Difference Between Academic Writing vs Blog Writing (Plus Updates)

By Kimberly

Updated:

Academic writing and blog writing are two distinct styles of writing that cater to different purposes and audiences. While academic writing is formal and structured, often used in scholarly publications, blog writing tends to be more conversational and accessible, designed to engage and inform a wider range of readers.

The difference between academic and blog writing boils down to purpose, style, tone, and format. Writing a blog or an academic paper is situational, and writing essays is different.

Both academic and blog writing have their unique set of guidelines and formats, as well as expectations from their audiences. Academic writing aims to convey complex ideas, using precise language, evidence, and clear arguments to support a thesis. On the other hand, blog writing shares information in a simplified and easily digestible manner, often incorporating personal opinions and experiences to create a connection with the reader. Let’s dive into the differences – followed by an update!

An image of someone typing at a typewriter

Purposes and Objectives Compared: Academic VS Content Writing

The purposes and objectives behind academic writing and blog writing differ significantly. While academic content writing and web writing aims to inform and contribute to existing research, blog writing focuses on engaging readers and sharing personal insights or experiences.

As each type of writing has its own purposes, goals, and stylistic requirements, so too do academic and content writing. Here is a quick comparison, which will be followed with a deep dive into things with more specificity.

Academic WritingBlog Writing
PurposeInformative, research-drivenPersonal, experiential
ToneObjective, neutral toneSubjective, conversational tone
Style and StructureFormal structureFlexible structure
Point of ViewThird-person point of viewSecond-person point of view
Table 1.1: Formal Academic Papers compared to Writing and Web Content.

Remember that the difference between academic content writing and blog-based writing are vastly different; so pick the right one for your article’s (or paper’s) needs and intended audience.

Goals

In academic writing, the purpose is to inform and contribute to the existing body of knowledge. Your aim is to present well-structured information and research findings that advance understanding within a specific field. To achieve this, you need to establish a clear and logical flow of thought, backed by credible sources. For example:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background and context
  3. Methodology
  4. Results
  5. Analysis and discussion
  6. Conclusion

Academic writing is a means of engaging with the ideas of others and inviting further discussion. Remember, the message you convey should be concise, focused, and neutral, with a factual and objective tone.

Blog writing, on the other hand, serves a different purpose. Your goal is to connect with your audience and share knowledge or opinions in a more conversational style. This means using second person (you, your, yours) to help readers feel addressed directly. Intentions of blog writing include:

  • Personal expression
  • Sharing experiences, tips, and insights
  • Engaging readers and inspiring interaction
  • Building a community around a specific topic

Be confident and knowledgeable in your blog writing. By presenting clear and useful insights, you’ll establish trust with your audience. To achieve this, you may draw from credible sources, anecdotes, or both.

Audience

In academic writing, your audience primarily consists of researchers, scholars, and experts within a specific field. This type of writing is formal, structured, and often utilizes complex language. It is essential to present well-researched and evidence-based arguments, as your readers expect a high level of precision and detail. Some features of academic writing that cater to this audience include:

  • Use of technical jargon and field-specific terminology
  • Limited use of personal pronouns like “you” or “I”
  • Extensive citations and references to support your claims
  • Avoidance of generalizations and assumptions
  • Adherence to a specific style guide based on your field or institution

Remember that academic writing requires a certain level of accessibility, meaning that you should aim to make your work understandable to readers within your field, regardless of their level of expertise. This can be achieved by providing clear explanations, definitions, and examples where necessary.

On the other hand, blog writing caters to a more diverse and general audience. Your readers are not necessarily experts or researchers, so it is important to adopt a more casual, conversational style that appeals to a wider range of people. The following elements are commonly found in blog writing:

  • Use of informal language and simple sentence structures
  • Engaging with the reader using personal pronouns like “you” and “we”
  • Incorporation of visual aids, such as images, videos, or infographics
  • Writing in shorter paragraphs to maintain readability
  • Avoidance of technical jargon and complex vocabulary

In this context, accessibility means making your content approachable and easy to understand for the average reader. This can be done by breaking down complex concepts into simpler terms, linking to external resources, or offering real-world examples to illustrate your points.

An image of a professor holding a paper.

Structure and Styles Compared

By understanding these differences in structure, style, tone, language, and punctuation, you can ensure that your writing is tailored to the expectations of your target audience and suited for the specific platform or purpose.

