Academic Writing: Some General Guidelines

Have you ever been told that your writing style is not academic or that it is too informal? Are you unsure what rules to follow, what you can do and what you should not do? Formality Academic writing needs to be formal and impersonal. This means that your writing should be clear, concise and professional.

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Liberate the Hyphen

The problem In the complicated workplace of punctuation, the poor old hyphen needs to form a union. It dutifully performs its role of joining compound words and reliably appears when a suffix or prefix needs assistance. However, many students and writers drag the overworked hyphen into use while the en dash and em dash rest

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7 Strategies for Controlling Your Word Count

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads – Dr Seuss After spending hours, days and sometimes years researching an essay, article or thesis, it can be difficult to squeeze all that valuable information into the designated word count. Knowing how to sacrifice words

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5 Fast Facts about Italics

  Students often overuse italics in their essays and theses. Here are some facts about italics that can help improve your writing: Italics can be used for foreign language words. For example, ‘It was a quid pro quo agreement’. However, note that ‘et. al’, ‘ibid’, ‘e.g.’ and other Latin words used in referencing are not

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Active or Passive—Which Voice Is Best?

In academic writing, students are often encouraged to use an ‘objective’ voice; to focus on methodologies, arguments, evidence and results in a way that keeps the author/researcher in the background. Passive sentence structures, which place emphasis on what is being done to the sentence’s subject, are especially common in science disciplines where researchers emphasise results

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Shut Up and Write!

This is not a command from a particularly cranky and irritated supervisor, but an increasingly popular strategy used to facilitate short bursts of productive writing in a fun and social setting. ‘Fun’ and ‘social’ are not words students or academics generally use to describe the hard slog of the usually solitary pursuit of academic writing,

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