Academic Writing: A Little Bit of Grammar

Even those who have no problem with oral expressing their ideas often face the difficulties in presenting the thoughts in a written form correctly. In the majority cases, our essay helpers strive to be in writing as expressive and virtuous as in speaking, operating with colloquial vocabulary, using a lot of informal rhetorical approaches. Indeed, it does not suit to academic writing.

Basic rules: what can be applied in academic writing and what is not permitted?

1. Length of sentences. When structuring your sentence, avoid complexity. Long and complex sentences are quite difficult to read. The same can be said about the very short sentences – they also are not good in academic writing. Keep balance; the optimal length of the sentence should be around 20 – 30 words.
2. Active voice is preferable in academic writing. It does not mean that use of passive voice is not allowed; there the cases when it is needed. However, try to reduce its use to the minimum and if you can rephrase the sentence – do it without hesitation.
3. Do not use the first and second person stand in academic writing.

First person: I, we, me, us                                                              Second person: you

Formal writing should sound objective. Using the first and second person point of view endows the context with subjectivism. Indeed, there are a few of exceptions from this rule. You could not avoid the use of the first person in writing a reflective essay, critical analysis paper, developmental analysis and other works which require presenting your personal position.
4. Contractions. You should operate only with the full words in academic writing. Forget about using contractions; it is not permitted.
Contraction is the word formed from 2 abbreviated words.
Examples: Can’t, don’t, won’t, etc.
5. Colloquial vocabulary makes your writing incompetent. Avoid using the words, phrases, figures of speech you apply in everyday conversational language, replace them with the formal equivalents.
A few examples:
Easier said than done – more difficult in practice
Beyond a shadow of doubt – definitely
In recent years – recently
Got out of hands – was no longer under control
6. Minimize the use of run-on expressions. We could not help to avoid using phrases ‘so on’, ‘so forth’, ‘etc.’ but it is a mistaken practice in academic writing.
7. The use of the rhetorical questions is inappropriate in formal papers.
A rhetorical question is a question without the answer since it assumes the reader knows it and any explanations are not needed.
8. Use the adverbs correctly. In spoken speech people often place adverbs at the beginning or the end of the sentence. In formal writing it should be placed within the verbs.
Then the application can be rejected.            The application can then be rejected.
Advice: linking words
To make your writing easy to flow you might need diverse cohesive devices and skills on applying them successfully. Below we propose you a list of linking phrases and words you can use to connect the sentences, paragraphs and sections.
To reinforce your ideas:
What is more
Above all
In addition
Not only…….but also
To emphasize similarity:
In the same way
To make a transition between the points:
It follows that
Turning to
To generalize:
On the whole
As a rule
In the most cases
To sum-up:
For that reason
Under these circumstances
To conclude/In conclusion
After all
To rephrase:
Speaking in other words
To put it more simply
This list can be endless, but there is no need to present all the variants of linking phrases. It is the question of your individual writing style. Only through reading you can enrich the vocabulary and adjust it to yourself ideally.

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