Academic English, rhetorically, can be considered and treated as a second language comparatively to conversational American English. With a wide-range of conventions that vary for each discipline, even native speakers struggle with writing academically in English. Academic writing in English requires acquiring and using specific conventions and expectations for formality, punctuation, use of pronouns, organizational structures in paragraphs, use of research, and treatment of source material.
Alongside this concern, students using English as well as their own native language often run into trouble with the grammatical elements of sentences, including verb tenses, plurals, and articles (like a, an, and the). Even for students whose written and spoken English is fairly fluent, grammatical elements like these can be the last things to get firmly under control.
Suggestions and Reminders
While learning to write in academic American English, a number of issues can arise. Most of the issues can be resolved with careful, one-on-one attention from professors, other students, and the tutors in the Writing Center. Forming study groups with other students in the same position can also help; students learn a great deal from each other. In the short term, though, here are some reminders to keep in mind when tackling written English assignments:
With this in mind, it is also important to think about the audience of your writing.