Writing an academic text, such as an essay or dissertation, requires certain rules to be observed.
Below are a few tips, aimed at university students, postgraduates, researchers and academics, that should hopefully help you avoid certain mistakes when you write your academic text.
Avoid using colloquial English
Original: The critic said no he cannot accept this argument, and that he would knock it down logically.
Amended: The critic refused to accept this argument, stating that he would follow a logical approach to refute it.
Original: This scientific paper makes sure that the phenomenon is well talked about.
Amended: This scientific paper ensure that the phenomenon is well discussed.
Writing your thesis, dissertation or academic journal in the active voice is much more preferred than using the passive voice. This is because it makes your copy clear to readers.
Original: Proofreading services are believed by students in the UK to be important.
Amended: Students in the UK believe that proofreading and editing services are important.
Original: My essay is thought to be up to academic standard by my supervisor.
Amended: My supervisor thinks that my essay is up to academic standard.
Do not use any contracted forms of words. Detail the words.
Original: The author couldn't support his argument in the dissertation
Amended: The author could not support his argument in the dissertation
Original: This article doesn't highlight the importance of accurate scientific paper writing.
Amended: This article does not highlight the importance of accurate scientific paper writing.
4) End of sentences
Although it is grammatically acceptable, it is widely thought that when writing for academic purposes, sentences should not end with prepositions.
Original: I discussed with my supervisor all the themes that I had to be aware of.
Amended: I discussed with my supervisor all the themes of which I had to be aware.
Original: During the lecture, our teacher told us about all references that we could benefit from.
Amended: During the lecture, our teacher told us about all references from which we could benefit.
One of the main mistakes any academic could make is to write their own essay or dissertation and rush it to their supervisors and professors without proper revision.
A piece of writing as important as a dissertation or an academic paper, should be checked and proofread carefully to ensure all points above have been observed.