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Academic Style

When writing, audience and subject matter are determining factors for the appropriate level of formality to use to create an academic writing style. Scholarly writers should maintain a consistent degree of formality throughout their works, unless shifting for stylistic purposes or to include direct quotes.


Therefore, more formal levels of writing (which is expected for most educational and business purposes) should not be interrupted with informal words and phrases that are better suited for conversations, private letters, personal emails and business correspondence between well acquainted associates.

Though language formality can be somewhat subjective, think about elevating diction whenever possible for academic documents. See the sentence below for an example. Sentence: Some of the national initiatives CAME ABOUT DUE TO educational legislation in Western states, mostly California.


Edited Sentence: Some of the national initiatives RESULTED FROM educational legislation in Western states, mostly California.


Explanation: In the first sentence above, nothing is wrong with the phrase “came about due to” from a grammar perspective. However, the phrase has an informal connotation and is a bit cumbersome.


Therefore, in the edited sentence, those words are replaced with a more concise, research focused term (“resulted from”). Learning to utilize formal diction in academic writing not only produces a more sophisticated level of writing, but it also creates conciseness.


When editing your academic documents, you can achieve a more academic style by simply finding places to incorporate more sophisticated words.

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