Three Mindset Changes to Help You Improve Your Academic Writing

3 min readAug 31


Why is it so difficult to write?

This issue was recently brought to me by a client who was dissatisfied with their academic work. I could connect because, as a doctorate student, I battled with my writing. After all, the academic writing process was unfamiliar to me. Does this ring true for you? If that’s the case, keep reading because, while writing techniques are a crucial part of efficient academic writing, having an academic writing attitude is just as vital, if not more important, to advancing as an academic. As a result, I’ve included three mentality modifications that I’ve discovered contribute to better academic writing in this Smart Scholar piece.

Perfection does not exist, therefore don’t aim for it.

What I’ve noticed in my writing habits and those of the others I train is that they get obsessed with perfection. Is it true with you too? Have you ever thought that you shouldn’t submit your work because it wasn’t perfect? Perfectionism and procrastination, I’ve discovered, go hand in hand. Because perfection causes anxiety, the more you want your task to be flawless, the more inclined you are to postpone.

If you share this viewpoint, one mentality adjustment you should undertake to better your academic writing is to recognize that perfection does not exist and should not be the goal. In reality, your goal is to be content with the product while understanding that there will always be something that may be better. Once you’ve made this change, you’ll realize how much easier it is to meet your writing objectives and get a paper off your desk and onto someone else’s.

Make the sloppiest draft version you can.

Along with not aiming for perfection, as an academic writer, I believe that the purpose is to produce the sloppiest rough copy possible as quickly as possible. Yes, you read it right: sloppiness is OK. I say this because nothing can be improved until it is written down. I’d want to give you an example of why it’s crucial to get to this point of your rough draughts as a classically educated musician with experience in the music industry.

Consider your favorite song — the one that makes you want to turn up the volume as soon as you hear it. As a listener, you hear the polished and professionally mastered result of that music. However, it’s possible that it took your favorite performer 50 or more tries to get the chorus harmonies just right when the song was recorded.

This similar method, I believe, may be used in writing. Only your published version will be seen by your audience (readers). They’ll never know how many times you had to rewrite each paragraph to make it publishable. As a consequence, your aim as a writer is to acquire your quickest, sloppy rough draught as soon as possible to get to that refined version, since you’ll have a final version you can be proud of soon enough.

Put your blinders on when it comes to product ideas.

As a research scholar, I hear from a lot of students who want to be professors about their thoughts about productivity and how they feel like they’re falling behind because their colleagues are writing more. The higher education culture has placed writing production on a pedestal to its harm. I completely understand because it influences academic tenure and promotion choices. This cultural shift, along with the ability for researchers to promote their work via social media, can be devastating for some.

As a result, I would say that to get into your writing groove, you need to put blinders on your coworkers so you can concentrate on your task. Each of us is on our scholastic path, and focusing on our particular work helps us to live and appreciate what we’ve accomplished over our careers. Once you’ve done this, you’ll immediately discover that you’re more productive than others who claim a “productivity” profile on social media. Get the required stationary items for your work from sites like Shopify.




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