What is academic English?
You may be confident in using English in everyday situations, but the kind of English you need for study is rather different. It is what is known as 'academic English' and is the type of English you need for * reading and understanding your study materials
* writing about your subject.
Academic English is different from everyday spoken English. It may be used to * describe an object or situation
* describe a process or how something works
* explain something.
Much of academic English is about expressing the relationship between ideas. Although the language may be more complex than in everyday English, good academic writers aim to be as clear, precise and simple as possible. They think about what their readers know already, and aim to guide them towards less familiar areas and topics. The ability to write in an academic style is something you develop as part of your university study. It is difficult to give overall 'rules' on the way to write for a university course, as academic subjects vary in * their vocabulary and expressions
* the types of text used (for instance essays, reports, research articles or summaries) * how these texts are structured and organised.
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Main features of academic English
* is usually formal in tone and impersonal in style
* avoids contractions or shortened forms of verbs, such as won't, doesn't or it's * avoids using a linking word such as 'and' or 'but' at the beginning of a sentence * avoids personal pronouns such as I, me, you, your
* may use the passive form of verbs
* avoids verbs that are composed of multiple words, such as 'give up', 'put up with' * tends to employ a cautious way of explaining findings, using expressions such as 'may', 'it is possible that...', 'could' * may use specialised vocabulary.
Use of language
When you seek to convince, persuade or otherwise change other people's minds, the language you use is extremely important. Each word is a little packet of meaning from which the other person infers understanding. It gets even more complex when words combine in the semantics of entire sentences. * Figures of speech: Subtle use of language.
* Metaphor: Using other worlds to describe this one.
* Modifying meaning: Changing meaning to change minds.
* Parts of speech: Lots of detail on using nouns, verbs, etc. * Persuasive language: Particular methods of persuading with words. * Special language: Used in conversion and retention within groups. * Using syntax: The structure and types of sentences.
* Using punctuation: Subtlety that changes meaning.
Effective Use of Language
The Importance of Language
As a writer, it is important not only to think about what you say, but how you say it. To communicate effectively, it is not enough to have well organized ideas expressed in complete and coherent sentences and paragraphs. One must also think about the style, tone and clarity of his/her writing, and adapt these elements to the reading audience. Again, analyzing one's audience and purpose is the key to writing effectiveness. In order to choose the most effective language, the writer must consider the objective of the document, the context in which it is being written, and who will be reading it. Characteristics of Effective Language
There are six main characteristics of effective language. Effective language is: (1) concrete and specific, not vague and abstract; (2) concise, not verbose; (3) familiar, not obscure; (4) precise and clear, not inaccurate or ambiguous; (5) constructive, not destructive; and (6) appropriately formal. Concrete and Specific Language
Concrete language includes descriptions which create tangible images with details the reader can visualize. Abstract language is vague and obscure, and does not bring to mind specific visual images. Consider the two sets of...
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