Linguistics and Literature Studies Vol. 9(2), pp. 49 - 56
DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090201
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Language in Academic Writing: Features and Topical Issues

Ifeyinwa Virginia Awagu *
Institute of Humanities, Pan-Atlantic University, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria


The quality of language of a scholarly paper determines its acceptability for academic publication. Books, editorials and journals have distinguished styles of expressions, sentence construction, lexicon and mode of writing or reporting, in addition to reference and citation styles within the academic domain. Given that authors are expected to communicate their organized thoughts and research findings with accuracy and sensitivity, challenges abound in conformity to house style or grammar. Sometimes, the authors encounter the interference of structural construction or the interference of the mother tongue for a non-native speaker writing in a second language. There is need to interrogate the specific features of academic writing that would guide intending authors and qualify their manuscript for publication. Through a conceptual and critical analysis of the literature and guidelines laid down by some academic house styles like APA 6th Edition, this paper examines the specific features of language that an author writing in any language for publication needs to consider for acceptability. It also considers some topical issues attendant to writing in scholarly language. The findings reveal that scholarly research is a specialty, thus the language is within the unique set of rules governing academic writing. The nature of some scholarly research disposes them to an exclusive audience which might demand language conceptualized within the boundaries of a specific discipline. In addition, the language barrier between thoughts and written words constitutes a hindrance for non-native speakers. The study concludes that the language of academic report communicates and authenticates the findings, thus editors give priority to manuscripts that demonstrate clarity, objective and analytical skills. It also posits that academic writers need special tutoring in the language, both for native and non-native speakers. Linguistic variance in textual and rhetorical structure lends itself to socio-linguistic, ethnographic translation, logical and pedagogic orientation. Academic brokerage should be encouraged. Minimizing rejection might call for academic communities not represented in high impact factor journals to grow journals with high impact factor within national or cultural boundaries.

Academic Writing, Authorial Presence, Clarity, Objectivity, Scholarly Language, Topical Issues

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Ifeyinwa Virginia Awagu , "Language in Academic Writing: Features and Topical Issues," Linguistics and Literature Studies, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 49 - 56, 2021. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090201.

(b). APA Format:
Ifeyinwa Virginia Awagu (2021). Language in Academic Writing: Features and Topical Issues. Linguistics and Literature Studies, 9(2), 49 - 56. DOI: 10.13189/lls.2021.090201.