Things to avoid when writing a formal essay

There is an exception, though, if you are specifically told by the person who assigned your work that the presence of colloquial and casual language is allowed. But this rarely happens, and it is best to avoid the following list of words even in the case of getting permission to use a freer language than usually practiced in academic writing: Let it do its work alone without adding extra emphasis. Words to use instead:

Things to avoid when writing a formal essay

The purpose of formal writing is for it to be as clear, well-constructed, and unambiguous as possible. Formal writing is often the most difficult to write, but the easiest to read due to the information being presented in a format that can stand alone without further clarification.

The following are strong recommendations that will enable you to write a strong and professional college application essay. Use the active voice. The active voice is used when the subject of your sentence performs an action to a direct object.

Things to avoid when writing a formal essay

The passive voice is used when the subject is the thing receiving the action and the thing doing the action appears as an indirect object near the end of the sentence. Take a look at these examples: Sasha noun performing the action ate the action an apple object receiving the action.


An apple noun was eaten the action by Sasha the optional indirect object. The active voice is considered to be more direct and clear. Writers who choose to use the passive voice take away the agency of the noun performing the verb, making the sentence seem weak and convoluted.

Compare these two sentences from the introduction of two college admissions essays: I have been in numerous leadership positions: There were numerous leadership positions taken on by me: As you can see, the second example is in the passive voice and seems awkward and indirect.

Clearly, the second sentence is the less clear and concise option. The passive voice is often used by people who try to avoid responsibility e. You are trying to showcase your achievements in your college essays, so make sure to take responsibility for them by using the active voice! Use literal and concrete language.

Save flowery and abstract language for works of fiction. When writing a persuasive essay, you want to make sure you use very clear and direct language.

This requires excluding any metaphors and similes, alliteration, hyperboles, litotes, and other literary techniques. You want your writing to be easily understood in a quick read-through—abstract language slows down the reader and makes your writing less succinct.

Instead of trying to create a literary masterpiece, concentrate your attention on concrete examples that support your argument. Also, avoid using vague language. What qualifies you as great?10 Words to Avoid in Formal Writing Share Flipboard Email Print Languages.

English Grammar Using Words Correctly Writing Tips & Advice Sentence Structures Rhetoric & Style Punctuation & Mechanics Developing Effective Paragraphs To avoid the repetition, write lets. Jun 26,  · Writing a formal essay requires an understanding of how to structure the essay, how to present it on the page, and how to write in a formal writing style.

A formal essay also requires a strong vocabulary, and may require some research skills%(19). Checklist of language to avoid in academic writing.

1. Do not use contractions Formal: Industrial sites cause vast amounts of environmental pollution, so why do Notice that you can change your rhetorical questions into statements and still use them effectively in an essay. 5. Place adverbs within the verb. Feb 06,  · Academic writing is generally more formal than the writing we see in non-academic materials (including on websites).

It is also more formal than the ways in which we normally speak. The following words and phrases are considered too informal for a dissertation/5().

Get Your FixGrammarly scans your text for common and complex grammatical mistakes, Detect plagiarism · Write anywhere · Eliminate grammar errors · Easily improve any textGrammarly quickly and easily makes your writing better.

– Jun 26,  · How to Write a Formal Essay. The term "formal essay" probably makes many people think of high school or college writing classes, but formal essays have many practical uses outside the classroom.

A formal essay may be a requirement in 82%(17).

How to Write a Formal Essay (with Pictures) - wikiHow