this sense it communicates and offers knowledge, while also seeking to exchange it by creating spaces for discussion on the subject it deals with.
Authors of the academic text
One of the most important characteristics of an academic text has to do with its authorship. This is due to the fact that the academic text is usually written by students, but also by researchers in a specific field of knowledge, or by professors.
Consultation of sources
Another important feature that we must take into account about the academic text is directly related to the content and the origin of this content. Thus, for the creation of a text like this, it is not enough with the ideas or concepts that the author has in his mind, but he must support his writing in a great variety of sources for the writing of the academic text. In this way, we will have as a result a text that is the product of a consultation of several sources, not only academic, but also reliable.
Academic texts, given the field they focus on and the importance of their content, follow a very rigorous structure of organization and content, since it is not just the presentation of a series of ideas or opinions of a particular figure, but this information must be supported in a reasonable way, based precisely on the sources that have been consulted and that are references not only for the author, but also for the reader.
An important part of this type of texts is that they are intertextual, this is due to the fact that in their development they resort to other texts and authors on which it is possible to base the approaches and ideas made throughout the work, or to reinforce the conclusions reached, refute ideas, among other aspects. In this way, the academic text enters into dialogue with other texts that will also be important references for the reader.
Search for persuasion
The second intention of academic texts is persuasion. In this case, it is a search for persuasion in relation to the validity of the information, since they seek to convince the reader about the validity of the results that were the product of the analysis carried out according to the topic to be developed, as well as to persuade through the contributions it achieves. This aspect is key, above all, for the academic text to achieve acceptance and recognition by the scientific community.
Variety of resources
The academic text can include a wide variety of resources that can be implemented to a greater or lesser extent, according to the research, the topic and even the author. Among these resources we find comparisons, definitions that are necessary in the incursion of specific terms, exemplifications, author citations, analogies, rhetorical questions to which answers are offered, among others.
Structure of the academic text
An academic text is composed of a series of elements through which the information it presents is precisely followed. However, it is true that the particular text may have some differences in relation to the typology, design or even arrangement of the information. Even so, it is possible to identify the following elements:
This part corresponds mainly to background information about who is writing and through the title, an idea about the type of content that will be developed in the content more broadly. Thus, the title section usually contains not only the title of the academic text, but also the author’s name, data regarding academic affiliation and, if desired, date and place of location.
In this first section of the text, the author makes a presentation about the specific topic to be addressed in the development of the text. This is also a kind of statement and explanation of the intention of the text, which allows identifying the objective of the text.
This area is useful for the reader to have a deeper idea about the idea of the text and thus, determine if it is of interest to him/her, if it is useful for his/her academic process, research or work, etc., even if he/she should read it completely or if he/she will find relevant information in some specific part.
In this section, which is in fact the central part of the text, the author dedicates himself to develop in an organized and deep way the topic he has announced in the first part, in the introduction. In this way, from the information that has been collected from the sources of consultation, he begins to develop all the content.
The author can either compare the positions of the authors of the sources he has consulted for the writing of his text, or present his own positions on the subject, etc. The most important thing is that each of these ideas is argued with support bases that allow the reader not only to trust the veracity of the information, but also to follow a coherent thread of information.
Closing of the text
Finally, the closing of the text corresponds to a section in which the author begins to present the conclusions reached through the process. In this way, he/she can also include in the closing a series of recommendations, central ideas of the results obtained, suggestions to the reader, among other important aspects.
Here, the author mentions the results of the analysis he has carried out throughout the body of the academic text, where he also mentions the new knowledge he has gained through his research process. He may or may not leave an open field for new topics that allow him to give continuity to the research he has proposed.
What are the types of academic texts?
Determining what are the types of academic texts implies looking, above all, at the specific field in which it is developed, the intention of the text, the type of analysis from which it comes and/or the author, among other aspects. Let us see below what are the most important types of academic text:
Dissemination work text
In this first type we find a type of text that is made with the purpose of making known the results obtained through a research work. In this way, by disseminating the results that have been achieved, it also manages to promote discussion around them and thus generate exchanges that are made with other personalities in the same disciplinary field.
Many experts include scientific articles, scientific essays, papers and monographs in this type of text.
