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Academic Writing

How to correctly use abbreviations and acronyms/initialism

First, let us define the terms abbreviation, acronym and initialism. According to macquariedictionary.com.au, abbreviation is ‘a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used as a symbol for the whole’, acronym is ‘a word formed from the initial letters of a sequence of words, as radar (from radio detection and ranging) or ANZAC (from Australian and New … Read more

How to Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is a crucial skill in academic writing. It enables you to present the ideas of researchers and academics in your essay or paper in your own words and writing style, while providing a reference for where you found the information. Most importantly, it is a way to learn new information and prove to your … Read more

Cultures of Writing: How First Language Can Affect a Non-native Student’s Writing in English

Problems in academic writing in English for non-native students can be the result of the transfer of their first language. Have you ever wondered why no matter how much time you spend learning the English grammatical rules or how hard you pay attention in your English classes, you are still unable to produce an effective English paragraph? … Read more

Choosing between Similar Words

Often, when writing an essay, article or thesis, you will need to decide which particular word works best with your text. Sometimes this can be difficult when there are several words with the same or similar meaning; these groups of words are called ‘synonyms’. As an example, the word ‘particular’ (used in the first sentence of this blog) is … Read more

Active or Passive—Which Voice Is Best?

In academic writing, students are often encouraged to use an ‘objective’ voice; to focus on methodologies, arguments, evidence and results in a way that keeps the author/researcher in the background. Passive sentence structures, which place emphasis on what is being done to the sentence’s subject, are especially common in science disciplines where researchers emphasise results over personal opinions. Here is … Read more