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Distinguishing Academic Writing from Informal Writing

Distinctive attributes of a well-researched paper are formed by the particular style and format of academic writing. A concise list of tips is available to aid novice writers in this regard.

Emphasizing Style and Clarity in Academic Writing

In formal academic writing, precision of language is of paramount importance. The primary aim of this style is to convey ideas with absolute clarity, ensuring that the reader comprehends both the topic at hand and the points being made. To achieve this, formal writing avoids any usage of imprecise language, words with multiple meanings, or idiomatic expressions. Each sentence should be complete, adhering to the standard grammatical rules. The use of contractions is discouraged, and words must be spelled out in their entirety. For instance, rather than utilizing the contraction “there’s,” which is relatively informal, a scholarly paper should opt for the two-word alternative, “there is.”

Utilizing Abbreviations Appropriately in Professional Writing

Formal language demands avoidance of slang or texting abbreviations that are currently prevalent. However, acronyms that identify public places or institutions are frequently employed. To effectively utilize acronyms, it is essential to introduce them initially with the complete name, followed by the acronym in parentheses. For instance, consider the sentence “The National Science Teachers’ Association (NSTA) publishes a magazine and books for science teachers.” Following this initial introduction, the acronym NSTA may be used subsequently, without repeating the complete name of the organization. It is crucial to maintain consistency in using the acronym throughout the paper, avoiding the interchange between the acronym and the complete name in different sections of the paper. By doing so, a coherent and well-structured paper is assured.

Characteristics of Formal Language: A Visual Representation

Formal language is characterized by the use of the third person point of view, and it avoids the more personal and subjective first person point of view. It remains objective, withholding personal viewpoints and opinions, except for the thesis. This enables the reader to form their own conclusions regarding the topic or issue.

Furthermore, precision in word choice is crucial when writing academic papers. Verbs should accurately and precisely describe the action, with the writer opting for words such as “inspect” instead of “look at”, or “perform” and “investigate” in place of “do.” Consulting a thesaurus is recommended to identify the most suitable verb.

For instance, consider the following sentence written in a formal language: “Recent findings in the field of neuroplasticity suggest that intentional daily gratitude practice enhances the cortical layers in the brain regions associated with rewards and happiness.” In contrast, the following example is written in informal language: “I discovered that focusing on positive things every day made me happier and friendlier. Therefore, that’s what I’ll do.”

Writing Papers That Follow a Logical and Clear Sequence

The thesis statement of a paper serves to introduce the topic, and it sets the foundation for the rest of the writing. All content within the paper should relate to the thesis statement. Each subsequent section of the paper should focus on a different point that contributes to the overall argument or message conveyed by the thesis.

Within each section, it is crucial to ensure that every paragraph centers on the key elements being expressed. Academic writing should effectively communicate the paragraph’s topic, followed by relevant details, examples, and explanations. Lastly, the concluding sentence of each paragraph either connects it to the next through a transitional statement or summarizes the paragraph’s content. By implementing these techniques, writing can flow cohesively and logically, guiding the reader towards a clear understanding of the message being conveyed.

Essential Tips for Proofreading and Editing Your Academic Paper

To refine an article or paper written in formal language, it is crucial to adhere to a checklist of essential criteria. The following are key points that should be considered during the editing process:

  1.     The paper should be written from an impersonal point of view, free from personal opinions or biases.
  2.     When using acronyms or technical abbreviations, it is essential to introduce them first and use them consistently throughout the paper.
  3.     Slang, idioms, colloquialisms, and contractions should be avoided in academic writing.
  4.     Every sentence should be grammatically correct to ensure the clarity and accuracy of the writing.
  5.     Each paragraph should have a clear topic and be supported with relevant details and information.
  6.     The paper should have a well-defined and focused topic that follows a logical progression to the conclusion.
  7.     Resources and references should be cited clearly and consistently, adhering to one citation style throughout the paper.

In summary, academic writing is characterized by its objective and impersonal style, precise language, and avoidance of informal expressions. It also emphasizes clear and logical progression of ideas and consistent citation style. Following this checklist can help writers to refine and improve their academic writing, ensuring that it meets the highest standards of quality and clarity.

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I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.