Text of degree works
In addition to degree works, in this type of academic text we can also include those works of professional competence, since it brings together all those that are written in the framework of a need to obtain an achievement, either in the case of obtaining a degree in the academic field itself, or to achieve a promotion in the professional field, which is also developed in an academic organization.
In this case, this type of texts must make a contribution of valid knowledge according to the field in which they are developed, since their main objective is to test the skills of a person to obtain a degree or promotion, and thus evaluate their main virtues in this field.
Now, to give an idea of an example of an academic text of this type, we find undergraduate degree works, graduate works for obtaining a degree of a specialization or a master’s degree, academic promotion works and theses for obtaining a doctorate degree.
Text of works applied to the research process
In this third type of academic text we specifically find all those that, although they come from scientific and academic work, also gather information about the research process itself and with it, the production of texts and documents that allow supporting the analysis that has been developed during the course of the research. In this way, the document corresponds to a writing of details of the process to be carried out, it also raises the planning of the research and then the results.
In this case, as an example of this type of text we have the works such as the results reports and the research projects that are developed within specific academic fields. The report of results has a particularity and it is that this document describes the research process itself, and then presents the analysis based on the results obtained.
Keys to writing an academic text
The course of writing a text such as this one is governed by a certain structure, so the process involves taking a look at the outline we have already presented. In this part what we seek is to provide a series of fundamental aspects that the author must keep in mind at the moment of starting with the writing of the text. These are:
Many of the academic texts that are developed are oriented either by the particular preference of the author, by the assignment of topic, need or collective choice. Thus, the first thing to do is to be clear about the topic that has been selected and on which the research process will begin. The topic must be selected and its development must be delimited to avoid deviating from the research objective.
Consult on the topic
One of the key points before starting to write the academic text is the previous search for information. The sources of consultation for the research should be in accordance with the topic, but not necessarily with the results, since on many occasions the aim is to compare different processes. It is necessary to take the time to read before starting to write, review and analyze the material very well. This will allow us to choose the most pertinent sources when we review them carefully.
Organization of information
The distribution of the information plays a fundamental role in the development of the information and to this extent in the reader’s understanding of the topic and/or research presented. For this reason, it must follow a previously determined organization in which a logical order is established, with duly differentiated parts. However, it is recognized that the division and distinction of the sections may vary according to the design and organization parameters on which it depends.
Reliable and recognized sources
A fundamental aspect for the development of the academic text has to do with the selection of the sources consulted, mentioned and, in general, used for the writing of a text such as this one. It is very important that the sources consulted not only have truthful information, but also that, as far as possible, they are recognized figures in the field. This will be key to support the ideas in sources of weight in the field and to follow the rigorousness of this type of work.
Although this strictly depends on the research process being developed, the advances, possible obstacles and others, it is very important that the author determines the moments or better, writing dates dedicated to this text in order to be able to register and advance in the writing of the academic text.
Handling a formal discourse
Due to the field to which it is addressed, being this the academic field, it is extremely important that the academic text handles during its development a formal discourse, since in fact it is one of the most important aspects that allows it to be distinguished from other types of non-literary texts. Thus, the academic text will not have a colloquial language, but a formal and clear language in which, in addition, it uses terminology according to the area or discipline on which it is developed and that will be understood by the reading public.
The revision of the first draft will allow us not only to correct possible mistakes in the writing with respect to spelling and others, but also to verify that what we want to say is already written or mentioned in order to continue its development. This is key to ensure the transmission of the information we set out at the time of selecting the topic.
In addition to this, the review of the following advances of the draft will allow us to identify the main ideas, the possibility and need to expand an idea, the necessary sources of consultation in the process, the elimination of unnecessary repetitions, the correct wording of ideas that are not written clearly, among many other elements that can hinder the process and subsequently, the reading of the academic text.
Example of academic text
As we have seen, among the main examples of academic text are scientific articles, papers, scientific essays, monographs, reports of results, research projects, undergraduate work, graduate work for obtaining a specialization or master’s degree, work for academic promotion, theses for obtaining a doctoral degree, among others. These types of works can be consulted mainly in the repositories of the institutions, which are located in the particular pages where they are available according to the subject, the career or the discipline in particular.
To learn more about other types of non-literary texts, or to take a look at other modalities, remember that we have a section dedicated to this field where you have available a lot of information about the literary world.