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Do & Don't of Academic Writing

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by

Samia Khan

on 22 April 2016

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Transcript of Do & Don't of Academic Writing


Mistakes to Avoid

Research Writing
It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
- C. J. Cherryh

Research Writing need not to be complicated, but it does need to have an element of formality.
Also such writing tends to be fairly dense, with longer sentences and wide use of subordinate clauses.


Objective, Clear & Consize
Quality of Ideas
Multi-Syllabic Words
Present Tense
Future Tense
Complex Sentence Structure
Formal Writing Do's

Formal Writing

Professional books
Scholarly papers
***EXAMS***
Formal speeches
Employment letters
Applications
Format:
12 font size
Double spaced
I inch Margin
Start new section on a new page
Confine each figure/ Table to a single page
Adopt indentation style
Avoid Superfluous pictuters
It was really very important..
It was important.

Rule #1
1st Person: I, We
2nd Person: You
Never Use You.
"I..." "You..."
No Stage Directions,
Please
Rule #6
Avoid
Cliches
Rule #3
Rule #6
Rule #7
Rule #8
Rule #9
FYI:
Use Abbreviations Sparingly
Redundancy is a
no-no
Prepositions are not
suggested to end
sentences

with.
Cautious Language
No prejudice, No taboos,
No stereotype
)
Does an electric vehicle provide a practical solution to the problem of air pollution?
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
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
__
Overused and old expressions need to be retired.
"In a nutshell..."
"Last but not least..."
"On top of that..."
"To state it briefly..."
"Additionally..."
"Essentially, Practically,,,,"
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
Avoid filling space with unnecessary words like: very, really, often, good, thing like...
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
TV, CD, MP3
2:00 A.M., 1124 B.C.
11 ft, 7 kg, 33 lb, 24 in.
Use abbreviations only 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.
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.
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.
Do not offend your reader.
Conscious about:
gender, race, nationality, religion, physically disability, mental diaorder, age, marital status, or political beliefs.
QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
Rule #2

Contractions
Rule #4

Do not make up noun into verbs such as journaling.
Journalizing
Rule #5
AVOID
passive
voice
Titles After Names:
Words with Numbers:
Mathematical Units:
Names of familiar
Institutions:
Countries:
Corporations:
Familiar Objects:
Active Voice: Direct


.
Do not start sentences with ''and'' & "but".
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
A
Trick
for
Recognizing Passive Voice
EXAMPLES
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.
Dos and Don'ts
Conjunctions:
However,
Moreover,
On the other hand...
Archaic Terms: Thus, Alas!
Although -> Though
Children -> Kids (Slang)
Frightening -> Scary
Emphatic Qualifiers: Really, very, basically
Make your writing more general not specific.

"I think that..."

"You may think..."

"One may think..."
Informal:
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.
Formal

The ONLY acceptable contraction in formal writing is "o'clock."
Cannot is one word.
A lot are two words.
WEAK and UNCLEAR
THAT'S ALL FOLKS!
Do's
Use
academic vocabulary
instead of colloquial one. E.g: have found, a great deal, attractive/ advantageous, the other issue/problem/ notion /idea..
Be impersonal:
It is believed that ...,
It can be argued that ....
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