7 Great Books on Academic Writing Mastery

Academic writing is a part of academic work, including reports on empirical fieldwork or research in facilities for the natural sciences or social sciences, monographs in which scholars analyze culture, propose new theories, or develop interpretations from archives, as well as undergraduate versions of all of these.

Though the tone, style, content, and organization of academic writing vary across genres and across publication methods, nearly all academic writing shares a relatively formal prose register, frequent reference to other academic work, and the use of fairly stable rhetorical moves to define the scope of the project, situate it in the relevant research, and to advance a new contribution. When you are serious about standard academic writing, you can follow the books below.

Best Books on Academic Writing

Book Name & Author Image Rating Price
A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers by Kate L. Turabian 9.5 View on Amazon
Move the Rock of Academic Writing: The Complete Guide to Academic Writing in all Formatting Styles by EssayShark 9.0 View on Amazon
Fundamentals of Academic Writing (The Longman Academic Writing Series) by Linda Butler 9.1 View on Amazon
How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for Ph.D. Students by Jari Saramäki 9.5 View on Amazon
Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article by Howard S. Becker 9.2 View on Amazon
An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing: A Brief Rhetoric by Susan Miller-Cochran, Roy Stamper & Stacey Cochran 9.0 View on Amazon
Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students by Stephen Bailey 9.2 View on Amazon

1. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

When Kate L. Turabian first put her famous guidelines to paper, she could hardly have imagined the world in which today’s students would be conducting research. Yet while the ways in which we research and compose papers may have changed, the fundamentals remain the same: writers need to have a strong research question, construct an evidence-based argument, cite their sources, and structure their work in a logical way.

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations also known as “Turabian” remains one of the most popular books for writers because of its timeless focus on achieving these goals.

This new edition filters decades of expertise into modern standards. While previous editions incorporated digital forms of research and writing. This edition goes even further to build information literacy, recognizing that most students will be doing their work largely or entirely online and on screens.

Chapters include updated advice on finding, evaluating, and citing a wide range of digital sources and also recognize the evolving use of software for citation management, graphics, and paper format and submission.

The book comes with a three-part structure.

Part 1 covers every step of the research and writing process, including drafting and revising.

Part 2 offers a comprehensive guide to Chicago’s two methods of source citation: notes-bibliography and author-date.

Part 3 gets into matters of editorial style and the correct way to present quotations and visual material.

A Manual for Writers also covers an issue familiar to writers of all levels: how to conquer the fear of tackling a major writing project. A Manual for Writers has helped generations shape their ideas into compelling research papers. This edition will continue to be the gold standard for college and graduate students in virtually all academic disciplines.

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2. Move the Rock of Academic Writing: The Complete Guide to Academic Writing in all Formatting Styles

If you are eager to improve your scores and acquire academic writing from paragraph to essay, this book is for you. Many students even after years of studying can’t get used to using academic language. From this book, you will know many useful words and expressions relevant to the scholarly style. If you consider yourself a dummy in academic style writing, you should definitely examine “Move the Rock of Academic Writing” thoroughly and try to follow our advice in practice.

“Move the Rock of Academic Writing” contains five sections, each of which is divided into subsections. Each section is dedicated to a particular aspect of writing academic papers. After reading all of them, you’ll have coherent and full comprehension of how academic papers need to be written. So, what exactly can you learn from the book?

  1. The purpose of academic writing: types of academic papers, features of academic writing, usage of active and passive voice.
  2. Essay writing structure: general tips on the structure and tips for each part in particular.
  3. Academic phrasebook: writing essay titles, verbs for scholarly writing, phrases to use in academic writing, commonly confused words in academic writing.
  4. Formatting styles: APA style format guide, MLA formatting and style guide, Chicago style manual, Harvard style guide.
  5. Development of academic writing skills: voice in academic writing, paraphrasing, summarizing, mapping out ideas, connecting ideas, and enhancing originality.

The book is designed by experienced academic essay writers who have been dealing with academic research and writing for many years. All the tips and recommendations given in the book were assembled according to students’ common mistakes and weaknesses. Theoretical instructions presented in the book are supported with examples. Hopefully, they will ease the process of adapting certain maxims for you.

