What's "academic writing"? If you're in school or university, you must know the difference between general English and academic English. Watch this important lesson to avoid the most common mistakes students make in academic writing. In your own language, the difference between these two modes of writing might not be that great, but in English, there are a lot of differences depending on the context. So even if you know your grammar and write a correct sentence, you might still be wrong because the structure or tone was not appropriate for an academic setting! Watch this video and learn how to write correctly and get higher grades in an academic environment. Then take the quiz: http://www.engvid.com/12-common-errors-in-academic-english/
Hi. I'm Rebecca. And in today's lesson, I'll explain twelve common errors that students make in academic English. Now, what's academic English? It's the English that you need to use in school, college, or university when you're reading, writing, listening, and speaking -- okay -- ideally, but most importantly, when you're writing. Now, what's the difference between academic English and general English? Well, academic English in general -- there are many differences, but in general, academic English is more formal; it's more objective, and also, it has to use a lot of referencing. You always have to let people know where you got your information from. You have to cite the source. You have to give the source. You can't claim to write something and claim it as your own. Okay? If you do that, that's called "plagiarism". It's a very serious offense in academic circles. But today, we're not going to talk about how to reference a source. We're going to talk about the two other aspects: How to write more formally and objectively, and what are the ten common errors that students make when they are not formal enough. Okay? So not ten, twelve. Here we go.
So first of all, using contractions. All of these are what you should not do, okay? So avoid using contractions. Sorry. In this case, don't use contractions at all. So don't say "don't"; say "do not". Don't say "isn't"; say "is not". All right? That's academic English.
Next, avoid phrasal verbs. So for example, instead of saying "go up" -- "Prices went up. -- say, "Prices increased." Instead of saying "take away", say "removed". Avoid these multi-part verbs. All right? It's not as formal.
Next, avoid idioms. Instead of saying, "It was A1", say, "It was excellent." All right? Avoid slang. Don't say "kids"; say "children". Use the proper terminology for various subjects.
Avoid pronouns. So for example, instead of saying, "You can see from the graph..." -- all right. We use the pronoun "you". Instead of that, say, "The graph shows..." all right?
Next, avoid negatives. For example, instead of saying, "Something is not effective", just say, "It is ineffective." Instead of saying something is "not positive", say, "It's negative." So avoid these kinds of negatives.
Next, avoid clichés. Now, what are "clichés"? "Clichés" are a kind of idiom, basically -- commonly used expressions. All right? And so on. Kind of a common wisdom about different things. And so you want to avoid these kinds of expressions. For example, instead of saying, "When all is said and done" -- all right? We use that in conversation, but you don't want to use it in your academic writing. Instead of saying that, you'd probably use an expression like "in conclusion". All right?
So next, there are certain kinds of punctuation -- there are actually lots of rules about punctuation. And the kind of punctuation, the style of punctuation that you use in academic writing depends on the style guide that you have been asked to follow in your school, college, or university. Some very well-known style guides are the MLA or APA. These are certain style guides, and they tell you everything about how you need to write, what rules you need to follow, what are the rules of punctuation and of quotations marks, of this and that. Okay? A lot more than what I'm covering here. But in general, I can just tell you that we don't see that many exclamation marks in academic writing, okay? We do see a lot of semicolons. All right? That's kind of -- when do we use a semicolon? Do you remember? Okay. What's the difference between a period and a semicolon? A period clearly divides two sentences. And a semicolon has one sentence which is a complete sentence; then you put the semicolon. You do not capitalize the next letter, and the next sentence is connected, and you want to show that it's connected to the first sentence, which is a very academic, intellectual, philosophical thing to do. So learn to use semicolons if you're in university especially.