Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Stay Away from These Words in Academic Writing

Academic writing is a separate sphere that has its rules and peculiarities. The style is very plain and clear, so, any vagueness must be avoided. There are words that should be dodged if you want to look professional enough for your clients. And that’s what I’m going to talk about.

There is no place in academic writing for words like:

-          I/My

There mustn’t be anything personal in a paper you are writing. Your main goal is not to express your opinion (unless the requirement clearly states it) but to prove some point with solid facts or numbers.

-          Thing

Frankly speaking, it’s my junk word that I sometimes use too much. I always try to keep it in check but when editing, I always delete one or two astray “things”. I even have a small note as you can see. Hope it’ll help.

-          Kind of

It’s one more junk word (fortunately not mine) that appears very often in not really appropriate places. You can replace it with more academic equivalents like “within the parameters of” or “in the category of”.

-          Of course

This word doesn’t show you from the best side. When you are to write a paper, you obviously need to research because you don’t know everything. But the use of this word presupposes that you’ve taken the topic and covered it in 30 min. You and I know that it’s not true. So, avoid it.

-          And so on

Your much better options are to enumerate everything till the end or to use “etc.” This is the word that characterizes informal language but not the academic style that is expected of you.

This list is not full. There are loads of restrictions in terms of academic style but I’m not going to mention them all. These words are highlighted because they are taken from my own experience and mistakes. Of course, I use them: that’s why I have this blog, to blow off the steam so to say. So, dear writers: watch your writing and run your blogs; they really help tame the urge to use junk words.