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Academic Writing

Peter Jones explains why an academic essay cannot be built on your thoughts and convictions.

When it comes to academic writing, there is no doubt in the fact that this is not a task for everyone. It is a complicated process that requires a lot of special skills and an in-depth knowledge of the topic. However, one of the most controversial things in regards to conducting academic research is that sometimes it is not the person but the very topic that is complicated to research. Indeed, there is, in general, five cohorts of theme that even the most experienced writer would find hard to dwell upon. Sound interesting, right?

No Empirical and Statistical Evidence Present

What is the very first requirement in all the instructions for academic papers? That's right! Support your argument. When dealing with academic writing, and the individual must be ready that his or her argument will be disputed and rebutted. Therefore, the counterargument, which is an integral part of any paper written for college or university, must be based on the results of empirical or statistical evidence. Therefore, the topics that have no primary empirical or statistical research conducted be easily refuted by your academic opponents. On the contrary, when writing, for example, an informative essay on slavery, the researcher is supplied with all the information that he or she needs to research a particular aspect of slavery and its impact on modern society. Remember, an academic essay cannot be built on your thoughts and convictions.

Writer's Conflict of Interests

Whenever you feel that you can indulge yourself in the conflict of interests when writing an academic paper, refrain from this activity. Ask your professor to change the subject for you or simply pick one, when you are eligible to choose the topic, that will not affect your feelings. For example, lots of people in the United States find it hard to write research papers on 9/11. It is easy to understand that the nation was heavily impacted by the obnoxious events of that notorious day. Thus, when it comes to analyzing the causes, outcomes, or interpreting the terrorist act within the framework of a particular theory of international relations, the Americans, for the most part, simply start blaming all the Muslims in the world for being terrorists.

Topics with Specific Requirements

Some topics cannot be extended or explained within one's essay because they require the individual to have specific knowledge or skills without which the very act of writing the paper can be considered unethical. For example, you cannot embark upon writing a paper in medical science or nursing without being a medical or nursing student. Even if you are interested in this discipline and you are eager to write to about it, make sure that you provide no treatment directions or recommendations. Also, it is not recommendable to write papers on the law as long as you are not a law student. Remember, everything you write can be read by someone, and this person can take your words too seriously and start implementing them in practice. Follow the policy of social responsibility when it comes to choosing a topic for your academic paper.

Way Too General

As it has been already mentioned, some topics have no scientific basis for forming an author's argument. Nonetheless, there is also this special type of "academic” topics that bring no novelty to the world of academic novelties. Those are the topics that can be classified as the too general ones. For example, the realm of history is simply huge, and there is a lot of interesting topics to write about. Still, somehow people manage to come up with topics like "What is History” or "Why History is Important". There is no thesis to be formed when dwelling on such topics, therefore, there is no argument to defend. Hence, such a topic cannot be considered an academic one as writing about it means nothing else but answering a rhetorical question.


Academic writing is one of the most refined domains of academic activities. Being able to write a good academic paper takes a lot of skills, knowledge, and effort. However, even before the very processes of research, information synthesis, and analysis shall start, there is a need to make sure that your topic would not be overcomplicated to write about. The aforementioned essay about slavery is a brilliant example of how a genuine academic topic must look like. It must be based on a significant volume of either empirical or statistical evidence.

What is more, no conflict of interests must be present as otherwise, the author would start telling the readers what he or she thinks about the topic and not what the scientific world says about it. Also, double-check before starting to write whether the topic of your choice complies with the policy of social responsibility. Finally, your topic must be narrow and precise. Nonetheless, if you feel that it is hard for you to choose a good academic topic to write about read this article if you want to find more topics like the above.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • JONES, P. (2019) Academic Writing [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Peter Jones is a freelance writer.

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