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Things To Avoid In Academic Writing

Things To Avoid In Academic Writing

To determine what things to avoid in academic writing, we should draw a comparison between academic writing and other forms of writing. In this way, we will better understand what should be avoided and why.


Academic writing comes under the banner of content writing. Still, it is completely different from all other content writing types. Content writing, excluding academic writing, has the simple purpose of targeting huge audiences in other to persuade, inform and entertain. This is mainly accomplished by capturing the people’s interests through a conservational writing style. What are the several things to avoid in academic writing?

In content writing, there is no standardized structure; both formal and informal language is used, sometimes slang is used implemented, many contractions are also at play, and usually, no citation or reference is present. Content writing is closely related to digital marketing. It is used in more print and digital media. All the articles on the internet, i.e., web pages, news, promotional content, interesting facts sites, etc., are all the result of content writing.

The structure of such content needs to remain dynamic. Otherwise, the reader will soon be bored with it and won’t read through the whole article; if this happens in the case of product promotional content, then the article has effectively failed to deliver its core objective.
Things To Avoid In Academic Writing

Scriptwriting is also a form of content writing, mainly used to tune and smooth out the conversational aspects of the content, keeping the ever-changing dynamics throughout the matter. Newspaper articles are an example of content writing as well; if an article cannot capture the reader’s attention, the reader will end up leaving the newspaper altogether.

As mentioned above, there is no standard structure in content writing, but there is a lot more to consider and still structure the content to remain relevant and entertaining enough for the reader to go through it.

What is academic writing?

Academic writing is a type of content writing, but still, it is quite different, sometimes the polar opposite of each other. One important rule is to be formal. There are multiple things to avoid in academic writing such as slang being informal and plagiarism. Academically written articles are not always targeted toward a reader or any audience. The main goal of these articles is to accomplish the tasks required by the topic. Academic writing is used when writing a thesis report, dissertation, research paper, etc. 

Some rules for academic writing

There are some ground rules to be followed for academic writing. 

  1. Proper structure 
  2. Formal language
  3. Precision 
  4. Facts
  5. Referencing & Citation
  6. Avoid slang and contractions
  • Proper structure

The writer should be aware of the direction he is going with the content, and he should avoid any extra information that has nothing or little to do with the topic. The most basic structure used in academic writing is:

By following the above structure, the writer can achieve the goals of the topic with just enough words and information just as necessary.

  • Formal language 

Using formal language is also necessary, as it helps to be concise and avoid any clutter of words. Other content writings use both informal and formal styles due to the conversational nature of the writing. This writing style brings a lot of non-relative and wanted clutter of information that is never presented in academic writing. 

  • Precision 

Even with a set structure and formal language, a writer must carefully consider and choose his sentences. It is always a best practice to use as few words as possible, with as much relative information as possible.

  • Facts

All academic writings are based on facts and figures, backed by other academic writing or research-based data with concrete evidence approved by other academic/scientific/or relative institutes and organizations. So, fact-checking is a necessary practice to avoid any inaccuracies.

  • Referencing and citation

When providing a fact or a theory in academic writing, a citation to that particular piece of information is also provided with a complete reference at the end of the paper.

  • Avoid slang and contractions

Slang is mainly used in speech and implemented in different types of writings to capture people’s interest. They are used in standard content writing, script writing, novel writing, story writing, etc. Contractions are sometimes used to merge two words, but due to their no real benefit to academic articles, it’s best to avoid them. There are plenty of things to avoid in academic writing. Such as slang, as they don’t sound formal.

Academic writing is a crucial part of any student’s academic journey and can significantly impact their grades and overall academic performance. However, making mistakes in academic writing is all too common, and it’s important to be aware of what to avoid in order to write high-quality, effective academic papers.

 Here are some things to avoid in academic writing:

  1. Plagiarism: Plagiarism is a serious offense in academic writing, and it can result in severe consequences, including failing the assignment or even being expelled from school. To avoid plagiarism, always make sure to properly cite all sources used in your work and avoid copying and pasting text from other sources.
  2. Poor grammar and spelling: Grammar and spelling mistakes can significantly impact the readability and credibility of your work. To avoid these mistakes, take the time to proofread your work carefully and use grammar and spell-check tools if necessary.
  3. Lack of focus and organization: Academic writing should be clear and focused, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents, and make sure that your writing is well-organized and easy to follow.
  4. Overreliance on sources: While it’s important to use sources to support your arguments, relying too heavily on sources can make your writing seem less original and make it harder for you to demonstrate your understanding of the topic.
  5. Using informal language: Academic writing should be written in a formal tone, using proper language and avoiding slang, colloquialisms, and emotive language.
  6. Failing to follow instructions: Make sure to carefully read and follow all instructions for the assignment, including format, citation style, word count, and any other requirements. Failing to follow instructions can result in points being deducted from your grade.
  7. Ignoring feedback: Feedback is a valuable tool for improving your writing, and it’s important to listen to the advice and suggestions provided by your instructor or mentor. Ignoring feedback can result in missing out on opportunities for growth and improvement.
  8. Not backing up arguments with evidence: In academic writing, it’s important to back up your arguments with evidence and research. Without evidence, your arguments will lack credibility and will be less effective.
  9. Writing too much or too little: Make sure to write the appropriate amount for the assignment, and avoid writing too much or too little. Writing too much can result in unnecessary padding while writing too little can result in missing important information.
  10. Not revising and editing: Finally, make sure to take the time to revise and edit your work carefully. This will help you to catch any mistakes, improve the flow and readability of your writing, and ensure that your writing is the best it can be.


In conclusion, avoiding these common mistakes in academic writing is essential for producing high-quality, effective academic papers. Remember to avoid plagiarism, write in a clear and focused manner, back up your arguments with evidence, and take the time to revise and edit your work. By avoiding these mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to achieving academic success.

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Academic writing is a type of content writing, but on analysis, it seems to be a completely different thing altogether. Content & academic writing are both opposites of one another. The things to avoid in academic writing are a necessary part of content writing. All in all, academic writing in all its forms has these common factors and always needs to be in this closed circle of rules. 

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