Skip to Main Content

Research and writing in the disciplines: Home

Brief descriptions of the thinking and writing most valued by individual disciplines; recommended library databases

Writing for an academic audience

academia graphicGeneral expectations of academic audiences

No matter what type of audience you decide to write for, there are always a few assumptions you should make about any audience in an academic setting.

  • Academic audiences are normally well-educated and expect you to use appropriate language, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • People who are educated are often well-read; they probably don't need a lot of explanation of terms unless you are writing about something very technical.
  • Educated people understand writing conventions and expect to see you use them. They are looking for clues (such as thesis and topic statements) to get oriented in your writing.
  • In academic writing, the audience expects you to provide specific and credible evidence for your reasoning.
  • People are drawn to academics and studying because they are curious. Expect a curious and interested audience who wants to be engaged in your writing.

Image source: "Academia" graphic by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC0 (public domain)

Researching for an academic audience

Most instructors expect you to use at least some sources from their particular discipline's professional literature. Since most professional literature (academic/scholarly journal articles) is only available to you through the library's databases, you should probably begin your search there.

Your librarians

Profile Photo
Faculty Librarians
Available online via email or chat

TCC Library Research Chat

Chat with a Librarianimage of chat bubbles

Have a question? Need help researching? Not sure where to find what you need? 

Use the box below to chat with a librarian 24/7


Thanks to TCC OER Project Director and English instructor, Quill West, for much of the information in the "writing" sections of this document.

CC BY SA license

Except where otherwise noted, the content in these guides by Tacoma Community College Library is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0.
This openly licensed content allows others to cite, share, or modify this content, with credit to TCC Library. When reusing or adapting this content, include this statement in the new document: This content was originally created by Tacoma Community College Library and shared with a CC BY SA 4.0 license.

Tacoma Community College Library - Building 7, 6501 South 19th Street, Tacoma, WA 98466 - P. 253.566.5087

Instagram logo

Visit us on Instagram!