5 tips to improve your writing


Hi there, my name is Emma

and in today's video

We are going to look at, five ways

to improve academic

essay writing

Okay? Or TOEFL writing, IELTS writing.

This doesn't have to do with

when you write a letter to your friends.

Okay? We're talking specifically about

formal writing, maybe business writing,

or academic writing.

Okay, so let's get started.

My first tip on how to improve writing

is do not use contractions. Okay? And again this is for academic writing.


"don't," "can't"

"shouldn't," "couldn't," "wouldn't",

"isn't," "haven't," "hasn't."

Okay so it's the short form of, (Two Words Put Into One)

for example, "don't" is the contraction of "do not."


So, it's better to actually write out the word in full

in academic and formal business writing.

So, instead of "don't," use "do not." Instead of "can't," use "cannot."

And notice how with "do not," it's actually two words.

"Cannot" is just one word.

"Shouldn't" becomes "should not."

"Couldn't" becomes "could not."

"Wouldn't" — "would not."

"Isn't" — "is not."

"Haven't" — "have not"

"Hasn't" — "has not." Okay.

So don't use these,

use these.

Okay. So now let's look at Tip #2.

So Tip #2

is avoid "there is" or "there are."


So why do we avoid "there is" or "there are"?

Well one of the reasons is

when we write, we want to write our ideas clear and concise,

meaning we don't want these long sentences,

we want our sentences to be to the point.

There are "adds" extra words that are not needed.

So let's look at some examples.

a) There are many issues that students face at university.

So, that's an okay sentence, but if I wanted to make it a better sentence,

that is more appropriate for academic writing,

I would change it. I'd get rid of "there are"

and I would say instead

"Students face many issues at university."

So you don't need "there is" or "there are."

A second example

"There are many development projects that the UN supports."


Again, we don't need "there are."

We can just change it

to "The UN supports many development projects."

By getting rid of "there is" and "there are"

your sentences become stronger, and to the point.

So tip number three, is

Avoid words

so don't use words

in academic writing

such as "really, very, a lot,"

I'm gunna add another one, "so."


This weakens your writing.

Your writing isn't as strong if you use these types of words.

So let's look at some examples.

"Many students think university is very hard."

Ok, so now, we have "very."

How could I improve the sentence?

Well, instead of using "very hard,"

Just use a stronger word in the first place.


"Many stuents think university is difficult."

There are many cars...

well there, I just broke a rule

many cars speed very fast you get rid of the very in that sentence

come up with a stronger word for it

so let's look at number B sentence be

bill 399 is very

oh sorry is really controversial

so again an academic writing avoid the usage of really we get to say built 39

is controversial

the sentence sounds better it sounds more formal him see a lot of the


I didn't finish the sentence I could say a lot of the students live on campus now

instead of using a lot

we could use the word many students so we use many if we can count the noun if

it's countable

instead of using a lot use many or if our noun is not countable if it's a

non-count noun

we can use much

get rid of a lunch instead of a lot of the students now we have many students

many students face problems in their first year of University much time is

wasted because of procrastination

ok so many and much are both words that are better to use than a lot and again

the rule is avoid the usage of really vary a lot and so so our fourth tip when

it comes to academic writing is unless so if you are in the sciences

it's ok to use the passive don't use it too much but it's it's okay and normal

to use the passive voice and i'll explain what that is in a second but if

you are studying the humanities social science history psychology these types

of subjects do not use the passive voice use the active voice so for most

University Writing we use the active voice

so what is the passive voice and what is the active voice

so here is an example of the passive voice health care reforms were

implemented by Obama

ok so notice first we have a form of the verb to be and then we have the past

participle of implement in this case implemented C and E and then oftentimes

we have the word by someone so this is

an example of a passive voice sentence health care reforms were implemented by


so what is the problem with using the passive voice well it takes away the

fact that Obama is the one who implemented the reforms

the sentence is sort of weak a little bit awkward it would be much better if

we had the actor who is Obama's of the person the verb and the object

Obama implemented health care reforms

so this is the active voice ok so if you can have the subject and the verb than

the object instead of the passive voice

so here is another example of this if I wrote in the passive voice I would write

the war was over here we have the form of the be verb 1

here's the past participle a win by another keyword the French the war was

won by the French

so this is again a passive voice sentence in the passive sentence but

it's still a little bit weak in academic writing we want strong scent and food

and a strong sentence has the actor or the person performing the action at the

beginning of the sentence

so instead a better sentence would be the French won the war

so the final tip in this video is when you write academically use strong verbs

ok so what is the strong verb and what is a week

herb i'm going to give you an example I could say he gave assistance to my


ok this is a very weak way of saying he gave assistance to my friend and a

stronger way I could instead just say he assisted my friend

so what is the difference between these two sentences

well in this sentence assistance is a noun

so a better way to write this sentence

anytime you have a verb a noun and you look at the noun and it could be its own

verb use this in a verbal form instead

so for example he gave assistance should become he assisted

ok so this is stronger let's look at another example


I have a week verb made an objection

he made an objection ok so again we have a verb and then a noun

objection but objection can be its own verb

so to make it stronger we get rid of made and we turn

objection into its verbal form objected he objected so he objected is better

than he made an objection

hey another example here we have our example of the week verb

she conducted an investigation

she conducted an investigation but when I look here I see the word investigation

and i think does investigation does this town have a verb form

well yes it does investigate

so instead of saying conduct an investigation

she investigated something a lot better it's stronger

ok finally for a fourth example the week

verb is did an audit

they did an audit on Wesley Snipes I don't know important maybe they did an

audit on someone

so again I see the word audit

so here's a verb and here's a noun

I look at this now and I think audit is there a verb form of the word audit

yes there is Wesley Snipes was audited

but again I told you not to use the passive so i could say

the government audited Wesley Snipes

ok so there you have it five tips that will quickly improve your academic

writing so if you would like to practice some of these tips

come visit us at our website at www.engvid.com until next time