What Makes a Good Piece of Academic Writing?

Are you satisfied with your grades when it comes to essay writing? Are you satisfied with your academic performance in general? Academic writing is the basic skill, the most important process in our system of education. It is not the same around the globe. Somewhere tests prevail, somewhere oral answers, discussion and reasoning play the leading role. However, in our Anglo-Saxon system, there is nothing more important for advancement in high-school or college education than academic writing. Why? Because it is seen as something that summarizes all the skills that need to be developed and checked in the educational process: analyzing information, working with sources, deciding on which sources are more or less valid for a particular goal, planning your time adequately, summarizing the information you have found, optimizing it, so you keep the most important ideas only, conscious writing, creativity, grammar, adherence to formatting style and general requirements to particular assignments. It is a long list, isn’t it? It is long, but it is not even exhaustive. You need to do even more good things to come up with an excellent piece of academic writing.

What a Good Piece of Academic Writing Consists Of

In this article, we want to disintegrate the academic writing process to show you in detail which parts and stages matter. There won’t be detailed tips on how to deal with every stage because to give those, we would need to write an entire book. Here, we want to draw your attention to the bricks of which you need to build a palace of your academic thoughts, forming them into a required piece of writing, be it an essay, a research paper, or smth different. Let’s get started?


In-depth research is the foundation of every academic paper. An academic paper is not just a composition, you need to make your point clear and back it up with some valid academic sources. Of course, there are assignments like reflection essays, where you mostly rely on your personal opinion and experience, but in other cases, you cannot proceed without solid research. We recommend using Google Scholar instead of just Google and checking on online libraries your college has access to.


You do research, you get some information, you summarize it in your document and your head somehow… and now what? It is high time to do some good analysis of the facts and ideas you get from those sources. Unless you are writing a literature review, you cannot just write sources in a row with a brief summary on the matter. You have to grasp the key idea that unites the sources, find opposing views, counterpoints, and present all this through the lens of your personal analysis.

Creative writing

For some time creative writing and academic writing requirements were not seeing eye to eye, but now everything has changed. Even in thesis, dissertations, the most important, the most serious pieces of academic writing, creative style of writing is now welcome if it doesn’t contradict with the purpose of the paper and general style and formatting requirements. Creative writing is about original thoughts, “light” with less passive voice, and too difficult terms. Of course, you cannot ban terms from academic writing, but you are encouraged to use them only when they are absolutely necessary. There are plenty of free online courses on creative writing, you may find them useful for your academic writing as well.


Here we want to unite all the majors — grammar, style, formatting, you name it. Proofreading is a crucial part of what makes a good piece of academic writing. You may have amazing sources, you may be 100% sure in your analysis, you may be creative and to the point. However, if you make grammar mistakes and don’t spot them before the submission, if you forget to check on the required formatting and citation style, you won’t get high grades. Sloppy work is never welcome in the academic world.

Use common sense and your own experience to decide what also may be important for creating a quality academic paper. In the end, you need to follow the instructions given by your professors, and those demands may change from one class to another.

How to Write Better Academic Papers Faster

Now you have a general understanding of what a good piece of academic writing consists of. It all may even look a little bit scary, because you may be thinking wow, I am not sure I can deal with this entire load on my own and submit everything on time. True, understanding how something works helps, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can immediately do it better and faster. If you need to improve the situation here and now, address one of the academic writing services for professional assistance. At SmartWritingService, for example, you can get essay writing help in minutes after you place the order online. Reliable custom essay writing services hire only writers with relevant backgrounds, which means they deal with the same tasks much better and faster than students would. It is a legit way to delegate some of your writing assignments and focus on other things on your to-do list. We all get overwhelmed sometimes.

“Waves” Method in Academic Writing

However, if you decide to do everything on your own, and the deadline is too tight, we want to offer you something. There is a style of work used by designers and illustrators called “waves.” It means that you do the whole work in several waves, but every wave covers the entire task from the top to the bottom. You write your essay fast and based on some basic materials, if you have time left, you do a second wave, adding some new quality citations, adjusting your writing, etc. If you still have time left, you do all the pretty polishing. The idea is simple — even after the first wave, you have a document that cannot be submitted. Yes, it is not perfect, even not very good maybe, but it is better than having two perfect abstracts and lots of raw research that you cannot submit.