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If you are a beginner in university, you will face trouble with your academic writing. University papers are written in a more concise and orderly manner. Your high school paper may have included subject knowledge and are comparatively of less word length than a university paper. 

But academic writing can range from 2000 - to 50,000 words, and composing university level papers requires intense research. You will have to add various subject matter knowledge and make it theme centric. Another important feature of academic writing is that it has to be simple without using much jargon. 

Tip: Use an active voice in your writing. An academic paper is written in a present-continuous speech regardless of the original study (you used as reference) being a decade old. 

Adding to the information, several taboo words in academic writing cannot be used throughout your writing. Using these words will make your writing less precise and take away from the effectiveness of your writing. Some literary devices should be avoided in academic writing. Let’s find them out. Shall we?

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What are some Taboo Words and Examples that should be avoided in Academic Writing?

Academic writing aims to deliver the knowledge directly and impartially. There isn’t much leeway to state facts or concepts mysteriously. You must write to the point and simple without much ambiguity; here’s what to avoid to ensure the same.

Words denoting ambiguity

Words like thing, stuff, so many, and a while should be avoided. Such words hold ambiguity and fail to deliver the paper's information precisely. For example, several things will be required in this paper, or it took a great deal of time for the universe to evolve into one we witness today.

Words indicating Informality

Avoid informal taboo words like call off, kind of, or first-person writing (you or I). These terms are technically not acceptable in academic writing. You will seem amateurish or unprofessional for doing the same. For example, the experiment was called off, or the result was kind of different from the forecast. 

Words that are too rudimentary

Try avoiding the use of words like getting, good, check or show unless necessary. Though these words aren’t very ambiguous or informal, still they lack accuracy when not used properly. For example, big research time or the outcome was not good.

Words that signify hyperbolism

This is the most common mistake many students make in academic writing. The use of very, most, always, never, and little can be misleading, making writing inaccurate. For example, the perfect conclusion or always following the procedure.

Subjective taboo words and phrases

Academic writing should be impartial. You should avoid using words like naturally, ugly, and obviously. For example, we got a horrible result for the experiment, or the experiment turned out obviously good. 

Academic writing is of many types - analytical, persuasive, descriptive, and critical, to name a few. You will use an appropriate writing style based on the type and theme of your academic assignment. 

Avoid these taboo words examples in your academic writing. You can try reading academic journals and texts to decipher the right way to go with your academic writing. Practising is yet another important factor for improving your academic writing. Focus on writing more concisely; there are several writing formats and literary devices that you must also avoid. 

Working through your assignments will require you to go through the various stages of researching, drafting, compiling your research papers, ect. It can get overwhelming to do all of it; get academic writing help to get free resources and affordable live guided sessions. Our experts can help you throughout the process of compiling your assignment. 

What are a few Literary Devices and Writing Techniques that shouldn’t be used in Academic Writing?

Several literary devices and a few writing formats must be avoided in academic writing. The chances are that you might be using some of them. It is good to avoid using many literary devices, making the writing more difficult to understand. Here's another list of taboo words and devices that you must avoid in academic writing:


It is a literary device that provides depth and profundity to a text. Idioms are generally used in creative writing as the reader can translate the text in many ways. But, in academic writing use of idioms must be avoided. Academic writing must be to the point; the reader must immediately know your context rather than figure it out.


Another literary device that you should avoid. A metaphor is a literary device where the writer aggravates a situation greatly. For example, The experiment’s result was so good that we could literally win a Nobel prize. Writing like this is unacceptable in an academic paper.


Common phrases - “prevention is better than cure” or “in the eye of the storm” - are not suitable for academic papers. Firstly, the context of academic writing is very concise and next; you have to write in a manner that is easy to understand.

Rhetorical questions

An academic paper should not contain rhetorical questions as the academic writing format consists of Q & A’s. Rhetorical questions are often useful in argument essays, but using such in case studies or reports will cost you a grade or two.


Academic writing is formal, down to each word you write on your paper. Using “awesome”, “hella fine”, and “rad” can be offensive. Literally, do not use slang terms in your writing; slang terms are distracting and will downgrade your writing manifolds. 

Did you know that academic writing is based on features like conventions, word choice, presentation, ideas, voice, organisation and sentence fluency?

Reflective reports and personal statements are a few of the academic papers that have a less formal approach, and these devices and words may be used in them. Knowing the eros is the key to avoiding errors. Hopefully, you learnt what to avoid and how to make it better. Practise your writing, and let’s learn some do’s of academic writing.

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What are some rules and exceptions of Academic Writing?

Here are a few writing steps that are a must in academic writing:

  • Paraphrasing is indeed allowed in writing a university assignment. You have to be cautious in doing so, as there should be no plagiarism in your work.
  • In your assignment, you can also use a direct quote from a book or an influential profession from the field of study.
  • Do reference correctly, not just the data or facts but add references for all the diagrams, images or tables used in your assignment.
  • After the conclusion section, add a separate section for all the references, and list them with page and paragraph numbers.
  • Keep a record of the original links or reference material. If you miss any while referencing, you can always add it from your records.

According to the standard statutes of academic writing, these taboo word examples, literary devices, and writing formats shall not be used (unless needed). When composing an essay, words are your allies, and when used precisely, they highlight the paper’s theme. Hence, making it more effective and accurate to the marking rubric.

If you need help with your projects or get your work done independently. Keep writing and keep striving to get better each day. Getting help is easy and quick; it ensures good grades. We can help you with drafting, writing, and proofreading through our experts. Fill out the form to get academic writing help today.

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Jacob is an erudite professional who has a strong command of the concepts involved in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Being a reputed economist in Australia for the last seven years, he provides online tutoring sessions to students worldwide. This is due to his love for teaching that he has always been available to cater to queries in different areas within the broad paradigm of economics. For the same reason, he has joined hands with My Assignment Services to provide expert consultation to students who find it challenging to deal with their university assignments.


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