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Student Handbook|English 1010

Characteristics of Academic Tone

Unfortunately, many new college students think that writing "academically" mostly means using a thesaurus to change short words into longer words. While this is not the case, there are definitely differences between the tone of academic writing and the style of your casual conversational speech.

In general, academic writing should:

  • Avoid slang and nonstandard English.
  • Avoid cliches and other "chatty" expressions.
  • Avoid biased or sexist language.
  • Use precise language.
  • Clearly explain the relationship between ideas.  Often this results in sentences being much longer and more complicated, since you may need to use dependent clauses and other phrases to fully establish connections among ideas.
  • Rely primarily on logic and evidence, rather than emotion, to persuade the audience.
  • Reflect a focus on persuasion rather than informing.  In general, your audience should understand why you are telling them something, rather than feeling that the information you are presenting is just giving them facts about an issue.



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