Academic writing is a formal language and has to be written in a clear, well-structured way. Yet, too informal, unsophisticated expressions in singularity with bad grammar and incorrect words can distract from meaning, low the value of work and even turn reader away from the paper.
In order to improve the clarity and conciseness of your paper, pay attention to the following:
Exclude the presence of contractions. A contraction is a shortened version of written and spoken forms of a word, syllable, or word group, created by omission of internal letters and sounds. For example:
Can’t = can not
doesn’t = does not
isn’t = is not
2. Slang terms
When you write a paper you should avoid using slang terms. Slang term is an informal language consisting of words and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions. Use alternatives instead. For example:
kind of = somewhat significant
a couple of = several
basically = fundamentally
Refrain from colloquialisms. It is the most used variety of a language, which is usually employed in conversation or other communication in informal situations. For example:
to get through it = to survive
to get out of hand = to be no longer under control
Clichés are not suitable in academic writing. A cliché is an expression or idea that has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when it was considered meaningful or novel at some earlier time. For example:
ring down the curtain = to end, to finish something.
in a twinkling of an eye = immediately, instantly
5. Unsophisticated words
Avoid unsophisticated words. Some words are not suitable in academic writing because of their simplicity. Applying of a large amount of simple terms may give an impression of a low-quality paper. For example:
Figure 1 shows spores in good condition.
Figure 1 illustrates well-preserved spores.
Be on guard for redundancy. Don’t overflow the sentences with unnecessary words. It is far more important to express your idea concisely than to fill up a page with text. For example:
The experiment was repeated again.
“Repeated again” is a redundancy, because the verb “repeat” means some action, which has been done one more time and the word “again” is unnecessary.
7. Gendered language and subjective phrases
Keep away from gendered language and subjective phrases. Try to keep your text style impersonal. Gender-neutral words like “person” or “people” are better than “man” or “woman”.
Beware of emotionally colored words. Some words can express your opinion and it is acceptable only in such parts of the paper as preface, acknowledgements and discussion. An example of a subjective sentence:
The test results can be obviously recognized as successful. – In this sentence the word “obviously” reveals author’s opinion. It should be like this: The test results can be recognized as successful.
8. Commonly misused words
Be careful of commonly misused words. Remember that some words can be used inappropriately. For example, “methodology” is the study or discussion of method. It is commonly and incorrectly used as a pretentious synonym for “method”.
Standard: Examine your methodology with the assistance of your supervisor prior to the study.
Non-standard: We used the methodology of incubating the plates for 24 hours at 37 degrees.
Keep in mind that the readers are unfamiliar with the presenting material. So keep your text precise and clear, hold to formal vocabulary in order to convey your intended meaning.