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Writing & Research in the Disciplines: Home

Brief descriptions of the thinking and writing used by individual disciplines; recommended library databases

Writing for an Academic Audience

General Expectations of Academic Audiences

No matter what type of audience you decide to write for, there are always a few assumptions you should make about any audience in an academic setting.

  • Academic audiences are normally well-educated and expect you to use appropriate language, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • People who are educated are often well-read; they probably don't need a lot of explanation of terms unless you are writing about something very technical.
  • Educated people understand writing conventions and expect to see you use them. They are looking for clues (such as thesis and topic statements) to get oriented in your writing.
  • In academic writing, the audience expects you to provide specific and credible evidence for your reasoning.
  • People are drawn to academics and studying because they are curious. Expect a curious and interested audience who wants to be engaged in your writing.

 (This guide is based on a Tacoma Community College guide)

Researching for an Academic Audience

Most instructors expect you to use at least some sources from their particular discipline's professional literature.  Since most professional literature (academic/scholarly journal articles) is only available to you through the library's databases, it's a good idea to begin your search at the Walker Library home page. 


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Kristen West
James E. Walker Library
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