Writing Style

The style of your work is just as important as its content. You should write for your audience — a professor, a layperson, your colleagues, etc — and your style should indicate who you are writing for. Slang words and other colloquial terms should not be used unless they are relevant to your article’s focus. It is also essential to avoid biased language; you don’t want your article to be seen as sexist, racist, or stereotypical. Your article should be written intelligently. Having a peer who had not read your article before will help you with proofreading. You may be able to cut down on redundant information or add information for completeness when necessary with his or her feedback. Sometimes it is necessary to use jargon — vocabulary used by a specific group of people. When using jargon, you should define the word so that a general audience would be able to understand what it means.

You should look for and eliminate wordy phrases and cut them down into more specific words. The words you use in place of word phrases will be more succinct and be more powerful to the reader. Some common fluff words (also known as informal intensifiers) are “really” and “a lot,” but they don’t add any meaning to your words; better word choices would be “highly” and “frequently.” A single verb or adjective will be much stronger than phrasal verbs (such as “brought up” and “get away with”) and convey a clear message to your audience. Using formal language prevents unclear sentences. Word choice creates intensity and emphasis in sentences, not intonation. You can also combine several short sentences together. Using the full form of commonly contracted phrases (do not) rather than contractions (don’t) is considered more proper. Also, you’ll add an extra word and be closer to your final word count.

Finally, your article should be objective rather than subjective. Using “we,” “I,” and “us” are encouraged for use in research articles, however the article should present research findings and not personal biases. Of course, if your article is about subjective experience or qualitative research, then it would also be appropriate to use personal language. Other than that specific type of writing, your article should reflect objectivity and research, using the techniques mentioned above, rather than subjectivity and biased opinions. When you proofread be sure to check your writing style