What are the similarities between academic and non-academic texts?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Academic and non-academic texts can at times address the same subjects. For example, an article in a newspaper or magazine written for the general public (an example of a non-academic text) could address a subject such as global warming. An academic text could address the same subject, but it would be written for experts in the field and might contain specialized vocabulary and scientific data. In addition, academic texts have usually been reviewed by other scholars and found to meet high standards for research and integrity (in that the sources in the article are all cited and the authors have not appropriated other researchers' ideas as their own). 

In addition, both academic and non-academic texts can be useful for researchers and students. For example, if you were trying to research data about global warming, you could read both non-academic texts in the form of newspaper and magazine articles and articles on the Internet, and you could also inform yourself about the subject by reading academic texts in specialized journals.

Finally, the authors of both academic and non-academic texts (at least those non-academic texts published for the public, such as magazine and newspaper articles) are required not to plagiarize. If they use other people's ideas or words, they need to cite the sources of their information.

kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is much easier to say what academic and nonacademic texts do not have in common rather than their similarities, but I can say the following:

Both academic and nonacademic texts may be written with the goal to persuade, to entertain, or to inform. They differ in their approach to these goals, though, with academic texts relying far more on research and factual, verifiable material for their content. Nonacademic texts may also include research or verifiable material, but are less likely to include references to any source material, and may be published in a rather informal setting.

Academic and nonacademic texts are also typically written for a particular audience. While nonacademic texts are intended more for mass, public consumption than scholarly or academic texts, they may be targeted towards special interests or occupations in society. 

When it comes to format, both academic and nonacademic texts may be found in print, periodical, and digital forms. 

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