Tips on How to Improve Academic Writing
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Tips on How to Improve Academic Writing

Academic writing is different from informal writing because it is more precise, formal, impersonal and structured. When it comes to writing an academic essay, you need to convey information to readers clearly and accurately. It is possible to improve your academic writing by working on the clarity and structure of your arguments and conclusions.

If you want to have a great college experience, it could be spoiled by struggling with your academic writing skills. Writing is still one of the most important ways for assessing your progress at university. This is why working on your writing skills can be of great benefit. Here are ten tips to help you improve your academic writing.

1. Avoid repetition
Use the exact words and phrases that capture precisely what you want to say and don’t repeat anything. Academic papers often have word limits. It may be difficult to avoid repetition when you’re writing a long term paper.

It will help to go through a paper and eliminate any repetitive words or phrases, replacing them with alternatives. Don’t use any unfamiliar words to replace them or they may have meanings you aren’t aware of that could hurt you more than repetition.

Another technique is to cross out any repetitive words, circle the key words in the sentence and then formulate a new sentence retaining only the circled words.

2. Banish trite phrases
Just because academic English is more formal does not mean it must be boring. An essay reader will be put off by clichés and truisms. Try to avoid expressions that are vague, exaggerated, or subjective. Reduce your use of too many common similes or metaphors.

According to experts on coursework writing service, work on replacing mundane words with more thoughtful ones. This doesn’t mean you should use impressive words you aren’t sure about to try and impress the reader. At the same time, you don’t want to use weak vocabulary choices, such as big or bad.

Try looking up words you don’t know, understand how to use them and begin incorporating them in your essay writing once you feel comfortable using them and when they are appropriate.

3. Write in the present
Passive voice is still often preferred in journals because the focus is on what was done rather than who did it. In journals, you don’t often find ‘many researchers believe’ but ‘it is widely believed.’ However, writing in the present can improve certain forms of academic writing, such as your English essay writing skills.

It does not matter if an author wrote a book many years ago or you read the book weeks ago. For example, instead of saying, “The blue sky represented freedom and limitlessness for him,” you will write, “The blue sky represents freedom and limitlessness for him.”

Writing in the present tense makes your writing more immediate and breathes some life into it. Ask yourself who is performing the action (verb). And move that person in front of the verb to make the necessary change from passive to active voice.

4. Always run a spelling and grammar check
This does not take long and it can save you the embarrassment of turning in an analysis of an author’s work where you consistently spell his name incorrectly. These spell and grammar checkers can help you to find mistakes and give you suggested replacements. However, they are not foolproof and you should still check through your paper carefully before handing it in.

Your essay may contain some excellent ideas but if you leave simple, glaring mistakes unchanged, it may receive a lower grade because the reader is distracted from your arguments by all the mistakes.

5. Learn how to reference correctly
Learning how to reference correctly is an important academic skill. In academic writing, you will frequently need to reference the ideas, thinking or research of authors writing in the field.

You have to give credit to the authors of the ideas you want to use. The reason you need to give them credit is to avoid plagiarism, which is representing the ideas, thoughts or expressions of others as your own.

Your reference page is the last page of your essay and contains a list of all the sources you use in the paper. When doing your research, this gives credibility to the information you present and authenticates your sources.

Universities and colleges have structured guidelines that you need to use for referencing and citation. It can be hard to master the intricacies of all these guidelines at first, especially as different departments may use different forms of referencing.

6. Find your voice
Voice is a difficult concept to define but developing your voice is an important aspect of becoming an effective academic writer. Your voice refers to the way you reveal yourself to others when you write.

Your distinct perspective comes from your background, life experiences, education and values. You approach a certain topic from an individual perspective and this means you have a valuable contribution to make even if many others have written about the same topic.

It takes practice to develop your own voice. So the more you write, the more it develops. If you tend to overuse quotes or paraphrase without attempting to discuss the points you make, it usually indicates that you are having difficulty finding your voice.

Finding your voice isn’t about personal experience or emotion. It is about being accurate, clear and backing up your point of view with appropriate evidence. This enables the reader tp understand why you have reached a certain conclusion.

A final word
To develop your academic writing, you need to be able to express your thoughts and views on material. You should not just rely on the thoughts and ideas of other people. This involves developing your critical thinking skills. Writing is a complex task and academic writing is even more challenging due to its specialized nature. Using some of the above tips will help you develop your academic writing skills. You will feel more confident about expressing your voice.

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