23rd October 2021
5 Top Tips on Writing an Academic Blog Post
Blog posts are a great way for researchers and other academics to share their ideas outside of the usual channels of journal articles, conference papers, and so on. But how do you write a strong academic blog post? Our top tips include:
- Work out what to write about and your aims for writing a blog post.
- Think about who you are writing for and tailor the content to the audience.
- Consider adding images, infographics, or another visual element.
- Come up with a compelling title for your blog post to draw people in.
- Edit and proofread your blog post before hitting publish.
For more detailed advice on how to write an academic blog post, read on below.
1. Pick a Topic and Think About Your Aims
When planning an academic blog post, there are two key factors to consider:
- What you will write about – This can be just about anything, from recent research you’ve done to teaching methods to use in seminars. The real question is what angle you’ll take on it. Do you have an original perspective on an established debate? Does your research relate to anything that’s been in the news recently? Look for a way to approach your subject matter that will make your blog post stand out.
- Your goals for writing a blog post – Think about who you are writing for and what you want to achieve. Are you trying to offer a simple guide to a topic for laypersons? To put forward a compelling argument for fellow researchers? Offer helpful, practical advice about something? Or something else entirely?
Once you have decided on a topic and a goal, you can plan your blog post. To do this, set out the key information that you want to include and how you will present it.
2. Tailor Your Blog Post to the Audience
As noted above, who you are writing for can have a major impact on how you write your academic blog post. Factors to consider in this respect include:
- Content – Think about how much your audience will already know about the subject. If you are writing for researchers in the same field as you, you can assume they’ll be familiar with basic concepts, well-known studies, etc. But if you’re writing for people outside your field of study, you will need to offer more background information to contextualize your points. You may also need to be selective with content to keep your blog post concise.
- Tone and voice – A blog post doesn’t need to use the same formal style you would for traditional academic writing. For example, using a more conversational tone can be a great way to connect with a wider audience. Blog posts may also offer more scope for opinion than rigorous academic work. However, you should also make sure that the tone of your writing is suitable for the subject matter.
- Complexity of language – If you are writing for a lay audience, or even for academics outside of your field of study, you may need to adapt your language. For instance, you might need to use everyday terms in place of technical ones, avoid jargon, or define words that people outside your field of study might not understand.
- Structure – Large blocks of text can be off-putting, especially if you’re hoping to appeal to a wide audience. Try to keep your writing accessible by breaking it down into short paragraphs. You can also use headings, bullet points, and numbered lists to break up text and make your writing easier to skim read.
- Referencing – While it is a good idea to cite sources in an academic blog post, you won’t necessarily need to do this using a formal referencing system. Think about embedding links directly into the text of your blog post instead.
If you’re not sure how to tailor your content, it may help to speak to someone in your target audience or to research similar blog posts by other academics.
3. Include a Visual Element
Consider adding a visual element to your academic blog post. This could include photographs, illustrations, infographics, or even embedded video content.
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As well as using visuals to aid communication (e.g., including a diagram that illustrates a point in the text), this will make your blog post more engaging. You can also use visuals to help further break up the text, making your post easier to read.
If you do want to include copyrighted images or other visuals in your blog post, though, make sure you have permission and remember to credit the creators.
4. Give Your Blog Post a Compelling Title
A strong title is a great way to capture readers’ attention. Ideally, it should be short, memorable, and descriptive so that readers will know what your blog post is about from the title alone. Two common techniques you can use here are:
- Framing your blog post as an answer to an intriguing question to engage the reader’s curiosity (e.g., Can Science Predict the Next Pandemic?).
- Presenting your post as a numbered list (e.g., 5 Things We Learned from the Large Hadron Collider), which gives you a simple structure to work with. This can also help appeal to readers who are short on time, partly because it gives a clear indication of how long the post will be!
Whatever approach you use for your title, though, make sure it gives a genuine indication of what your blog post is about. Nobody appreciates clickbait!
5. Edit and Proofreading Your Academic Blog Post
Editing your academic blog post is essential! Once you have a first draft, take a break and come back to it with fresh eyes. You can then look for ways to refine or clarify your ideas, cut inessential content, or make it more accessible for your target audience. Seeking feedback at this point is a great idea, too.
In addition, even though blog posts may be less formal than other types of academic writing, you should still make sure your writing is free of mistakes. If a reader spots a typo in your text, they might question the credibility of your ideas! Our expert editors are available around the clock, though, so we can help you with the proofreading process. Why not submit a free trial document today?
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