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…