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Apprenticeship Learning Support

This section gives information about academic writing style and the language used in the signposting and presentation of the information contained in your assignment.

Academic writing style – key areas

  • Avoid first person ‘I’ or ‘we’. Use passive instead. Eg. I think = It could be argued / I asked people to… = Participants were invited to…
  • Avoid contractions (eg. don’t, it’s, isn’t) = do not, it is, is not
  • Be precise (eg. way - method, thing - object, person – participant)
  • Avoid run on expressions (etc., and so on)
  • Avoid subjective language (eg. nice, incredible, awesome. Be objective instead / relate to objective criteria = useful, appropriate, helpful)
  • Use complete sentences (These must have a main verb and make sense standing alone).
  • Avoid direct questions with question marks. Eg. Why is this? = There are several underlying reasons for this: firstly…
  • Use clearly referenced supporting evidence (in text / reference list)
  • Use cautious language for speculation, opinion, unsupported evidence. Eg. This may be because, there could be a link between, this could lead to…

Watch this tutorial on
Academic Writing Style

to help you learn more
about the key features.

After you have completed
this you can  check your 
understanding with a short
task by rewriting the

 Academic style task