Essay Writing

5 tips to improve your academic essay writing. Part I

Today we are going to look at five ways to improve an academic essay writing.

TOEFL writing or IELTS writing – this doesn’t have to do with when you write a letter to your friends. We’re talking specifically about formal writing, maybe business writing or academic writing.

My first tip on how to improve writing is do not use contractions

This is for academic essay writing, so what is the contraction: don’t, can’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, isn’t, haven’t, hasn’t – it’s the short forms of do not, cannot, should not, could not, would not, is not, have not, has not. For example, don’t is the contraction of do not. It’s better to actually write out the word in full in academic and formal business writing. So instead of don’t use do not, instead of can’t use cannot and notice how with do not it’s actually two words, cannot is just one word, etc.

Now let’s look at tip number two: avoid there is/there are.

Why do we avoid there is or there are? One of the reasons is, when we write we want to write our ideas clear and concise meaning, we don’t want these long sentence, we want our sentences to be to the point. There are extra words that are not needed. Let’s look at some examples:

There are many issues that students face at university.

That’s a good sentence, but if I wanted to make it a better sentence, that is more appropriate for academic writing, I would change it and I would say instead:

Students face many issues at university.

You don’t need there is or there are.

A second example:

There are many development projects that the UN supports.

Okay again we don’t need there are we can just change it to:

The UN supports many development projects.

By getting rid of there is/there are your sentences become stronger and to the point!

Tip number three is: avoid words/don’t use words in academic writing such as:

Really, very, a lot, so.

Your writing isn’t as strong if you use these types of words. Let’s look at some examples:

Many students think University is very hard.

How could I improve this sentence? Well instead of using very hard just use a stronger word in the first place say:

Many students think university is difficult.

Another example:

Bill 399 is really controversial.

Again, for academic writing avoid the usage of really. We could just say:

Bill 399 is controversial.

The sentence sounds better, it sounds more formal.

Look at this example:

A lot of the students..

I didn’t finish the sentence, I could say instead of using a lot the word many:

Many students..

Therefore, we use many if we can count the noun. if it’s countable so instead of using a lot use many or if our noun is not countable, we can use much. Many and much are both words that are better to use than a lot.