Academic writing requires a different style of language in comparison with our use of language in everyday verbal interactions. There are certain conventions which should be followed when writing a report in order to create this style and structure an argument.
Academic style and formal academic language
Objective / 3rd person style
Academic writing avoids using personal pronouns like ‘I’, ‘you’, and ‘we’. It uses the 3rd person instead – eg. ‘he / she / it / the practitioner / researchers’.
The passive is frequently used to make the style more impersonal. Eg. ‘Participants were invited’ instead of ‘I invited participants’.
Most academics use cautious language to indicate the complex nature of many issues or their own speculation regarding a question.
‘This may be because’ rather than ‘this is because’.
Remember that supporting evidence needs to be referenced appropriately (see Referencing and Citations).
Useful words and phrases to structure your assignment
Chart adapted from: Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical Thinking Skills Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan