The Importance of Academic Tone and Style in College Essays

College essays are an important aspect of a student’s academic journey. They provide an opportunity to showcase one’s writing skills, thought processes, and knowledge on a particular subject. But, simply having good content is not enough. To make a strong impression on the reader, it’s essential to write with an academic tone and style. Academic tone and style are important and here, I will provide some tips for achieving them in your writing.

Why is Academic Tone Important?

Academic Tone and Style for College WritingAcademic tone conveys professionalism and credibility. It signals to the reader that you have taken the time to research and understand the subject, and that you are presenting your ideas in an informed and serious manner. This sets you apart from the countless other applicants and shows that you are taking your education seriously.

Academic tone also demonstrates respect for your audience. Writing with a formal tone shows that you understand the significance of the subject matter and that you are approaching it with reverence. This will earn you the respect of your reader, who will be more likely to take your ideas seriously.

Tips for Achieving an Academic Tone

Avoid informal language: Avoid using slang, contractions, and casual language in your writing. Instead, opt for formal language and complete sentences.

Use an objective voice: Write in the third person and avoid using personal pronouns like “I” or “you.” This will make your writing sound more professional and neutral.

Avoid emotional language: Emotional language can detract from the credibility of your writing. Stick to a neutral tone and focus on presenting your ideas objectively.

Why is Academic Style Important?

Academic style sets you apart from the crowd and helps to communicate your ideas effectively. It’s a set of conventions that are specific to academic writing and help to make your writing clear, concise, and organized.

Tips for Achieving an Academic Style

Use proper citation: Proper citation of sources shows that you have done your research and supports your ideas. Be sure to use a citation style that is appropriate for your discipline, such as MLA or APA.

Be concise: Write in short, clear sentences that are easy to understand. Avoid using unnecessary words or convoluted sentences.

Use headings and subheadings: This will help to organize your ideas and make your writing easier to follow.


Academic tone and style are critical components of effective college essays. They demonstrate professionalism, credibility, and respect for your audience and help to communicate your ideas effectively. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to writing essays that stand out and impress your reader.


“Academic Writing Guide: Using an Academic Tone and Style.” Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2023.
“The Importance of Tone in Academic Writing.” Scribendi. Scribendi, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2023.

Jenny Mark

Jenny Mark is a graduate of California State University of San Bernardino and lives in Southern California. She is a part time professor for Baker College, Southern New Hampshire University, Vista College, and Baker College. She teachs composition, creative writing, and essential college skills. Check out her blog at

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