The differences between blog and academic writing are more than just their purpose; the structures and styles are almost complete opposites. And if you’re wondering about essays – an academic essay is completely different topic. It’s more like an academic paper, but there can be allowances made – depending on the essay requirements.

Formality and Tone

When comparing academic writing and blog writing, the level of formality and tone is one of the key differences.

  • In academic writing, you need to maintain a formal tone, which is achieved by using formal language and avoiding contractions, colloquialisms, and personal anecdotes.
  • On the other hand, blog writing often encourages a more conversational tone, allowing you to connect with your audience on a personal level. It’s important to use the appropriate tone based on your purpose and audience.

Language and Vocabulary

The choice of language and vocabulary differs significantly between academic and blog writing.

  • Academic writing requires precise, concise, and clear language. It often includes discipline-specific jargon to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge within a particular field.
  • Blog writing, aimed at a broader audience, tends to use simpler language and avoid technical terms to ensure readability and accessibility for a more diverse readership.

Sentence Structure and Punctuation

In terms of sentence structure and punctuation, academic writing emphasizes complexity and precision. This often involves longer sentences, carefully organized to present an argument or analysis. Punctuation plays a crucial role in conveying your intended meaning, as it helps to structure complex ideas and maintain clarity.

On the other hand, blog writing favors shorter, simpler sentences to keep the reader engaged and maintain a more informal style. This style of writing might also use more relaxed punctuation rules, such as occasional sentence fragments or colloquial expressions, to create a conversational tone.

Use of Sources, Citations, and Evidence

In academic writing, it is crucial to provide evidence and support your arguments with reliable and verifiable sources. Blog writing does not require evidence, sources, or citations, but providing them can support the writing so it’s more authoritative than articles without supporting evidence.

This often involves using citations to refer to books, journal articles, and other scholarly materials. When citing a source in your academic work, make sure to use a recognized citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, and follow the guidelines strictly. This will ensure your work is credible and demonstrates your attention to detail.

One of the key aspects of academic writing is the use of direct quotes. When quoting a source, include the author’s name, publication date, and page number in the citation. Direct quotes may also be used in content creation, and any direct quotes ought to be used correctly.

For example:

According to Smith (2020), “using credible sources strengthens your argument” (p. 45).

Here is an example of a citation; it is not a real citation for this article.

Additionally, paraphrasing and summarizing can be a valuable way to present evidence from a study or report without directly quoting the author. Just remember to always cite the original source.

  • Paraphrasing: Putting the information from a source into your own words
  • Summarizing: Condensing the main points of a source into a shorter form

In blog writing, incorporating links and media, such as images and videos, can help engage your readers and provide additional context to your content. The use of easily accessible links allows readers to quickly verify the information you share or explore related topics and resources. It is important to use keyword-rich anchor text when adding links to your blog, as this can help improve search engine rankings.

While incorporating images and videos can enhance your blog’s appearance, it is essential to ensure their relevance to your topic. You should only use media that is informative, credible, and visually appealing. Keep in mind that your blog may be accessed from various devices, so provide alternative text for images to make them accessible for users with visual impairments.

When comparing the use of sources and evidence in academic writing and blog writing, similarities and differences can be noted:

 Academic WritingBlog Writing
EvidenceScholarly sources, citationsAccessible links, media
FormattingStrict citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago)More flexible, anchor text links
Media (Images, videos)Rarely, if ever, used (depends on the field and format)Commonly used, visual appeal and relevancy required

By understanding and implementing these concepts, your academic papers and blog posts will be well-supported, credible, and engaging for your readers.

An image of a woman with textbooks and writing.

Publication and Response

The publication and response processes for academic and blog writing are notably different. While academic writing involves a rigorous peer review process that ensures the quality of the research, blog writing provides an opportunity for readers to provide immediate feedback and engage in discussions, creating an interactive experience for both the writer and the audience.

Academic Review Process

When you submit a journal article for publication, it undergoes a thorough peer review to ensure its quality and credibility. The process involves experts in your field evaluating the research, methodology, findings, and overall relevance. Typically, the review process takes several months, during which your work could be accepted, rejected, or require revisions.

