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What is style?
Writing that is dressed up (or down) to fit the specific context, purpose, or audience. Word choice, sentence fluency, and voice all make up the style of a piece of writing. 



Most of the writing that you will do in school is academic based. There are certain guidelines, formats, and rules that you will want to stick to when writing in an academic style. You will need to know what a thesis is and how to develop one, how to write a closing paragraph, how to cite sources, and other fun things that go along with scholarly writing.

Tips for Writing in Academic Style

 The more you practice writing in a professional, academic style the         easier it gets! Try some of these tips when writing papers and projects.

  • Use a confident voice. 
    • You did the research, now show that you know what you're talking about! Use phrases like
      "Research shows . . ."
      "This essay discusses the importance of . . ."
      "It could be said that . . ."
      Avoid "I think" (unless you are being asked to write about your opinion.) 
  • Use appropriate language for your audience. 
    • Do not use text speak or abbreviations. (Example: Change "don't" to "do not.")
    • Look up words that you are unsure of spelling. (Hello, assisted typing!) 
    • Write in full sentences. 
  • Keep it simple. 
    • Instead of writing: "Throughout time, inventors have created many wondrous things that have helped all of humanity. Thomas Edison was a brilliant and talented inventor who helped create one of these wondrous things: the light bulb"
      Write: Thomas Edison was the inventor of the light bulb. 


What is a paragraph?

We all know what a paragraph is, right? Well let's refresh your memory, just in case.

Paragraphs are the building blocks of your paper. 

The Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services explains paragraphs best:

A paragraph is a series of sentences that are organized . . . and are all related to a single topic. Almost every piece of writing you do that is longer than a few sentences should be organized into paragraphs. This is because paragraphs show a reader where the [pieces] of an essay begin and end, and thus help the reader see the organization of the essay and grasp its main points. 


Thanks Indiana!



Okay, you have written an amazing paper full of excellent paragraphs that support your main idea. Now there is one last thing between you and the finish line: a concluding paragraph. 



What is a concluding paragraph?

Your concluding paragraph is your last paragraph and should restate your thesis (or main idea), summarize your paper, and leave the reader with a lasting impression. 


Here are some tips for writing a good conclusion.

  • Think about the most important thing you want your audience to know about your topic: this should be the focus of your final paragraph.


  • If you're feeling stuck, ask "So what?" If my topic or main idea is about school recess, then "So what?" can go something like this:
    • "Basically, I think that all middle schools should have recess."
    • So? What's so important about it?
    • "Well, studies show that kids aren't spending enough time outside getting physical activity. "
    • Yeah, but why should I care? Don't we get enough exercise in gym?
    • "Obesity is a health crisis in the United States, so we should teach our kids that getting at least 30 
      minutes of exercise a day is important. Plus you learn better after physical activity!"
    • This thought process will help you clearly state the main topics of your paper for your audience, and help you decide what the most important point of the paper is. 



  • What do you want your audience to do about your topic? Do you have a solution to the problem you researched? Do you have more questions that need to be answered? These are all excellent ways to wrap up your conclusion. 


Ms. Cidney Mayes | Memorial Middle School | 120 Wescott Road | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-773-5629