DOs & DON'Ts
What to do
Do not use slang, jargon, colloquialisms, or sexist language.
Use formal language
Do not use shortened verb forms (contractions), such as they're, isn't, can't.
Use the full verb form instead, e.g. they are, is not, cannot
Do not use common vocabulary, such as have got, a lot, nice, the other thing.
Make more formal vocabulary choices, e.g. have found,a great deal , attractive/ advantageous, the other issue/problem/notion/idea/topic etc..
Do not use conversational opening phrases, such as Well, you see, Yes…, Let's move on.
Leave out conversational phrases. Use appropriate connectors and introductory phrases.
Do not write I think - especially not at the beginning of a sentence, i.e. do not write, for example, I think James (2008) believes that global warming will…
Leave out I think, e.g. James (2008) believes that global warming will…
Do not use personal pronouns e.g. I, you, we (unless specifically required), i.e. do not write We think that you should be able to compete.
Be non-personal, e.g.It should be possible for everyone to compete.
Do not use sweeping generalisations
State main ideas clearly and concisely in your own words in topic sentences.
Do not use bullet points or lists, unless it is in a report.
use complete sentences and link these into logical paragraphs.
Avoid making assumptions or giving your opinion (unless specifically asked).
Avoid waffling or repeating yourself.
Be clear and concise.
Do not plagiarize (see the AWELU section on'Academic Integrity').
Provide references whenever you say something that is not your own (see the AWELU sections 'Academic Integrity' and 'Sources and Referencing').
Do not take for granted that the spell check on your computer is accurate or will spot all spelling mistakes, since for example, your spell check will not pick up on whether vs weather.
Check spelling, grammar and punctuation etcetera.
Proofread and use a dictionary.
Ask somebody to proofread your text for you.
Do not pose (direct) questions in the running text, that is, do not write, for instance Can carbon emissions be reduced?
Convert questions into statements, for example, The possibility of carbon emissions being reduced is questionable.
Do not mix words and numbers unsystematically.
Use words for numbers nine and below and numbers for 10 and above.