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Taboo Words & Phrases To Avoid In Academic Writing – Comprehensive Guide For Students



Academic writing is all about selecting appropriate words, theories and concepts to communicate a message to the public in a formal way. The formal style of writing is the foremost important thing that all academic writers must pay special attention to. Avoiding clichés, worn-out jargon, strong and offensive vocabulary, and even the use of personal pronouns gives academic manuscripts an informal touch. Thus, it will not be wrong to say that your selection of words and phrases is the most prominent factor determining the success of your academic work. In light of the importance of language in academic writing, this article will primarily focus on the ways to avoid taboo words and phrases in academic writing.

Taboo words are not allowed to use while drafting formal documents. Read this article till the end to figure out some common mistakes that might be the cause of why you could not score well in your previous essay writing task. Let’s briefly describe what taboo words are:

Taboo Words And Phrases: A Brief Introduction:

Actually, taboo words and phrases do not refer to a single category. Some words are part of taboo language in one setting, or culture is considered a matter of politeness in another setting. As a matter of course, all words and phrases that seem inappropriate or immoral in everyday language are taboo. Common examples of taboo words include sexist, swear words, and racist. In everyday life, the use of such inappropriate words is prohibited in order to maintain peace.

In academic writing, there are many words that seem inappropriate to follow the rules of formal writing. Though these words do not cause any disagreement, but they still need to be avoided.

Guide To Avoiding The Taboo Words And Phrases In Academic Writing:

Academic writing usually does not follow the conversational style of writing. For example, in daily life, it is allowed to use the words and phrases like a bit, a lot of, abbreviated forms (would’ve, wanna, lemme and gotta), and personal pronouns. Likewise, it is okay to be vague in daily life conversations or to use words like must, plus, two-pennies, goodies, and stuff. Even sometimes, we use some taboo words to exaggerate an event.

Examples of common informal phrases used in conversation style include never, ever, next to impossible, and not possible at all; it is an ideal method and the perfect approach. Concurrently, certain words and phrases are commonly used in incorrect ways. For instance, literally, would that, and had off. All these words, if imported to the academic or formal style of writing, will be considered taboo words. Thus, the following are some ways to avoid the use of such inappropriate words while writing a dissertation or essay.

Choose A Soft Tone But Without Being Too Vague:

For example, if you are writing a paper for publication or educating people about a process, it is important to avoid the use of the words stuff, goodies and a while. Rather, you can use the words like components, parts, more than, or greater than to convey a message in a more sophisticated manner. These are only a few examples; if you are going to using such words in your academic essay and confused, you can seek help from a reliable essay writing service UK for more guidance.

Choose Words That Strive For Clarity:

For example, if you are writing a sentence to explain to readers that the process of condensation is difficult. Then, instead of using the phrase ‘a bit difficult’, it will be more appropriate to write that ‘the condensation is somewhat difficult’.

Choose The Full Form Of Words Instead Of Abbreviated Forms:

For example, if an academic writing piece asks you to write about personal experiences or write a critical reflection on a book. Of course, you can use personal pronouns, but use slang such as lemme do this, I don’t wanna get my hand dirty, or once in a blue moon. All these styles of writing, on one side, give your piece of literature an informal touch, while on another side, they also have a negative impact on clarity. Though it is better to use active voice in academic writing, but the moment you want to avoid these slang or taboo words, you can adopt a passive tone to hide your personality. Such as ‘it was not allowed to do this’ can change your informal tone into a formal one.

Final Thoughts:

All in all, academic writing asks students and even field specialists to avoid slang or taboos. However, the exact demand varies as per the type of essay or work you are dealing with. Thus, the article has provided a few common examples and ways to avoid taboo words in research or academic writing.

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