Studnets and computers

Writing at university is not difficult or complicated. In the beginning, it may feel strange with new terms and formats, and you may not know what is expected of you. This Writing Guide aims to help you understand how to write and what to focus on as well as how to develop yourself as a writer.

At university, many different kinds of texts are written, from reflections on your own learning and internship reports to lab reports, film scripts, and patient records. The text form that is still the most common is the academic text. The academic text is a genre that adopts a formal written style, follows a certain pattern, and has a given structure. The purpose of an academic text is to inform, report and investigate. You relate to previous research and use credible sources that you clearly refer to.

The language of an academic text should not be complicated, but you should strive to express yourself concisely and accurately, and present information in an objective and neutral way. By reading course literature and academic texts, your knowledge increases, not only about your own area but also about the style of academic texts. The more you read and write, the easier it is for you to find your own voice as a writer.

All texts are a form of communication. As the writer, you are the sender and have a message you want to reach out with and the reader is the recipient who must understand your message. For communication to work, you need to analyze the writing situation. What is the purpose of the text, who is the target group, and what is the format or genre you should write in? The following subpages will help you analyze the writing situation to get started writing!

Student writing

Formal language

If you write a private diary, you can leave gaps in the text and use a language only you understand. Any other text you write should be understood by a reader. You want the reader to understand your message, both when you are texting a friend and when you write your degree thesis.

Fingers and keyboard

Writing Process

Start by analysing the writing situation. What kind of text are you going to write? What is the purpose of the text? Who are you writing for, who is the target audience? What will you learn by producing this text?

Student reading a book


At Arcada, we recommend the APA 7 reference style.