February 14, 2019| Category: Writing Tips
When dealing with academic writing, in an attempt to sound more scientific, one can easily fall into a trap of overloading a paper with standard academic phrases, which in fact will do no good. Still, these academic phrases are useful since they provide a logical transition from one idea to another.
A golden rule is to use transitional phrases in moderation and not to resort to overwriting. The following list of top 10 academic phrases, without which your paper will look better, can help you to achieve it.
1. On the other hand…
In English, there are some phrases that are used in pairs. In fact, you cannot use only one of them since it will not make sense. For example, you cannot use on the other hand without first writing on the one hand. However, even if you use them correctly, such phrases can still be cut from your paper without any damage.
2. In order to
In order to belongs to those phrases that help new English writers to understand or organize sentences. Additionally, it is common for native English speakers who are mastering a new foreign language and translate from that language back into English. Thus, this phrase is very typical in academic writing. In fact, in order to can be viewed as padding an essay out to increase word count and can usually be replaced by simply to.
Indeed is rarely used in modern English. Still, academic papers just abound in this word. To avoid this word in your academic writing is commonly a good idea.
4. However, moreover, furthermore . . .
Transitional words are necessary in the English language but it does not mean they should appear in every sentence. A perfect example is such words as however, moreover, and furthermore which, when used correctly, provide a logical transition from one idea to another. However, in the case of overabundance of such phrases, your writing can be quite monotonous and even baffling. Thus, it makes sense to use transitional words in moderation.
5. As well as
One more example of padding out your essay is a popular phrase as well as. In fact, in the cases connecting the last element in a list, it is more to the point to opt for a simple and.
6. For a short (or long) period of time
These complex constructions are typical of scientific or technical academic papers, which helps in the description of experiments or research methods. However, this for a short period of time can almost always be substituted for a more concise variant for a short time which, in turn, will make your writing easier for comprehension.
7. By using
It a common case with sneaky prepositions which tend to appear where they are absolutely not required. A striking example is a phrase by using which a lot of writers utilize without giving it much thought. In reality, this two-letter word is almost always redundant in your writing. Thus, try to avoid overwriting and simply opt for using instead.
8. Due to the fact that
This trite academic phrase is also quite typical of all sorts of academic papers. However, similarly to other unnecessary phrases in our list, it is an example of wordiness. In most cases, a simple because would make your writing more readable.
9. In relation to
Another telling example of paddling out your paper is the construction in relation to which often appears where it is not needed. If you catch yourself using this construction a lot, you can utilize such prepositional alternatives as about, to or with.
10. In the event that
The four-word construction in the event that is the most striking example of wordiness which can be replaced for a simple if without causing any damage to the meaning of the sentence.
Striving to make your writing appear as professional as possible is truly commendable. However, it does not mean that using a lot of complex words and constructions will help you to appear more intellectual. Bear in mind that concise and clear writing is usually better than wordy writing and that transitional words should not appear at the beginning of every sentence.