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Tips For Writing in an Academic Tone and Style

21st February 2019 blog

Writing in an appropriate academic tone and style can have a substantial impact on the grading of a paper or its likelihood of being published.

One of our specialities is improving academic tone and style in our clients’ papers. Our team of experienced academics has the knowledge and expertise across a broad range of subjects to help you to establish an appropriate tone in your writing.

Here are a few very brief tips for developing a suitable academic tone and style in your writing.

Academic writing Don’ts

Avoid: contractions, colloquialisms and personal pronouns

Unless it is a part of a direct quotation from another source, there should never be contractions present in a piece of academic writing.

Be careful with your choice of adjectives to avoid use of colloquialisms. You may hear these terms used often by students on campus but they should never be used in an academic context.

Do not use personal pronouns in your academic writing (e.g.I, my, me, mine). It creates an informal tone and makes your writing sound subjective, as opposed to objective. Third person pronouns are permissible, however.

Other devices to avoid include:

Intimate usage
Unnecessary passive voice
Combinative verbs
Click here for more advice on aspects to avoid in academic writing.

Academic writing Dos

Advanced vocabulary

Show a broad range of advanced vocabulary in your lexical choice. This will give the impression you are ‘well read’ and assists greatly in establishing a suitable academic style.

Be sure to use academic lexis in your writing also. The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary has a list of words you will likely see used in academic contexts.

Use lexis to show a deeper understanding of your topic

Using subject-specific terminology and technical language can help to communicate a deeper understanding of the topic of the paper. That said, make sure you do so only where appropriate. Using such terminology incorrectly can have the opposite effect and give the impression of a writer that is ‘out of their depth’.

Correct use of abbreviations and acronyms

Before using abbreviations or acronyms, introduce the full term in the first instance, followed by the abbreviation or acronym in parentheses. For example, theWorld Trade Organisation (WTO). Thereafter, you may use the abbreviated form; in this instance,WTO.

Reference impeccably

Proper referencing style is critical to establishing an academic tone in your writing.

Incorrect or inaccurate referencing will weaken your final grade or publishing efforts significantly. Make sure you are very familiar with all the specifics and nuances of your chosen referencing style.

Use perfect grammar, punctuation and formatting

Proofread your work or have a professional academic editor do it for you. Few things will harm the quality and integrity of a piece of writing more than grammar and punctuation issues, and also poor formatting.

Get professional support

If you’d like us to proofread and edit your paper to improve academic style and tone, visit our order page. It’s quick and easy to complete.

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