I am not absolutely sure I had had any clear idea of what the subject of Academic Writing was before I entered the University this year. Any new information - either from books or lectures - might influence my opinion about it. So it would be very true to say that my views on Academic Writing are still in the process of developing. The reason of this is simple: although I had some experience of writing in English before, it is certainly not enough to be able to form any stable and clear conception about as absolutely new subject for me as Academic Writing.
My school experience of writing in English could certainly not be regarded as sufficient. We used to write only simple narratives or descriptions at our English lessons. Almost every year in September I was supposed to describe my summer holidays and in May - my holiday plans. From time to time I wrote "letters to a friend" or reported on my latest birthday party. That was, certainly, not enough and I think, I would not be able to write anything readable now, if I had not started using Internet for communication in written form. This gave me not only the knowledge of new words and expressions, but also good practice of expressing ideas in English. Later, working for several months for a publishing company, I got acquainted with the writing of formal letters, commercial advertisements, and different business documents. I also had to type a lot of texts written in the formal style, which, I suppose, was very useful for me.
From the first lectures at university I realized the lack of experience and knowledge of the subject. What I understood immediately, was the fact that there is a special way of written communication between educated people in academic environment, which enables them to express their ideas effectively and read the views of others efficiently. Although this kind of writing has very strict rules and makes serious demands on a writer, most of the rules refer to the form or to the organization of ideas, leaving the author with the freedom of thoughts, ideas, and concepts.