Have any questions? Live chat

Writing Blog

Hints to help you tighten up your academic writing

February 1, 2018| Category: Writing Tips

Being good at academic writing is important for students, as well as for researchers and professors. However, none of us is perfect, so we all make mistakes.

In order for you to understand how to avoid them, we have compiled a list of five most common mistakes in academic writing. Make sure that you know how to deal with all of them!

1.Passive voice

Passive voice is often used in all kinds of writing, including academic writing. Sometimes, it sounds good, especially when it is inappropriate to use such subjective pronouns as we or I, or when it is more important to show the result of the action than the “doer” of this action. Or, in some cases, rephrasing a sentence to turn it into an active voice can make it sound too complicated or even senseless.

However, commonly it is advised to omit passive voice in academic writing and replace it with active voice whenever it is possible. Very often passive voice sounds awkward in academic writing. Therefore, when you are rereading your paper, think about every time you use it and reflect on other ways to write the sentences into active voice. In many cases, it will make your ideas sound much stronger.

2.Too complex sentence structure

It is good that your academic writing has many complex and sophisticated ideas. It is what makes it powerful. However, if you express the simplest ideas in the most complicated way, it is not good.

No parts of your paper should be unclear or convoluted. Therefore, pay attention to dangling modifiers, meandering clauses, and similar things in your sentences. Remember that the main goal of your writing is not to show how intricately you can write. It is to communicate your ideas to your reader. What if you communicate your ideas in a way no one understands? In this case, your writing does not make any sense! Again, it does not mean that you should use the simplest terms and “dumb your writing down.” It means eliminating the excessive complexity.

As a result, your writing should be both sophisticated and simple. Your reader needs to grasp your ideas easily and understand what exactly you mean. The best way to make sure that your writing is easy-to-read is to read your paper out loud. Thus, you will put yourself in your reader’s shoes and see what parts you need to clarify.

3.Intricate vocabulary

Many writers tend to use a number of complicated terms in their academic writing to show how well they know the topic. However, the excessive use of these terms does not allow conveying the message to the reader in a proper manner. Even though you know that your paper will go only to people from your field who understand the terminology, you should still pay attention to the vocabulary you are using. Avoid going overboard with all the complicated and rarely used words and better replace them with simpler but more effective terms. Do not hide your ideas in obscure vocabulary and communicate them clearly instead.

4.Too many footnotes

Footnotes are often used in writing since they allow adding more valuable information. However, at times there are too many footnotes and it makes the reader confused. Therefore, pay attention to the way you use footnotes in your writing and make sure that all your footnotes are justified. If the information in some of them is really important, see if you can include it in the body of your paper and remove the footnote.

5.Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious problem that can have very bad consequences. Sometimes it happens intentionally, but in most cases, it is due to careless writing and disorganized research. Therefore, pay attention to this issue, remember to always give credit to the sources when you are using other authors’ ideas, cite your sources, and give references. It is better to overdo with citing and referencing, so be very attentive.

If you keep these common mistakes in mind and know how to avoid them, your academic writing is bound to be flawless!

Tags
"sandwich" approach A+ essay abstract abstract writing academic paper academic papers academic paper writing academic requirements academic sources academic writer academic writing academic writing tips active and passive voice in research writing active voice additive transitions adversative transitions a good book report a good summary Alternative hypothesis an introduction to academic writing annotated bibliography annotation APA style argument argumentative essay argumentative writing argument paragraph arguments article articles a thesis statement become a better writer become a writing guru bias bias-free writing blogs Bloom’s Taxonomy body sentences boost academic vocabulary brainstorming business capitalization capitalization rule capitalize capstone paper capstone project career career in writing causal transitions challenges a new freelance writer may face with characteristics of academic writing chronological order citation cite the source clarity in writing clients closing sentences college essays college writing common mistakes comparative essay compare and contrast paragraph Complex hypothesis concept map concluding paragraph concluding sentence conclusion conclusion in academic writing conclusion writing content content writing counterargument Covid-19 creating concluding sentences creating PowerPoint presentations credible sources customer feedback decode instructions decoding professors’ instructions definition of proofreading descriptive headings descriptive paragraph difference between a literature review and an annotated bibliography edit your writing effective conclusion effective headings effective paragraph elements of academic language elements of paper writing Empirical hypothesis essay paragraph essays essay structure essays writing essays writing tips essays writitng tips essay writing ethos explain complex concepts expository essay features of academic writing figure figures and tables flow of ideas free freelance freelance jobs freelancer freelance writer freelance writers freelance writing freelance writing business headings heuristics high-quality papers higher-level headings high grades high school-level composition high school assignments how reading helps you become a better writer how to avoid plagiarism how to write how to write a good film review how to write capstone paper how to write phd hypothesis hypothesis writing important improve writing skills in-text citations intellectual property interpret instructions introduction introduction paragraph introductory paragraph job journal judgmental language language and style literature review Logical hypothesis logos lower-level headings main point of the paragraph make the article engaging meeting deadlines meeting the requirements meet the deadlines methodology methodology chapter methodology section MLA style narrative paragraph non-descriptive heading note taking Null hypothesis objective tone objective writing objectivity online online writers opening paragraph opinion essay order of importance outline outline writing papers paraphrase paraphrasing passive voice past simple pathos peer response peer review personal response personal response essay personal response paper persuasion persuasive essay persuasive writing PhD research proposal plagiarism plan for writing planning positive feedback PowerPoint presentation PowerPoint Presentation tips PPT PPTs presenting data in figures and tables present perfect present simple procrastination profession professional freelance writer proofreading tips qualitative methods quality quantitative methods quote quoting reduce word count redundancy redundant reliable sources repetition repetitive sentences repetitive writing reputable sources research research paper research paper in college research paper in high school research paper writing revising an essay rhetoric rhetorical devices rules of academic writing satisfy your customers sentence structure sequential transitions Simple hypothesis skills sources spatial order specificity spell checker spelling spelling error spelling rules start writing Statistical hypothesis stop procrastinating strong topic sentences structure of an expository essay subheadings success successful academic writing successful papers successful paraphrasing suitable concluding sentences summary summary writing supporting evidence synthesis paper synthesize information synthesize sources table techniques for writing summaries techniques to explain a difficult subject tenses in academic writing text structure the contents of the paper the main intention of the assignment thesis statement thinking levels time management tips on revising an essay tips to writing a PhD research proposal tips to writing a social science paper token sentences topic of the paragraph topic sentence transitional words transitions transition terms types of academic texts typical writing problems unique idea vocabulary vocabulary building well-structured essay what writers can learn from reading novels word choice word count work wrap sentences write a conclusion writer writer job write unique texts writing writing a book report writing a film review writing a good PhD research proposal writing an A+ film review writing an essay writing an outline writing a paragraph writing as profession writing a statement writing a summary writing burnout writing clear writing essays writing fast writing hacks writing job writing papers writing process writing skills writing style writing tips