Using synonyms effectively

Using synonyms for increased variety in your textWhen engaged with your academic writing, your first objective is to get those ideas down on paper. This is the creative phase where your main focus is on producing content that satisfies the objectives of your assignment brief or research proposal. Whether the content needs to shine at this point depends on the author. Some believe that content should be polished as you go, but most authors prefer to get the ideas down on paper first, and then later focus on enhancing the content to make it more scholarly and engaging.

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Using abbreviations

Abbreviations lowe resNon-native academic writers at all levels, from undergraduates to researchers, often find the manner of placing and presenting in-text abbreviations of regularly used terms such as European Union (EU), radio frequency Identification (RFID), printed circuit board (PCB), etc., somewhat challenging. Consequently, several questions arise:

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Citing authors

Harvard referencesWhen citing authors in academic papers in-text citations vary, with some systems employing numbering while others state the authors’ names and dates of publication. For those employing the Harvard Referencing System the reader is able to view the names of some or all of the cited authors’ names, and the date of the publication, without needing to refer directly to the referencing section of the document. One problem which can occur in this case is the over-insertion of the same authors and dates in concurrent streams of text, particularly when no other publications have been mentioned to cloud the reader’s understanding of whose ideas or assertions are being presented.

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Proofreading strategies

Student proofreading your documentsOnce your written document has been completed, the final task that remains is to use your proofreading strategies to check the text for errors, inconsistencies and style. This process is crucial to ensure that your text engages the reader and captures their attention, because if proofreading strategies are overlooked or dismissed then you run the risk of the reader rejecting your article, assignment or dissertation due to inaccuracies or poor presentation.

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Shuffle the pack

Image of student writingWhile proofreading an academic assignment this morning, I found the phrase a lot of used repeatedly in the discussion. Of course, when writing a discussion or essay about a challenging new theme, the last thing on any writer’s mind will be creating colourful synonyms for their favourite words or expressions.

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