Writing an academic document

Certain characteristics are common when writing an academic document. For the message to be transmitted in the best way, following Muñoz, Icontec and APA (2010), it is recommended to apply certain basic characteristics to the document:

Clarity. To make it easy to read and understand.

Precision. With a single message to transmit. Without ambiguities.

Conciseness. It is obtained using the least number of words and eliminating unnecessary details (Icontec, 2008). When you start writing the document, a draft is made, no matter how extensive it is. Then, as we move towards the final text, it will be necessary to eliminate the useless concepts until they are simplified, in such a way that the essentials are written in the text. Related to the effectiveness, accuracy and extension of the writing.

Simplicity. It is applied with simple words. If technicalities are needed, it is necessary that they be accompanied with their respective explanation.

Accuracy. In the expression of concepts, contents, conclusions and comments with punctuality, fidelity and thoroughness. It goes hand in hand with precision.

Continuity. Readers will better understand the ideas if there is an attempt to find words, phrases, sentences or concepts, and thematic development from the introductory sentence to the conclusion (APA, 2010).

Fluency. If in a later reading of the text, very noticeable changes are found, it would be necessary to use elements of transition or nexuses. It should be reviewed if it would be necessary to broaden the topic or strengthen the arguments (APA, 2010).

Tone and strength. Characterizes that expresses the personality of the author. In the development of the document, several tones may exist. It is part of the writing style.

Syntax. It is part of the grammar and is responsible for constructing phrases and sentences with meaning.

Impartiality. It is a very delicate point to deal with, since, from the beginning, the author begins by choosing the topic to be addressed, which usually comes from personal interest, either by recommendation of his thesis tutor, by tendencies within his academic branch or by simple taste. The author should avoid taking his document towards particular conveniences that force a result.


To present and know how to differentiate between facts and interpretations.

Congruence. So that the results that are presented in an investigation are in accordance with it. It is related to the veracity and objectivity of the document.

Familiarity. You should think about the reader, the audience to which the document is addressed. Thus, the wording will be conditioned to this audience. You can apply according to the discipline, the theme, the sector, the institution where the document will be presented, etc.

Other characteristics to keep in mind are reliability, effectiveness, veracity, illation, extension and ownership.