Factors evaluated during the academic review process include:

  • Clarity: Is the research question and its significance clearly articulated?
  • Originality: Does the study add new findings to the knowledge base?
  • Methodology: Are the methods employed appropriate and rigorous?
  • Results: Do the findings logically support the conclusion?

Blog Interactivity

In contrast to academic writing, blogs offer a more interactive and engaging platform for you to share your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. Blog readers can provide instant feedback and thoughts, often through comment sections. This allows you to directly engage with your audience and allows you to address questions, clarify points, or expand on your ideas.

Here are some ways to increase audience engagement in your blog posts:

  • Ask open-ended questions: Encourage readers to share their thoughts and ignite a discussion.
  • Reply to comments: Show your appreciation for the feedback and foster a sense of community.
  • Share on social media: Expand your reach and encourage more interactions by sharing your blog on various platforms.

Updates for This Site

For long-time readers and friends, you may have noticed that I missed several months of publishing reports (even modified ones that have cool topics like I’ve been doing of late).

It has to do with this exact topic: I’ve applied to graduate school.

In fact, as of last week, my application is complete and it has been received by the programs I’m applying to. Deciding to apply to graduate school (followed by the application process) wasn’t a decision I made lightly, as the delay in publishing hopefully makes apparent.

Making the switch to writing in an academic tone was a journey; I have some amazing colleagues who were kind enough to take the time to give me valuable feedback. Given all that, I figured an article on this exact topic was a must.

In any case, I’m now in the “wait and see” phase – so I won’t have any answers about acceptance or rejection for at least a few months.

An image of a young woman studying and working.

Frequently Asked Questions

This article is dedicated to helping you understand and have the right information. Next up, let’s answer some FAQs. If I haven’t answered your question yet, I hope to do so here! Please let me know if I missed your question. You can reach me using my contact page. I’ll do my best to respond directly to your emailed question – and update this article so that other readers get their answers, too.

What are the key distinguishing features between academic and blog writing?

Academic writing is more formal, structured, and fact-based, whereas blog writing is usually more casual, informal, and opinionated. In academic writing, authors use a neutral tone and focus on precise, well-researched information, while blog posts often convey personal opinions and experiences. For instance, academic writing uses unique grammatical devices for precision and authority, while blog writing allows for more flexibility and creativity in language.

How do the audiences of academic writing and blog writing differ?

The audiences for academic writing are typically scholars, researchers, and students, who are interested in well-researched, evidence-based information. Blog writing, on the other hand, caters to a wider audience with varying interests and often seeks to entertain or inform in a more casual manner. While academic writing is often aimed at specialists in a particular field, blog writing usually aims to engage a broader, non-specialist audience.

Can blog posts be used as credible sources in academic writing?

In general, blog posts are not considered to be of the same caliber as peer-reviewed journal articles or books when it comes to being used as sources in academic writing. However, there may be circumstances where a blog written by a specialist or expert in the field can be considered a credible source, particularly if it discusses recent developments or ideas that have not yet been published in traditional academic outlets. Always evaluate the credibility of the blog and the author’s expertise before considering it as a reliable source for your academic work.

What are the structural differences between an academic paper and a blog post?

Academic papers typically follow a structured format, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are also often more text-heavy and visually dense, with graphs, tables, and equations in some cases. Blog posts, in contrast, are usually more concise and incorporate visual elements such as images, videos, and links to other relevant content. Blog writing often prioritizes readability, engagement, and shareability over structured format and comprehensive analysis.

How do citation practices vary between academic writing and blog writing?

Academic writing follows strict citation guidelines and uses formal referencing styles, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to acknowledge the sources of information. References are typically listed in a bibliography at the end of the paper. In blog writing, citations are generally more casual and might consist of hyperlinking to the original source within the text itself or mentioning the source in passing without strict adherence to citation style. However, citing sources accurately and transparently remains important to establish credibility in both academic and blog writing.

Are there any circumstances where academic and blog writing styles might overlap?

Yes, there may be times when academic and blog writing styles can overlap, such as in the case of accessible academic blogs or articles written for a broader audience. In such cases, authors might attempt to bridge the gap between strictly academic writing and more informal blog writing by making complex ideas accessible, while still maintaining a level of academic rigor and evidence-based analysis. This can result in content that is more engaging and readable but still rooted in expert knowledge.

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