Writing tip of the week

by Harriet Castor

When you’re writing an essay, you may sometimes be tempted to use complicated words or phrases in an effort to sound more ‘academic’.

Resist the temptation!

It’s wonderful to have complex, subtle ideas and arguments, but it’s best to express them as clearly and simply as you can. So, if you find yourself writing long and complicated sentences, ask yourself how you can make those sentences easier to understand. Should that long sentence be split into two? Are there any phrases that could be made shorter? For example, you can usually replace “due to the fact that” with “because”, or “concerning the matter of” with “about”.

Simple, clear writing is the best tool for expressing complicated ideas. And it makes you sound more confident, too!

For a confidential one-to-one session with me to work on your writing skills, email Harriet.Castor@uwe.ac.uk.

I’m at Frenchay on Wednesdays and St Matthias on Thursdays.

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