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Academic writing is typically considered a formal mode of writing intended for an educated audience. As such, it is generally written in a 3rd person or objective voice, and tends to rely heavily on research, factual experimentation and evidence, and the opinions of other educated scholars and researchers, rather than on the opinions of the author. The range and variety of subjects within academic writing are as vast as the number of subjects anyone could study within a scholarly context, but in any academic piece, the topic (or argument) is very clearly stated and maintained throughout. Some common examples of academic writing include essays, theses, dissertations, and lab reports.
Non-academic writing is any other mode of writing that is not directly intended for an academic or scholarly audience. Non-academic writing can be more informal in tone, and may even rely more heavily on emotional appeal or the opinions of the author. Non-academic writing samples could include things like journal articles, opinion pieces, and letters (even to an editor). Additionally, novels and most non-fiction books could be considered non-academic in nature.
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