“Education is the passport to the future, and tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today!” – Malcolm X.
Imagine you’re standing at the threshold of your university education, armed with ambition and a thirst for knowledge. As you step into the world of higher education, you’re confronted with a haunting challenge – academic writing!
University papers are a departure from the familiar high school assignments, demanding a newfound precision and organization.
These academic compositions can range anywhere from 2,000 to a staggering 50,000 words, demanding thorough research and the infusion of substantial subject knowledge while maintaining a cohesive theme. Moreover, simplicity is the hallmark of academic writing, eschewing excessive jargon.
In academic writing, it is essential to refrain from incorporating certain taboo words and literary devices that can detract from the precision and overall effectiveness of your composition.
Let’s proceed to identify and discuss these specific elements in detail.
Taboo Words and Examples to Avoid in Academic Writing
In the world of academic writing, the pursuit of clarity and precision is paramount. Academic papers should convey knowledge directly and impartially. There is little room for veiled facts or obscure concepts. In order to achieve this, it is imperative to employ language that is straightforward and devoid of ambiguity.
Below are some categories of words and phrases that should be avoided to maintain the requisite clarity and professionalism in academic writing.
1. Ambiguous Terminology
Words such as “thing,” “stuff,” “so many,” and “a while” should be meticulously avoided. These terms introduce ambiguity and hinder the precise communication of information.
For instance, stating “several things will be required in this paper” fails to specify the elements in question, or claiming “it took a great deal of time for the universe to evolve into one we witness today” lacks specificity and scientific rigour.
2. Informal Language
Informal expressions like “call off,” “kind of,” or the use of first-person pronouns (e.g., “you” or “I”) have no place in academic writing. Their inclusion can diminish the professionalism of the work.
For example, stating “the experiment was called off” instead of using a more formal term like “terminated” or describing results as “kind of different from the forecast” introduces an informal tone that detracts from the scholarly nature of the writing.
3. Oversimplified Vocabulary
While words like “getting,” “good,” “check,” or “show” may not inherently be ambiguous or informal, their usage should be judicious. Overly simplistic language can undermine the precision of the discussion.
For example, describing a research endeavour as a “big research time” lacks nuance or labelling outcomes as “not good” fails to provide a nuanced assessment.
Eliminating Hyperbolic Language
Avoiding Exaggeration in Academic Writing
Many students frequently commit a significant error in their academic writing, which is the excessive use of hyperbolic language. Terms such as “very,” “most,” “always,” “never,” and “little” can often mislead readers and result in imprecise writing.
For instance, the assertion of a “perfect” conclusion or an outcome that “always” adheres to a particular procedure is not advisable.
Steering Clear of Subjective Language
Striving for Impartiality in Academic Writing
The objectivity and impartiality of academic writing are paramount. Therefore, it is crucial to refrain from employing subjective words and phrases like “naturally,” “ugly,” and “obviously.”
For example, describing an experiment’s results as “horrible” or deeming them “obviously good” should be avoided.
Recognizing the Diversity of Academic Writing
Tailoring Writing Style to Match the Academic Task
Academic writing encompasses a multitude of genres, including analytical, persuasive, descriptive, and critical writing, among others.
Consequently, the choice of an appropriate writing style should align with the specific type and subject matter of the academic assignment.
Avoiding Taboo Language Examples in Academic Writing
Refining Your Academic Writing Skills
To improve your academic writing, it is advisable to refrain from employing the aforementioned taboo words and phrases. A useful strategy is to study academic journals and texts to gain insights into the proper conventions of academic discourse. Furthermore, honing your writing skills is a vital aspect of this endeavour.
Emphasize the importance of conciseness and be aware of various writing formats and literary devices that should be avoided.
Navigating the Stages of Academic Assignments
Effective Assignment Management
The process of handling your assignments typically involves multiple stages, including research, drafting, and compiling research papers, among others. This process can become overwhelming.
Seeking academic writing assistance is a sensible option to access valuable resources and affordable, live-guided sessions. Our team of experts is here to support you throughout the compilation of your assignment.
Literary Devices and Writing Techniques That You Should Avoid Using in Your Assignments
In academic writing, the primary focus is on clear communication of ideas and the presentation of research or arguments in a formal and objective manner. As a result, several literary devices and writing techniques that are commonly used in creative or informal writing should generally be avoided in academic writing.
Here are a few literary devices and writing techniques that shouldn’t be used in academic writing:
§ Metaphors and Similes:
While metaphors and similes can add creativity and vividness to writing, they may also lead to confusion or misinterpretation in academic contexts. Stick to literal language whenever possible to ensure clarity.
§ Emotive Language
Academic writing should maintain a neutral and objective tone. Avoid using emotionally charged language or words that appeal to the reader’s emotions. Instead, rely on evidence and logical reasoning to support your arguments.
§ First-Person Pronouns
Avoid using first-person pronouns like “I,” “we,” or “me” in most academic writing, especially in formal research papers. Academic writing typically employs a third-person perspective to maintain objectivity.
Avoid using contractions like “can’t,” “don’t,” or “it’s” in academic writing. Write out the full words (“cannot,” “do not,” “it is”) to maintain formality and clarity.
§ Slang and Informal Language
Stay away from slang, colloquialisms, or overly informal language. Academic writing should be professional and devoid of language that is too casual or specific to a particular region or group.
§ Excessive Rhetorical Questions
While rhetorical questions can be effective in some types of writing, academic writing should minimize their use. Instead, provide clear statements and arguments.
§ Exaggeration and Hyperbole
Avoid making exaggerated claims or using hyperbolic language. Academic writing should be precise and supported by evidence.
Overused phrases and clichés can weaken your writing and make it seem less original. Strive for fresh and precise language.
§ Personal Anecdotes
Avoid sharing personal anecdotes or stories unless they are directly relevant and necessary for your academic argument. Focus on data, research, and analysis.
§ Inconsistent Verb Tenses
Maintain consistency in your use of verb tenses throughout your writing. Shifting between past, present, and future tenses can confuse readers.
§ Overuse of Quotes
While quoting sources is important in academic writing, avoid excessive reliance on quotations. Paraphrasing and summarizing sources while properly citing them is often preferred.
§ Overly Complex Sentences
Academic writing should be clear and concise. Avoid overly complex and convoluted sentences that can be difficult to follow. Use straightforward language and sentence structures.
Repetition of the same words or ideas can make your writing monotonous and less engaging. Use synonyms or rephrase sentences to maintain reader interest.
Wrapping It Up
The journey into the world of higher education is an exhilarating one, filled with opportunities for growth, discovery, and intellectual development.
However, one of the key challenges faced by students in this endeavour is mastering the art of academic writing. As we’ve explored in this discussion, academic writing demands precision, clarity, and objectivity.
We’ve highlighted the importance of avoiding taboo words and phrases that can detract from the effectiveness of your academic compositions. From ambiguous terminology to hyperbolic language and subjective expressions, steering clear of these pitfalls is crucial for maintaining the professionalism and scholarly nature of your work.
Remember that academic writing is a skill that can be honed over time, and by avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the exciting challenges of higher education and contribute meaningfully to your chosen field of study.
As you start your university journey with knowledge and a dedication to writing well, remember to make your words clear and insightful in the academic world of the future.
Wishing you a good luck!