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Content Writing Vs Academic Writing: What You Should Know

Academic Writing

The primary difference between academic writing and content writing is the objective and purpose. While content writing aims to persuade and entertain the reader, academic writing demonstrates comprehension and aims to inform. The target audience for academic writing is informed and knowledgeable in the topic of interest. The target reader for content writing is a customer, with no specific interest of background in the topic under review. Thus, the content writer must be creative and entertaining to captivate the audience and maintain their attention. The academic writer must incorporate genuine information and communicate credibility and reliability.

Definition of Content Writing

Content writing refers to the process of creating insightful and meaningful stories for webpages. Although the primary objective of content writing is digital marketing, content creators also generate engaging articles for the target audience to entertain and inspire. Unlike academic content writing, the digital world has little room for formality. Thus, content writing is practically a playground for creative storytellers.

Definition of Academic Writing

Academic writing is a medium of expression for professionals and students within the scholarly world. Researchers use it to communicate their thoughts to scholars and other interested parties. Hence, academic writing is a medium of exchange for sharing knowledge and information for purposes of informing, educating, or demonstrating one’s prowess in a specific field.

The Difference Between Academic Writing and Content Writing

When comparing academic writing vs content writing, one must analyze the organizational and stylistic differences. The two have visibly varying appearances in structure and flow. However, the most notable difference is the purpose of writing. While academic writing dominates the education sector, content writing is more common on internet-based platforms.


Content writing. Content writing does not have an organizational limit. The writer enjoys unlimited freedom to organize the article as they wish. With no systematic flow requirements, the order of information dissemination is pretty fluid. You are more likely to find an article with a generic appearance in content writing. Some writers even include lists and bullet points to make the document more appealing.

Academic writing. Academic writing is stricter on organization and structure. You must abide by your institution’s guidelines when organizing your document. Besides, academic writing has a systematic structure with an introduction, body, and conclusion. In some cases, scholarly articles have different appearances but with the same basic structure.


Content writing. Content writing adopts an informal tone, allowing writers to communicate with the audience. Since the objective is to create a connection with the reader, this approach is mostly conversational. Direct reference to the audience from a second-person perspective is acceptable. The content writer must remain friendly and empathetic.

Academic writing. Conversely, academic writing utilizes a formal tone. The writer strives to demonstrate professionalism and communicates from an expert’s point of view. Academic writing is mainly a knowledge-sharing platform where the writer and the reader are knowledgeable. In some cases, the audience might have more information about the topic than the author. Hence, an academic writer must maintain the highest level of professionalism and maintain a formal tone.


Content writing. The concept of style is more profound in content writing. The author retains control over creativity and proactiveness. They use attractive and relatable words to entertain and inform, they must also use catchy phrases and details to captivate the audience. In other words, the author must make the article fun to read.

Academic writing. Style is where academic writing services excel. They train their writers to perfect a unique academic tone, with excellent diction. For instance, professional paper writers at CustomWritings are known for producing exceptional assignments. They do this by mastering the art of academic writing. They maintain a team of writers for extended periods, creating room for experience and training. As a result, their writers have worked on thousands of assignments, giving them an edge over their competitors.


Content writing. In content writing, authors adopt a conversational language. They incorporate simple wording and everyday phrases. Since professionalism is not a must, content writing utilizes information dialogues. The papers contain second-person communication. In other words, the author communicates directly to the audience.

Academic writing. Academic writing uses strictly formal language with no colloquial terms or contractions. In some subjects, such as literature, the author may use conversational language. However, most disciplines restrict scholars to formal language. The author mostly sticks to a third-party perspective and communicates the message with reference to the audience.


The primary difference between content and academic writing is the object or the purpose of writing. Academic writing is mostly designed for educational documents such as college and university assignments. It’s mostly used by scholars, researchers, educators, and students. Hence, academic writing is the medium of expression within the education sector.

Conversely, content writing is mainly used in the digital marketing industry. Whether the author intends to persuade or entertain the audience, a content writer is mainly based on the web. Search articles feature on webpages and social sites. Additionally, content writing has no institutional or sectoral limits. Anyone can become a content writer, provided they can create an interesting document with general information about a product.


Content writing. Content writing is comprehensive and detailed but does not require the authority and credibility associated with the use of scholarly sources. Instead, authors can use personal opinions and hearsay, provided they incorporate stylistic approaches to make the text compelling. You can also use external sources in moderation and include references. However, the citations do not have to be in any specific formative style. Instead, you can use a simple link as your reference.

Academic writing. In academic writing, citations are a critical component of the organization, structure, and purpose. The references determine the credibility of your document. As a result, one must use reliable sources from scholarly and peer-reviewed journals. Students must use in-text citations to write essays, demonstrating their ability to conduct research.

Sentence structure

While content writers write simple short sentences, academic writers use generally acceptable sentence structures for essay writing. Content writing targets a general audience with no specific academic credentials as the basic requirement. As a result, using simple sentences ensures that the reader’s educational level does not limit their access to the content. On the other hand, academic writing targets scholars, researchers, and students. Its primary objective is to inform, educate, or express an informed opinion. As a result, the sentence structure is only limited by the rules of grammar and punctuation.

Content vs Academic Writing: Notable Similarities

Although academic and content writing have notable differences, the two have some minor similarities. For instance, they both need proper punctuation and organization. Besides, every writer must abide by grammar rules and be free from avoidable errors. The author ensures that every sentence has correct word order, subject-verb agreement, and parallelism. However, the style, tone, and purpose of academic writing differ significantly from content writing.


Featured image provided by lil artsy; Pexels; Thanks!

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