5 tips to improve your writing

By | 31st August 2018

Hi there, my name is Emma and in today’s video We are going to look at, five ways to improve academic essay writing Okay? Or TOEFL writing, 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. So let’s get started.

My first tip on how to improve writing is do not use contractions. Okay? And again this is for academic writing. Awesome “don’t,” “can’t” “shouldn’t,” “couldn’t,” “wouldn’t”, “isn’t,” “haven’t,” “hasn’t.” Okay so it’s the short form of, (Two Words Put Into One) for example, “don’t” is the contraction of “do not.”  So, 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. “Shouldn’t” becomes “should not.” “Couldn’t” becomes “could not.” “Wouldn’t” “would not.” “Isn’t” “is not.” “Haven’t” “have not” “Hasn’t” “has not.” Okay. So don’t use these, use these.

So now let’s look at Tip #2. So Tip #2 is avoid “there is” or “there are.” So why do we avoid “there is” or “there are”? Well one of the reasons is when we write, we want to write our ideas clear and concise, meaning we don’t want these long sentences, we want our sentences to be to the point. There are “adds” extra words that are not needed. So let’s look at some examples. a) There are many issues that students face at university. So, that’s an okay sentence, but if I wanted to make it a better sentence, that is more appropriate for academic writing, I would change it. I’d get rid of “there are” and I would say instead “Students face many issues at university.” So 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” and “there are” your sentences become stronger, and to the point.

So tip number three, is Avoid words so don’t use words in academic writing such as “really, very, a lot,” I’m gunna add another one, “so.” Okay? This weakens your writing. Your writing isn’t as strong if you use these types of words. So let’s look at some examples. “Many students think university is very hard.” Ok, so now, we have “very.” How could I improve the sentence? Well, instead of using “very hard,” Just use a stronger word in the first place. say, “Many stuents think university is difficult.” There are many cars… well there, I just broke a rule many cars speed very fast you get rid of the very in that sentence come up with a stronger word for it so let’s look at number B sentence be bill 399 is very oh sorry is really controversial so again an academic writing avoid the usage of really we get to say built 39 is controversial the sentence sounds better it sounds more formal him see a lot of the students I didn’t finish the sentence I could say a lot of the students live on campus now instead of using a lot we could use the word many students so we use many if we can count the noun if it’s countable instead of using a lot use many or if our noun is not countable if it’s a non-count noun we can use much get rid of a lunch instead of a lot of the students now we have many students many students face problems in their first year of University much time is wasted because of procrastination ok so many and much are both words that are better to use than a lot and again the rule is avoid the usage of really vary a lot.

Our fourth tip when it comes to academic writing is unless so if you are in the sciences it’s ok to use the passive don’t use it too much but it’s it’s okay and normal to use the passive voice and i’ll explain what that is in a second but if you are studying the humanities social science history psychology these types of subjects do not use the passive voice use the active voice so for most University Writing we use the active voice so what is the passive voice and what is the active voice so here is an example of the passive voice health care reforms were implemented by Obama ok so notice first we have a form of the verb to be and then we have the past participle of implement in this case implemented C and E and then oftentimes we have the word by someone so this is an example of a passive voice sentence health care reforms were implemented by Obama so what is the problem with using the passive voice well it takes away the fact that Obama is the one who implemented the reforms the sentence is sort of weak a little bit awkward it would be much better if we had the actor who is Obama’s of the person the verb and the object Obama implemented health care reforms so this is the active voice ok so if you can have the subject and the verb than the object instead of the passive voice so here is another example of this if I wrote in the passive voice I would write the war was over here we have the form of the be verb 1 here’s the past participle a win by another keyword the French the war was won by the French so this is again a passive voice sentence in the passive sentence but it’s still a little bit weak in academic writing we want strong scent and food and a strong sentence has the actor or the person performing the action at the beginning of the sentence so instead a better sentence would be the French won the war.

So the final tip is when you write academically use strong verbs ok so what is the strong verb and what is a week herb i’m going to give you an example I could say he gave assistance to my friend ok this is a very weak way of saying he gave assistance to my friend and a stronger way I could instead just say he assisted my friend so what is the difference between these two sentences well in this sentence assistance is a noun so a better way to write this sentence anytime you have a verb a noun and you look at the noun and it could be its own verb use this in a verbal form instead so for example he gave assistance should become he assisted ok so this is stronger let’s look at another example so I have a week verb made an objection he made an objection ok so again we have a verb and then a noun objection but objection can be its own verb so to make it stronger we get rid of made and we turn objection into its verbal form objected he objected so he objected is better than he made an objection hey another example here we have our example of the week verb she conducted an investigation she conducted an investigation but when I look here I see the word investigation and i think does investigation does this town have a verb form well yes it does investigate so instead of saying conduct an investigation she investigated something a lot better it’s stronger ok finally for a fourth example the week verb is did an audit they did an audit on Wesley Snipes I don’t know important maybe they did an audit on someone so again I see the word audit so here’s a verb and here’s a noun I look at this now and I think audit is there a verb form of the word audit yes there is Wesley Snipes was audited but again I told you not to use the passive so i could say the government audited Wesley Snipes ok so there you have it five tips that will quickly improve your academic writing so if you would like to practice some of these tips come visit us at our website at www.engvid.com until next time

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