Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Do’s and Don’ts of Academic Essay Writing

Writing, in all of its various forms and styles, can best be compared to international law. Each country has a different set of rules and regulations, but for the most part, all countries have some similar general laws regarding crime, safety, taxes, etc. This is true with writing. Whether you’re writing creatively, working on an academic essay, or drafting a lab report, you’ll use the same basic principles of grammar and spelling. When it comes to the more specific stylistic details, however, standards change from one form of writing to the next.  In this section, we’ll discuss the general do’s and don’ts of academic essay writing.


What to avoid:

  •        Contractions (ex. Don’t, can’t, wouldn’t)
  •       Slang and colloquialisms (informal phrases such as “She’s going nuts,” and “gonna”)
  •        Personal pronouns (I, we, you, my, me, mine, your). Avoid these unless you’re providing a personal anecdote to support your essay
  •        Passive voice—use passive voice only when absolutely necessary

o   Ex. Passive: is illustrated à Active: illustrates
  •       Repetition (using a variety of vocab will help you avoid repetition)


Incorporate all of these into your writing:

  •        Perfect grammar, punctuation, and formatting
  •       Advanced vocabulary
  •       References/Citations when necessary
  •       Complex and varied sentence structure

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