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Using more formal and considered language
Academic writing is all about accuracy and your choice of words should be made carefully. Always avoid using informal words and colloquial expressions as these don’t look very professional. For example, try not to include contractions (can’t, isn’t) in your writing, simply write these out in full (cannot, is not).
If you use any abbreviations, for example: OT, NC, make sure you have explained them in full first as well as showing your reader the abbreviation you will use: Occupational Therapy (OT), National Curriculum (NC) from then on you can just use the abbreviation.
Avoiding the use of the first person (I)
In academic writing, you should usually avoid using the first person; for example, never make statements such as: Based upon the literature I have read, I think that… Instead, you need to make it clear in your writing that you are being objective; use statements such as: Based upon the literature, it could be argued that…This shows your reader that you are not presenting your own thoughts and views but providing them with an argument that is based upon the research and evidence in the literature you have read. For more examples of academic phrases, have a look at: www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk.
Important: if you are asked to produce a piece of reflective writing, the rules are different. Find out more about reflective writing.