Coffee Break

Types of Language to Avoid When Writing a Research Paper

When writing a research paper, it is vitally important to use clear, concise, and formal language. Certain types of language should be avoided in academic writing in order to present ideas accurately and professionally. When composing a research paper, steer clear of ambiguous language, overly complex jargon, and biased expressions; for refined and precise language choices, consider consulting a pro research paper writing service to ensure clarity and professionalism in your academic writing. Carefully examining word choices and phrasing is key. This comprehensive post will discuss three major categories of language to steer clear of when writing research papers, along with specific examples and alternative suggestions for each category.

Informal Language Diminishes Academic Tone

Using informal language greatly diminishes the academic tone of a research paper. Casual word choices should be omitted in favor of more sophisticated alternatives that align with conventions for formality. Here are some common types of informal language to avoid:

  1. Slang – Slang terms and idiomatic expressions, like “stuff” instead of “material”, have no place in research writing. Similarly, colloquialisms and figures of speech should not be used. Even if the meaning would be understood, these phrases detract from academic style.
  2. Contractions – Contracted forms of verbs, like “can’t” and “won’t” instead of “cannot” and “will not”, are considered too informal for research papers. The non-contracted forms sound more sophisticated and scholarly. Contractions are comfortable in speech and casual writing, but research conventions call for avoiding abbreviated word forms.
  3. First-Person Pronouns – Referring to yourself using “I”, “we”, “me”, “us”, “my”, or “our” is typically too personal for a research paper. It is better to use third-person pronouns or to omit pronouns completely to retain objectivity. Unless necessary to describe methodology, avoid first-person usage. Using your own perspective excessively can cross over into presenting opinions rather than facts.
  4. Second-Person Pronouns – Directly addressing readers as “you” is generally unsuitable for body paragraphs. While this technique is very common in guides, instructions, or conversational language, it comes across as too casual for academic compositions. Reserve “you” for directions on how to interpret data or conduct experiments. Do not use it to tell readers what to think or believe. Maintain the clarity and professionalism of your research paper by avoiding vague language and overly casual expressions; for budget-friendly yet high-quality editing and guidance, explore the support offered by the best cheap essay writing services to enhance the overall effectiveness of your academic writing.
  5. Colloquial Expressions – Sayings like “at the end of the day” or “on the other hand” are clichéd and casual. More formal equivalents should be used instead. Idioms may efficiently communicate an idea conversationally, but traditional academic writing calls for spelling the idea out fully.

Keep in mind that expectations for formality depend partially on context. For example, research papers in humanities disciplines may permit some terminology or phrasing frowned upon by hard science journals. When first learning academic writing conventions, however, it is best to veer toward the formal for all subjects.

Emotive Language Undermines Credibility

Expressing personal emotions is almost never appropriate in research writing. Subjectivity and dramatic word choices diminish credibility. Types of emotive language to avoid include:

  • Intensifiers – Words like “really”, “totally”, “very”, and “extremely” placed before adjectives or adverbs adds intensity unrelated to facts. Using them can sound overenthusiastic in academic writing where restraint is valued. Modifying objective descriptions with intensifiers injects personal feeling.
  • Exaggerated Adjectives – Similarly, adjectives that exaggerate qualities beyond what research reasonably supports should not be included. Examples are “incredible”, “extraordinary”, “remarkable”, etc. More impartial language better conveys accuracy rather than excitement over results.
  • Personal Opinion Statements – Avoid using overt opinion terms like “hopefully”, “surprisingly”, “wrongly”, “fortunate”, etc. These reveal bias and impose the writer’s perspectives onto readers. Keep language neutral instead, allowing audiences to draw own conclusions.
  • Appeals to Emotion – Tugging at readers’ heartstrings by referring to moral ideals, social causes, or other emotional topics is manipulative. Research papers rely on logic and evidence only. While passionate about your work, avoid fervor in writing.
  • Inclusive Pronouns – “We” and “our” should be avoided when referring to groups you do not belong to. Misidentifying yourself with others to influence readers is unethical. Specify groups accurately based on definitions and membership qualifications. Do not claim camaraderie where none exists.

Inaccurate Statements Mislead Readers

Finally, any definite statements not thoroughly validated by research sources may misinform readers and must be left out. Types of claims requiring proof include:

  • Generalizations – Broad claims about entire groups of people, disciplines of study, geographical regions, etc. typically oversimplify and lack substantive evidence. Unless research provides explicit backup for vast generalizations, they should not be stated as fact. Note trends without stereotyping.
  • Assumptions – Assuming details about theories, phenomena, or data that are not conclusively confirmed introduces potential fiction and misunderstandings. Clearly indicate what is directly stated by research versus what is speculated. Separate observed correlations from conjectured causes.
  • Causal Statements – Asserting that one thing caused another without methodical experimentation and analysis to rule out other influencing factors is academically irresponsible. Establish factual correlational relationships only. Even if evidence suggests causation, acknowledging other possible reasons adds integrity.

Carefully Qualify Claims

When in doubt over whether phrasing meets academic publishing standards, simplify language and double-check word choices against style guides or samples in reputable journals. Remove biased, dramatized, or baseless content that distracts from research-focused discussion. Adhere to conventions for objectiveness and rely on hard evidence. Insert qualifying terms like “may” or “indicates” before making definitive claims.

With practice, conforming to formal style guidelines becomes second nature. Strict avoidance of unsuitable language ultimately improves the clarity and polish of research papers. Mastering an academic voice and eradicating informal tones or misleading hype takes time. But conscious self-editing to erase language shortcomings can tremendously sharpen research writing abilities.

Quick Reference Guide

To review, here are examples of language types to delete when composing research papers:

Informal Language

  • Slang – “stuff”, “crappy”
  • Contractions – “can’t”, “don’t”
  • First-Person Pronouns – “I”, “we”
  • Second-Person Pronouns – “you”
  • Colloquialisms – “ticked off”

Emotive Language

  • Intensifiers – “very”, “totally”
  • Exaggerated Adjectives – “incredible”
  • Opinion Statements – “unfortunately”
  • Appeals to Emotion – “just cause”
  • Inclusive Pronouns – “our nation”

Inaccurate Statements

  • Generalizations – “all studies show”
  • Assumptions – “must be due to”
  • Causal Statements – “undoubtedly causes”

With attentiveness, any of these problematic language types are avoidable while still clearly conveying complex research.