The first writing works. How to move from school to academic?

First-year students often only realize, after their first session, that higher education requirements are quite different from those of high school. First of all, the school usually needed to write essays, draft projects or presentations, perhaps to write a report. However, we face academic writing at the university. And the rules we learned at school appear to be invalid at the university. So, from the outset, understanding the academic writing system is quite difficult. Of course, you can always seek advice from our consultants who will help you organize your work, collect literature or prepare your presentation. In any case, we offer you a guide to understanding the differences between school and academic writing.


At school, you usually wrote essays or papers according to a certain system suggested by the teacher. For example, you put forward three arguments that support a particular statement. Of course, there is a certain structure of academic work in the higher education institution (introduction, teaching, conclusions, references). However, in a higher education institution, such tasks, when explicitly referred to as and what to write, will hardly be received. In essence, you can choose the structure of academic teaching by yourself: separate as many chapters as you need, give as many arguments as you have to justify your opinion. Disagree, reveal the contradictions, make your own insights. This is precisely why academic writing works.


In order to write a report at school, it was enough to use a textbook and information found on the Internet. As you write the script, read a lot of fiction to make the most of it. Unlike in high school, before starting to write a job, you need to do a research: read the necessary literature, get acquainted with the context, review the research done by other scientists, the empirical information gathered, and the like. So the writing process is not the most important part of the work here.


In the school, essays were written to teach you to express your thoughts in writing and without mistakes, to argue. The most important thing in a higher school is the basic idea of ​​your text. If it is well developed and well argued, the teacher will appreciate you well. Even if you make a few mistakes, the most important thing is the content of the text.


Written writings at a higher school are problematic. Therefore, each of them needs to formulate the problem you are going to solve with your text.


If your school has enough to rely on a textbook, information on the Internet, or a book on the right topic in the school, you will no longer use such sources of information at the school. For your work, you will need to select scientific literature and articles that will help you analyze an issue analytically. Higher education writing works cannot be based on their own experience or opinion. All your statements must be based on arguments and scientific evidence. And the sources you choose must be reliable.


At school, adapting and describing the research method, justifying its choice, did not require anyone. In higher education, writing is done according to a certain method or methods. They must be clearly understood and chosen consciously. Part of the work describing the methods is one of the most important.


At school, essays are rarely printed, and they are usually written in handwriting. Therefore, it is only important that they are divided into interrelated paragraphs. Reports or other written papers written at a higher education institution must have a title page and be arranged according to the methodological guidelines of the relevant faculty.


Just like in high school, writing at a university is also sometimes required. However, when preparing a presentation at a higher education institution, the teacher and colleagues will evaluate not your slide design, the selected illustrations, but the content. Thus, neither writing the work itself, nor presenting it, should not overdo the visualization of the presentation, and be better oriented to the ideas expressed. You can get extra points for creative presentation at school, but it’s not rated at the university.