If you don’t know where to start or how to improve your academic writing – you’ve come to the right spot. We’ve done our fair share of scribbling and over the years, we’ve come up with a fool-proof strategy to help you get better at it.
So, without wasting any more of your time – here are 13 tips and strategies to help you improve your style in academic writing.
1. Use Formal Language
When writing academically, it is important to use formal language. This means avoiding contractions, such as “don’t” or “can’t”, and using full words and phrases instead. Formal language also means using the third person rather than first-person pronouns. For example, instead of saying “I think that…”, you would say “The author believes that…”.
2. Master Persuasive Writing
Academic writing is all about persuasion. Convincing your reader of your point of view is essential to getting them to agree with your argument. To do this, you need to use strong and clear language. Use words that have a precise meaning and avoid any vagueness. Be assertive in your claims and make sure your reasons are sound. However, you will have to back up your stance with facts and evidence, so keep that in mind, as well.
3. Be Direct And Concise
In academic writing, it is important to be as clear and concise as possible. This means avoiding vague language, such as “a lot” or “some”, and using specific numbers and terms instead. It also means getting to the point quickly and avoiding unnecessary details. When editing your work, be sure to cut out any fluff or filler that doesn’t contribute to your argument.
4. Pick Your Words
Your words are your weapons when writing an academic paper, so choose them wisely. Avoid using general terms, such as “good” or “bad”, and opt for more specific words, such as “exceptional” or “inferior”. However, make sure you don’t go overboard with this. For example, “superfluous” might mean “unnecessary” in some sense, but saying it is “superfluous to cook a big meal” is quite clangorous. See what we mean?
5. Use Transitions
Transitions are important in academic writing because they help to connect your ideas and make your argument flow. Without them, your paper will seem choppy and disjointed. Be sure to use transitions both between and within paragraphs. For example, you might start a new paragraph with a transition such as “In addition”, “Furthermore”, or “Moreover”.
6. Keep Your Sentences Short
Avoid writing choppy, but keep your sentences short. Keep them under 20 words if possible, and no more than 30 at the very most. This will make your writing easier to read and understand. It will also help to keep your argument clear and concise.
7. Shorten Your Paragraphs
Writing short paragraphs makes your writing easier to read and understand. This is because it breaks up the text into smaller, more manageable chunks.
Secondly, it helps to keep your argument clear and concise. By keeping your paragraphs short, you are forced to focus on one main point at a time, which makes it easier for your reader to follow your train of thought.
Finally, shorter paragraphs also make it easier to edit and proofread your work. This is because you can more easily identify errors when they are not buried in long blocks of text.
8. Avoid Passive Voice
When you use the passive voice, your argument can seem weak and unconvincing. This is because the active voice is more direct and forceful, while the passive voice is weaker and less assertive. In addition, the passive voice can be confusing and difficult to follow. Therefore, it is best to avoid using it in academic writing.
9. Rely On Writing Tools
We all make mistakes and we all suffer from writer’s block. Luckily for all of us, there are loads of super useful tools at our disposal.
Online tools and services like Grammarly, Hemmingway Editor, Thesaurus, or Homework Help USA are all there to help you write the best academic paper possible, and it would be foolish of you not to use them to your advantage.
10. Expand Your Vocabulary
One of the best ways to improve your academic writing is to expand your vocabulary. By learning new words and using them in your work, you can make your arguments more convincing and your writing more impressive.
Not sure how to go about doing this? There are plenty of resources available to help you, such as dictionaries, thesauruses, online forums, and language-learning apps. Just make sure you choose a reputable source so that you can be confident in the accuracy of the words you’re learning.
Once you have expanded your vocabulary, it will be much easier to find the right word for every situation. This will help to make your writing concise and effective.
11. Don’t Repeat Yourself
Repetition might be the mother of all learning, but when writing an academic paper – repetition is not your friend. In fact, it’s one of the worst things you can do.
Not only will repeating yourself make your argument less convincing, but it will also make your writing boring and difficult to read. So, if you find yourself using the same words or phrases over and over again, take a step back and try to find a different way to say what you want.
12. Edit And Proofread Your Work
When editing your work, be sure to cut out any fluff or filler that doesn’t contribute to your argument. This will make your writing more concise and easier to read. It will also help to keep your argument focused and on-point.
After you have edited your work, it is also important to proofread it for any errors. This includes typos, grammatical errors, and punctuation mistakes. By taking the time to proofread your work, you can be sure that it is error-free and ready for submission.
13. Read & Write
Our last and arguably the best piece of advice is to simply read more and write more. The more you do both of these things, the better your academic writing will become.
When reading, pay attention to the style of the author and how they present their arguments. Are there any techniques that you can learn from them? As you read, also keep an eye out for new terminology and phrasing that you can add to your personal repertoire.
When writing, try to emulate what you’ve learned. Experiment with different styles and techniques until you find a method that works best for you and then polish it to perfection.
By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your academic writing will improve in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Get to writing!