Academic language is the language used in the texts, classroom instruction, notes, and course assessments in a subject area.
Philosophy has its own terms and language conventions, just like physics, mathematics, literary theory, sociology, etc. Philosophical language is a kind of academic language and it will be explicitly taught in your philosophy courses. However, different subject areas also have common terms and language conventions.
For example, the term “hypothesis” is used in philosophy but it is not specific to philosophy. Similarly, the use of colloquial terms, e.g., “dumb”, “awesome”, any swear words, is unacceptable in any academic work. Fluency with this general academic language is crucial to your success in higher education. Your work for philosophy course and your professional communications with your instructors will be expected to conform to the conventions of general academic language.
Academic language builds on ordinary language, so your work for your philosophy courses and your professional communications with your instructors will also be expected to conform to the conventions of ordinary English, e.g., spelling, complete sentences, subject-verb agreement.
Neither general academic language nor ordinary English will be taught in your philosophy courses, so if you feel like you do not have a firm grasp of the terms and conventions of college writing, please visit the Writing Center for help.
Despite the fact that the mastery of ordinary and academic language is not a learning objective in your philosophy courses, misuse of ordinary language and general academic language may be noted in student work and may be grounds for reduction in the grade or, in egregious cases, outright rejection of the work. Think of mastery of ordinary and academic language as a prerequisite for your philosophy courses.