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Academic Writing
Introduction|Words|Structures|Conventions|Summary

When we write academic texts, we are expected to use formal language rather than the relaxed conversational language we use in everyday situations. One way in which we can make our language more formal is by using sophisticated or formal words in place of colloquial ones. Consider the following two examples:

T.V. and the movies got more and more dependent on each other in the 1980's as T.V. companies put a lot of money into making movies.

The relationship between television and cinema grew increasingly symbiotic in the 1980's as television companies invested heavily in feature film making.


The examples above say the same thing but differ widely in the degree of formality used to do this. The more formal of these versions is the style required for academic purposes. Informal language can make your academic content sound anecdotal and impressionistic rather than the result of research, analysis and critical thinking (Woodward-Kron and Thomson, 2000).

Try to identify the differences in word choice between the examples above.


Click the following link to see the alternative words or phrases used in the formal and informal versions of the sentence.


The following section will help you to identify how to choose more sophisticated words when writing in your academic area.



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