In the book, you will find an academic word list that you can use to make your paper look scholarly. Also, we have presented examples that concern one of the most problematic issues for students in academic writing – grammar. For academic writing, it’s crucial to follow the rules of grammar exactingly. Therefore, you’ll learn some grammatical rules that students usually omit or forget.

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3. Fundamentals of Academic Writing (The Longman Academic Writing Series)

The book Fundamentals of Academic Writing is a logically organized series of textbooks preparing learners for achieving their academic success. The text is primarily intended according to the author Linda Butler for beginners of second language learners in particular and as well as for adult learners having less exposure to academic writing. Many scholars consider academic writing as a means to establish an identity and seek a
place in the academic context.

‘In academic writing, it is mandatory to produce logically structured ideas with well thought out, verified points and to consider different opinions’ (Gillet, Hammond & Martala 2009). According to Monippally and Pawer (2010), the ideas of all categories of academic writing are centralized and people remain in the background, the authors’ feelings play no role whatsoever in the presentation of ideas or insights.

The title of the book suggests the fact that it guides the learners both young and adults to explore and learn the basics of academic writing due to the fact that the organization of the book has a circumspect approach assisting learners to develop basic writing skills, comprehend writing as a process while building a firm ground for the learners to be confident and independent academic writers in English. Because of this very reason, the book is more about academic writing than that writing in academia.

“Fundamentals of Academic Writing,” by Linda Butler, is the newest addition to the Longman Academic Writing Series. “Fundamentals “provides beginning-level students with the essential tools they need to master basic academic writing by integrating sentence structure, paragraph organization, grammar, mechanics, vocabulary, and the writing process. “Fundamentals “leads students to build strong academic writing skills that will last them throughout their academic careers. Features:

  1. A step-by-step approach guides students seamlessly through the writing process.
  2. Clear, succinct explanations help students to understand and apply key concepts and rules.
  3. Numerous models and varied practices support students at all stages of writing.
  4. Journal writing helps students build literacy.
  5. Challenge activities give added opportunities to master the writing process.
  6. Reviewer’s checklists motivate students to revise their work.

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4. How to Write a Scientific Paper: An Academic Self-Help Guide for Ph.D. Students

Writing a scientific paper is hard. In particular, if you are a Ph.D. student, you probably know what the fear of the blank page means—writing can feel overwhelming. But a systematic approach helps. This book provides a step-by-step, top-down approach that makes it easier to turn your results into research papers that are focused, exciting, and readable.

The book focuses on the process of writing instead of technicalities, breaking this process into manageable chunks. How to choose the main point of your paper? How to write its abstract, sentence by sentence? How to outline the paper? How to turn the outline into a first draft and then into a finished manuscript? What to do if you get stuck? And finally, how to deal with critical reviews?

Here is what you get:

  • A complete step-by-step plan for writing research papers, from choosing which results to include to wrapping up the paper in the Discussion section
  • Concrete, actionable, and practical advice, from a paragraph-level template for the Introduction to guidance on preparing plots and figures
  • Lots of writing tips, from placing signposts in your text to shortening and straightening your sentences

This book has been written for the Ph.D. student who is aiming to write a journal article on her research results, but it can be recommended to academics of all levels.

The book includes

Part I: Story

1. How To Choose The Key Point Of Your Paper
2. How To Choose The Supporting Results
3. How To Write The Abstract
4. How To Choose The Title

Part II: Outline

5. The Power Of Outlining
6. How To Write The Introduction, Part I: Structure
7. How To Write The Introduction, Part II: A Four-Paragraph Template
8. How To Write The Introduction, Part III: The Lede
9. How To Write The Materials And Methods
10. How To Write The Results, Part I: Figures
11. How To Write The Results, Part II: Text
12. How To Write The Discussion

Part III: Words

13. How Does Your Reader Read?
14. How To Write Your First Draft
15. How To Edit Your First Draft
16. Tips For Revising Content And Structure
17. Tips For Editing Sentences

Part IV: It’s Not Over Yet

18. How To Write The Cover Letter
19. How To Deal With Reviews

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5. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article

For more than thirty years, Writing for Social Scientists has been a lifeboat for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. It starts with a powerful reassurance: Academic writing is stressful, and even accomplished scholars like sociologist Howard S. Becker struggle with it. And it provides a clear solution: In order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat.

