Education

Common Errors In Academic Writing

Three of the most common phrases you’ll find in academic books are:
Due to the fact that;
It is interesting to note; and
I think that.
All three are unnecessary, and actually serve to reduce author “authority.” It is no accident that these words share the same etymology. Both words are from the Latin auctor: creator, past participle of augere: to create or increase.
When writing a thesis or a manuscript, it is important to maintain author credibility throughout the work, and by working to get rid of these three phrases, your work will be strengthened. The first two should simply be abolished, while the third should at least be tempered.
Due to the fact that
This phrase is more filler than anything else. The following example illustrates how a sentence can become more authoritative when an assertion is made as a statement of fact, rather than merely a point of circumstance. It is a subtle change that lends strength to the author’s influence on the readers.
Due to the fact that many people like ice-cream, it is not surprising to see restaurateurs offering this treat in their establishments.
Better:
Many people like ice-cream, therefore, it is not surprising to see restaurateurs offering this treat in their establishments.
It is interesting to note
Academic writing is saturated with this poorly structured assertion. It has become something one simply writes in scholarly pieces, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Unfortunately it has a distinctly pedantic quality to it that reduces author credibility. In its most literal sense, this phrase draws attention to the author thinking a point is especially fascinating, rather than the point itself being the subject of fascination. How it is rewritten would depend entirely on the subject matter of the whole passage, and why the author feels it necessary to make special mention of a point. Some use it as an aside to the primary text, sort of a little “did you know” intermission, while others use it to draw focused attention to an important piece of information. Because it is used so freely in both instances, the desired effect may or may not be achieved. For clarity, let the readers know exactly what your intention is by including the information in your book.
It is interesting to note that some writers feel nervous talking with an authoritative voice.
As a side note:
Readers may find it interesting that when writing scholarly material, writers can – at times – feel unsure of their own authority to write the material.
As an important point to be remembered:
It must be stressed that when writing a scholarly text, writers may have feelings of insecurity in their own authority to write the material.
I think that
While there is nothing inherently wrong with this phrase, it is redundant. If you’re writing a book or thesis, you are writing your thoughts, and your interpretation of experiments, statistics, or what have you. Reducing the instances of this phrase will strengthen your authority.
I think that when writers work to eradicate redundancies and unnecessary asides, they strengthen their authority.
Better:
When writers work to eradicate redundancies, they can strengthen their authority.
These subtle but powerful editing tips will change the quality of your work for the better.

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