Academic writing

Academic writing sets specific requirements that you need to know so you can accomplish your studies in the best way. On this page you have an introduction to the basics of academic writing.

How do you write academically?

The guidelines for writing academic texts may differ between different disciplines/departments. There are often clear instructions in study guides. Ask your teacher or director of studies if you are unsure what applies in your particular subject.

Characteristics of academic writing

  • the text is objective, informative, accurate and factual
  • critical and analytical approach
  • personal pronouns - “I”, “we” but also the vague "one" - are often avoided, especially when describing facts and factual circumstances
  • based on previous research - referencing and quoting
  • brief and concise

Academic honesty

It is important that it is clear which ideas are your own and which you have taken from someone else. In this way, you give recognition to the person whose research you have built your text on, and avoid being accused of plagiarism and academic dishonesty. It also shows that you are well-read on your subject.

Source criticism

During your studies, you will be in contact with information from many different kinds of sources. By being critical of sources, you can assess whether the information you have found is reliable and credible. You should be especially cautious if the information is obtained from the internet.

Support and help

Writing academically

Skrivguiden – Is a website on academic writing with advice on the writing process and how to handle sources and references.
Film on how to become a good academic writer - with Jerker Widén, senior lecturer in war science at the Swedish Defence University.

Writing an academic paper

The parts of an academic paper (
Books on writing academic papers

Writing rules

The authorities’ writing rules
Swedish Academy Dictionary - SAOB