This is not a book about sociological writing. Instead, Becker applies his sociologist’s eye to some of the common problems all academic writers face, including trying to get it right the first time, failing, and therefore not writing at all; getting caught up in the trappings of “proper” academic writing; writing to impress rather than communicate with readers, and struggling with the when and how of citations. He then offers concrete advice, based on his own experiences and those of his students and colleagues, for overcoming these obstacles and gaining confidence as a writer.

While the underlying challenges of writing have remained the same since the book first appeared, the context in which academic writers work has changed dramatically, thanks to rapid changes in technology and ever greater institutional pressures. This new edition has been updated throughout to reflect these changes, offering a new generation of scholars and students encouraged to write about society or any other scholarly topic clearly and persuasively.

As Becker writes in the new preface, “Nothing prepared me for the steady stream of mail from readers who found the book helpful. Not just helpful. Several told me the book had saved their lives; less a testimony to the book as therapy than a reflection of the seriousness of the trouble writing failure could get people into.” As academics are being called on to write more often, in more formats, the experienced, rational advice in Writing for Social Scientists will be an important resource for any writer’s shelf.

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6. An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing: A Brief Rhetoric

Writing teachers know that the expectations for good writing change from one academic context to the next. The only book to dedicate chapters to writing in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied fields respectively, An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing gives students the rhetorical tools they need for success in writing assignments across the disciplines. Rather than aiming to teach students every genre, they may encounter, the guide offers students practice in analyzing the rhetorical situation and understanding the scholarly values informing writing conventions in these different fields.

Available for the first time with An Insider’s Guide, our new online course space, achieve, features the full e-book, writing tools that support feedback, peer review, revision, and reflection, along with assessment and practice opportunities that facilitate student engagement.

All academic writing requires skills in critical thinking, close reading, argumentation, and research, but disciplinary differences among the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and applied fields leave students and instructors frustrated by a one-size-fits-all approach to these skills. For writing programs committed to preparing students for the full range of disciplines they will enter, An Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing presents a proven pedagogy that helps students to adapt to the academic writing tasks of different disciplinary discourse communities.

The pedagogy features a series of flexible, transferable frameworks and concrete connections to the disciplines including unique Insider’s video interviews with scholars and peers. Based on the best practices of a first-year composition program that has trained hundreds of teachers who have instructed thousands of students, this book offers two books in one: innovative rhetoric of academic writing (available as its own book), and a thematic reader that foregrounds real readings from the disciplines.

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7. Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students

Academic writing helps international students succeed in writing essays and reports for their English-language academic courses. Thoroughly revised and updated, it is designed to let teachers and students easily find the topics they need, both in the classroom and for self-study. The book consists of five parts:

  • The Writing Process
  • Elements of Writing
  • Language Issues
  • Vocabulary for Writing
  • Writing Models

The first part explains and practices every stage of essay writing, from choosing the best sources, reading, and note-making, to referencing and proofreading. The four remaining parts, organized alphabetically, can be taught in conjunction with the first part or used on a remedial basis. A progress check at the end of each part allows students to assess their learning. All units are fully cross-referenced, and a complete set of answers to the practice exercises is included.

New topics in this edition include Writing in Groups, Written British and American English, and Writing Letters and Emails. In addition, the new interactive website has a full set of teaching notes as well as more challenging exercises, revision material, and links to other sources. Additional features of the book include:

  • Models provided for writing tasks such as case studies and essays.
  • Use of authentic academic texts from a wide range of disciplines.
  • Designed for self-study as well as classroom use.
  • Useful at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  • Glossary to explain technical terms, plus index.

Written to deal with the specific language issues faced by international students, this practical, user-friendly book is an invaluable guide to academic writing in English.

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