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Academic Writing

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by

Carrie Coker

on 8 September 2016

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Transcript of Academic Writing

Mistakes to avoid in academic writing...
Academic Writing
Hooo can write like a scholar??
A formal style is the preferred format for academic writing.

Be Objective
Write in Third-Person
More Complex Sentence Structure
More Advanced Vocabulary (NO slang)

Formal Writing DOs

Formal vs. Informal

Writing
Writing
conversational
academic
casual, uses slang
scholarly, NO slang
professional books
scholarly papers
**AP EXAMS***
formal speeches
employment letters
college applications
personal letters, emails, texts, etc.
blog posts, Facebook or instagram posts...
personal narratives
humor writing
3rd-Person, Objective POV
1st-Person, Subjective POV
structured organization
less structured or organized
Examples
"In a nutshell..."
"Last but not least..."
"On top of that..."
"To state it briefly..."
"A final but equally important issue..."
"Additionally..."
Formal:
Informal:
Informal:
Rule #1
I
suggest that
you
avoid using first
or second person.
Words to Avoid:
"I" and "You"
Phrases such as
"I think that..."
can be deleted from a sentence. The reader already knows that the statement is the author's
opinion!
You should conserve water.
One should conserve water
.
I intend to argue that Lionel Messi is the best footballer in the world.
It has been argued that Lionel Messi is the best player in the world.
"You..."
Formal:
::
Informal:
Phrases such as
"You may think..."
should
also be omitted when writing formal
papers.
"One may think..."
would correct
the informality.
No Stage Directions,
Please
Rule #6
Numerals:
Eleven or 11?
Rule #3
Rule #7
Rule #8
Rule #9
Rule #10
FYI:
Use Abbreviations Sparingly
Redundancy is a
no-no
Prepositions are not
suggested to end
sentences
with
.
Parenthetical Remarks
(
or phrases in brackets
)
)
Does an electric vehicle provide a practical solution to the problem of air pollution?
Contractions create a friendly, informal tone which may not be suitable in formal writing.
The ONLY acceptable contraction in formal writing is "o'clock."
Contractions are suitable in spoken language, as they can speed up a conversation. However, speed of communication is
NOT
a concern in formal writing.
Why Contractions
Aren't
Recommended
Contraction
Conversion Chart
aren't
are not
can't
cannot
could've
could have
how'd
how did
what's
what is
Informal
Formal
Informal
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
When to use spelled out numbers
It is recommended to drink
eight
glasses of water each day.

There are
twenty-seven
reasons why English is the best class.
Numbers 1-30
Example:
Fractions
One sixth
of the United States
population does not have health
insurance.
Example:
School Years
Example:
Ms. Coker is my
eleventh
grade teacher.
When to Use
Numbers
Numbers 31
and above
Example:
There
are approximately 31
oil spills every day in the waters of the world.
Numbers
that follow a chapter, example, or table
Chapter
4
discusses how to properly
format a title page.
Example:
Large
Numbers
Example:
She won
8.5 million
dollars by playing the lottery.
Informal:
Formal:
In this essay I will discuss how

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific Garbage Vortex, negatively affects our environment.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific Garbage Vortex, negatively affects our environment in a number of ways.
Example:
Why to Avoid Redundancy
There are no word minimums or word limits but the way to think about it is:
Avoid writing the same information in different ways in order to fill up space.
How to Avoid
Redundancy
Once you have completed your essay/text, review each paragraph to see if any sentences can be
eliminated
.
Omit any repetitive or overwritten sentences/phrases.
Abbreviate the Following:
Titles Before Names:
Mr., Mrs., Ms., Prof., Dr.
Jr., Sr., Ph.D., M.A., B.A.
UN, FBI, NASA
U.K., U.S.A.
BBC, IBM
JFK, MLK, FDR
TV, CD, MP3
2:00 A.M., 1124 B.C.
11 ft, 7 kg, 33 lb, 24 in.
Use abbreviations exclusively after explaining it for the first time.
When to Use
Abbreviations
Example:
The
Environmental Protection Agency
(
EPA
) provides environmental education grant opportunities. The
EPA
also offers grant opportunities for new businesses.
Exceptions
to this
rule include the
following.....
Why to Avoid
Prepositions
Ending sentences with prepositions can
contribute to a conversational,
informal tone.
How to Easily Fix the Problem
Once you have finished writing, proofread your text. Look for any sentences which end with a preposition.
The best and easiest solution is to reword the sentence.
The most
commonly used prepositions which are incorrectly placed at the end of sentences include:
at
for
in
about
of
with
to
from
Informal:
Formal:
The extinction of the Dodo bird is a repercussion humanity must live
with
.
Humanity must live with the repercussions of contributing to the extinction of the Dodo bird.


How to
Avoid Using Brackets
Brackets can be reduced by 50% by simply replacing them with commas.
Informal:
Formal:
The quarterback for the Saints
(Drew Brees)
broke Dan Marino's single-season passing record.
The quarterback for the Saints
, Drew Bees,
broke
Dan Marino's single-season passing record.
When To Use Brackets
1) When referring to an equivalent entity:
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network
(ESPN)
British Broadcasting Corporation

(BBC)
2) When listing numbered information:
a)
1)
b)
2)
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
"I..."
Formal:
::
Informal:
Rule #2

Y'all
, please
don't

ever use
contractions.
Rule #4

Avoid using the
verb
"to be"
Rule #5
AVOID
passive
voice
tonight's assignment
Titles After Names:
Words with Numbers:
Mathematical Units:
Names of familiar
Institutions:
Countries:
Corporations:
Famous People:
Familiar Objects:
What do you imagine when you hear the words "
run
," "
jump
," or "
scream
?"

Now, what do you imagine when you hear "
being
" or "
am
?"
.
What
is
a
"To Be" verb?
"To be"
is
the most
BASIC
and
COMMON

verb tense in the English language.

But it
is
also the
WEAKEST
verb tense.
"To Be" Verb Tense:
is be
am being
are been
was
were
In great, descriptive writing, we try to
AVOID
using the verb "
to be
."

It's not grammatically incorrect, but it can

be BETTER.
Revising
"To Be" Verbs
He

is

a student who
is
intelligent and confident. He
is
always
completing
assignments on time.

The intelligent, confident student always
completes
assignments on time.


It
is believed
by teachers that students should
be required
by the school to have textbooks.

Teachers b
elieve
that the school should
r
equire
students to have text books.
OK
OK
STRONGER
STRONGER
Active voice:
the subject of the sentence DOING an action.
Ex: Ms. Coker catches Bieber Fever.
Passive voice:
the subject of the sentence is NOT DOING the action.
Ex: Bieber Fever is caught by Ms. Coker
Unclear
We don't know who or what is doing the action.
The "doer" is not the most important part of a sentence
Passive Voice is
WEAK and UNCLEAR
Examples
A
Trick
for
Recognizing Passive Voice
EXAMPLES
Passive Active
The light was turned off.
Darien turned off the light.
The child was kidnapped.
A masked man kidnapped the child.
JFK was shot.
Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK.
The cat was thrown out by his owner.
The owner threw out his cat.
If you can add
"by zombies"
to the
end of a verb phrase,
it's passive voice!
The light was turned off
...by zombies.
The child was kidnapped
...by zombies.
JFK was shot
...by zombies.
The cat was thrown out
...by zombies.
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