How many times have you made those nasty writing errors that damage your credibility and reputation? A recent survey in the United Kingdom revealed that interrelated skills of reasoning and writing are the pillars for success in higher education. The survey also showed that writing is one of the skills most students often lack. Your grades can improve dramatically only if you are faithful to what you think by expressing yourself precisely and clearly. The purpose of this post is to provide useful tips and guidelines to help students clearly express plain sense of things at university and in the professional world.
College and University students are often required to write research proposals, essays, dissertations, course works, theoretical analysis as well as scholarly journals and therefore it is common practice to spend countless hours to complete the first draft of your paper. Having produced thousands of pieces of academic writing, we have compiled a list of writing mistakes that should be avoided to achieve a good grade.
Plagiarism has remained the worst habit in academic writing. It should be avoided at all times by researchers and students as it may lead to immediate dismissal or firing. It has been observed that sometimes plagiarism is not intentional. Careless writing and disorganized research can also result in plagiarism. It is absolutely vital to give credit to the original author if you choose to include someone else’s words. Paying attention to details and staying cautious can help you stay away from this bad habit. Always check the information under the bibliography section to make sure it is complete and accurate.
Many students develop the habit for using complicated vocabulary which proves to be of little help. Although most readers will know and understand the technical vocabulary used by the author, writers are advised not to choose rarely used synonyms instead of simple but effective words. We must not forget that the main objective is to communicate your ideas clearly and precisely and therefore jargon should be kept to a minimum.
OVERUSE OF FOOT NOTES
Overuse of footnotes is another pain that the audience may suffer. There is no denying the fact that footnotes are a great way of including information that does not fall within the scope of paper’s main focus but are you able to justify all of your footnotes? If the information is relevant and important enough, you may consider including it in the main body of the paper.
COMPLEX SENTENCE STRUCTURE
Simple but effective sentence structure can help the audience understand your ideas. Whilst much of the academic or research work contains complex and critical thinking, the writing used to express your ideas should be not be complex or over complicated. Dangling paragraphs may leave the readers and scholars wondering whether the writer even understands what he is trying to achieve. It is recommended to proofread your paper several times to be able to eliminate the needless words of your sentences. If possible, break the sentences to make sure the meaning comes across more clearly.
Use of passive voice is considered highly inappropriate in academic writing. For example, “I purchased a new watch” should not be written as “A new watch was purchased by me”. The passive voice suggests that doer of action is not comfortable using subjective pronouns like “We” or “I”. Furthermore, rephrasing of a sentence results in complicated and needless phrasing. Always take your time to make sure your sentences are strong and simple by clearly recognizing the subject.