Academic Writing Gone Wild!

A writing exercise playing with academic and creative writing styles.

As a doctoral student, I do a lot of writing.  Academic writing, however, is very different from the other styles that I’ve learned.  Therefore, I thought it’d be fun to turn an academic passage into a creative one and vice versa!

Here is a passage from one of my personal class papers:

“Primary channels are often seen as more credible during crises than secondary channels such as journalistic news media (Stephens et al., 2013).  Crises also no longer have to be filtered through “gatekeepers” like the media (Lee & Cho, 2011).  In some cases this is believed to have led to noise reduction during and after crises (Lieberman et al., 2013; Veenstra et al., 2014; Waters, Tindall, & Morton, 2010).”


Now time to turn it into a piece of creative writing!

Sia frowns as the messenger finishes his report.  He can’t be trusted, none of them can.

“Your services are no longer needed.  Get out,” Sia commands.

The ebony raven sitting in the ornate rafters takes to the air and lands softly on Sia’s shoulder.

“What now my lady?” The bird caws into Sia’s ear as they watch the doors close behind the messenger.

“Now, my dear friend, we do what we should have already done.  We go get the truth.  A Queen is only as good as her intel and I won’t have mine muddied with the lies of messengers long ago bought by those who wish to usurp me.”

“Let me go my lady.  Let me be your eyes.”

“Two sets of eyes are better than one Zoran.  We shall go together.”

Sia closes her eyes and with a flash of light takes the form of a snowy owl.  With a screech she spreads her magnificent wings and flies out of the window.  Zoran follows close.  He must keep her safe, the last Queen of Elundia.

(The messenger is the secondary channel, so Sia must go get the message directly from the source!)

Time to change it up!  This time I’ll write short piece of creative writing then try to change it into an academic passage.  This is probably going to be more difficult!




The wind whistled through the pines and tore across the frozen lake.  “Damn,” Cristy cursed as the fishing line to her tip up tangled and instantly froze in the wind.


It was intricate work setting the line and it required bare hands to set the hook just right into the squirming minnow.

Cristy told herself to focus on the cold.  Focus on the bite of it as she worked the frozen line back into the black waters.  Focus on anything, but the hunger.

With numb hands Cristy set the flag of the tip up and sat back to watch and wait.  This was it.  This tip up would decide if she’d make it through the night.

There were worse ways to die, she knew that.

In fact it was almost funny to have made it this far only to die from lack of food and cold.  She’d escaped the dead.  Made it to where there was so much snow and cold that they couldn’t roam across the land like the plague.

She’d seen terrible things, done terrible things to make it here.  And yet, here she was in the cold, human as ever, and dying.  It would be a good death.  A blessing.

Cristy heard the tip up before she saw it.  The sound of the flag springing up and flapping in the wind.  She opened her eyes slowly, careful not to get her hopes up that it was something other than the wind.  The spool was spinning fast though as a fish ran the line out somewhere beneath the ice.

Cristy allowed herself a quick laugh.  Guess death would have to wait another day.


Now to try to turn this into an academic passage…  I’ve made up the facts and sources.  I don’t feel like doing more research at the moment!  So don’t take any of the following as fact!!!


Cold can be defined as a low temperature, more specifically, something that is free from warmth (Dictionary, 2015).  Water freezes when it reaches a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below (Walter, 2010).  In the winter food can become scarce due to the snow and frozen bodies of water (Survival, 2013).  Because of this, ice fishing was developed in the 1800s (Smith, 2011).

If anything this was just a fun writing exercise!


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