Day: February 26, 2018

5 tips to improve your writing

Hi there my name is Emma and in today’s video we are going to look at five ways to improve academic essay writing 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 and again this is for academic writing so what is the contraction don’t can’t shouldn’t couldn’t wouldn’t isn’t haven’t hasn’t so it’s the short form of 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 comes should not couldn’t be comes could not wouldn’t would not isn’t is not haven’t have not hasn’t has not so don’t use these use these.

So now let’s look at tip number two so tip number two 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 ads 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 sentence but if I wanted to make it a better sentence that is more appropriate for academic writing I would change it I get rid of their art and I would say instead students face many sorry the students face many issues at university so you don’t need there is or there area second example there are many development projects that the UN supports 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 in 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 vary a lot I’m going to add another one so this weekend’s you’re 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 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 students think university is difficult there are many cars well there are just broke rule sorry many cars speed very fast you get rid of the very in that sentence come up with a stronger word for it so that’s like a number B sentence B bill 399 is very or sorry is really controversial so again an academic writing avoid the usage of really we could just say bill 399 is controversial the sentence sounds better it sounds more formal 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 so 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 lot so 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 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 very a lot and so.

So our fourth tip when it comes to academic writing is unless so if you are in the sciences it’s to use the passive don’t use it too much but it’s it’s and normal to use the passive voice and I’ll explain what that is in a second but if you are studying 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 healthcare reforms were implemented by Obama 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 CC and Edie and then oftentimes we have the word by someone so this is an example of a passive voice sentence healthcare 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 so the person the verb and the object Obama implemented healthcare reforms so this is the active voice so if you can have the subject then the verb then 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 here we have the form of the be verb 1 so here’s the past participle of win by so another keyword the French the war was won by the French so this is again a passive voice sentence it’s a passive sentence but it’s still a little bit weak in academic writing we want strong sentences 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 in this video is when you write academically use strong verbs so what is the strong verb and what is a weak verb.

So I’m going to give you an example I could say he gave assistance to my friend this is a very weak way of saying he gave assistance to my friend in 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 and 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 he assisted so this is stronger let’s look at another example so here I have a weak verb made an objection he made an objection 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 weak verb she conducted an investigation she conducted an investigation well when I look here I see the word investigation and I think does investigation does this noun have a verb form well yes it does investigate so instead of saying conduct an investigation she investigated something it’s a lot better it’s stronger finally for a fourth example the weak verb is did an audit they did an audit on wesley snipes I don’t know for a joke 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 noun 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 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 until next time.