No, it’s not who’s wearing the coolest sneakers to class.
Rather, it’s the standard of writing you may be asked to achieve in your course.
So what is Academic Style?
It’s the writing used for business, legal, academic and professional purposes.
It’s more formal than spoken English.(Informal English is used with friends, relatives, in social media and blogs like this one.)
What are some features of academic writing?
- Don’t use contractions. “do not” instead of “don’t” .... “have not” instead of “haven’t”
- Don’t use slang. “kids” is too informal… instead write ”children”
- Don’t use the first person. This just means you should not use personal words like “I,” “me” and “we”. Why? It's too personal. A professional distance should be kept from your writing. Facts and research should speak for you. Instead of “I believe the research shows…” say “The results of the research suggest…”
- Remove feelings and stick to facts. Emotional language is generally not used in academic writing. Use words that do not show your feelings. For instance, instead of saying something is “bad” or “horrible” you can say it’s “inadequate” or “poor.”
Here’s a sample of some often used informal words & possible replacements.
Don’t say Say
get collect, obtain
let allow, permit
look appear, seem
make produce, construct
put place, locate
say discuss, explain, suggest
very, really do not use. Find a stronger word.
lots a great number
big substantial, large
good positive, beneficial, advantageous
bad negative, detrimental, harmful
people patients, clients, students…be specific
Not sure if the words you're using are too informal? You can ask a question in community & we’ll let you know. Otherwise bring a sample of your writing to a Learning Skills Teacher & we’ll provide some feedback.