If you went beyond the usual college degree, you’re already an academic. The term “academic” is used for a highly educated person who teachers at a college or university, or does research there. Even before you gain your MA or PhD degree (which would enable you to teach), you’re doing the research part.
Now, you might be wondering: “What are the benefits of writing a research paper if I’m not planning to become a researcher or a professor? I just want to be a business owner and this MBA is taking me places. Even if I planned to become a true academic, what does writing have to do with that?”
Why Is Essay Writing Important for Your Academic Career?
Research and writing are essential elements of MA and PhD program. That’s how the educational system was developed and it’s going to stay that way for a long time to come.
Instead of complaining about all those projects, maybe you should wonder how to improve writing essays. Let’s start by discussing why that’s important first.
1. You Learn How to Communicate with Other Academics
When you get this high on the ladder of education, you’re not just learning about things that other people discovered. You are qualified to conduct your own research and share the results with the scientific and academic community. Everyone counts on you to put your knowledge and skills to use.
For this reason, you conduct research. You set particular theories and try to prove them with facts and arguments. You share the results with the community of academics in your niche, so they can benefit from your research. They can contribute towards it with their critiques and supplemental research projects.
When you write the research paper, you’re using it as a communication tool. Now, you might have heard other students saying this: “I did the research, but I found a professional writer and I asked to write my paper.” That’s a possibility. However, it costs money and it deprives you from the opportunity to improve your writing skills. During your career as an academic, you will write more than one paper. Are you going to hire writers for them all? If you work on your writing skills, you’ll only hire editors for the final step. That’s a more affordable option, but it’s also a guarantee for developing and preserving your own voice.
2. Writing Makes You a Better Critical Thinker
A single paper is a lot of work. We’re not talking about a simple high-school essay that can be done in a matter of hours. We’re talking about a project that requires days, weeks, and months of research. You’ll use several tools for academics to go through the stages of planning, research, writing, and editing. Then, your mentor will have remarks on your work.
You’ll have to face this criticism like a champ. You’ll swallow your pride and ask yourself: “What can I do to improve the paper?” They see the gaps in information, inconsistencies, and flaws in logical flow. Overtime, you’ll learn how to spot these things without your mentor’s assistance. You’ll need to practice essay writing a lot to finally get there, but you’ll become your own critic. When you reach that stage, the final results of your work will be impressive.
You’ll translate this skill to other aspects of life. Even if you don’t plan to be a researcher, you’ll probably write plans and presentations. You’ll get into discussions with professionals from your niche. Before saying or writing anything, you’ll criticize your own ideas and you’ll get them in the best possible form. Then you’ll share them with others.
3. Each Academic Writing Project Helps You Grow
“So what; I can just do the research, learn as much as possible, and be smart without the need to write anything.” Of course; you can do that. But if you stay on that level, you benefit from other people’s research and knowledge without providing feedback. What do you think about their arguments and findings? Don’t you want to express an opinion?
Each project helps you grow intellectually. You find the right words to form convincing arguments. You learn how to get rid of redundancies, so the essential message will stand out.
With this skill, your arguments in any discussion will be more convincing.
Why Don’t You Just Practice?
Academic writing is not easy. You know what? It’s not supposed to be. It should be challenging, so it will inspire you to push your limits and learn. With each new project, you’ll face new obstacles and you’ll find ways to overcome them.
If you feel like you can’t do it, you’re wrong. It’s the faulty mindset that’s giving you trouble. You need to get into the growth mindset: “I’ll try, do my best and see where it takes me.” You’ll be surprised with what you can achieve if you only start believing in yourself.
What project is giving you trouble? Will you try to make progress on it today?
BIO: Robert Everett is a world traveler, blogger, and editor. He hated writing until he realized he could become better at it through practice. Robert shares great writing tips on Twitter, so feel free to follow.