Using contractions in academic writing

I think that raising the daytime speed limit to 70 mph on uncongested highways encourages drivers to unsafely drive over the maximum limit.

Using contractions in academic writing

Do you mean that there's not really a reason for it, it's just what the teacher likes the best? As Mark notes, different groups have different rules.

Academia schools tend to prefer "formal" writing, and somewhere along the line someone decided that contractions were always "informal. Because of course you can, physically; English infinitives are two words. But in Latin and its derivatives, they are not.

But it's easy for a native English speaker to say to boldly go. It doesn't impede comprehension in the slightest. That's why the rule is so often broken. People who say you can never split an infinitive in English are prioritizing this shibboleth.

Your teacher may feel the same way about contractions. Native speakers use them easily and they don't impede comprehension, so they're not inherently "wrong" — just not "allowed" for this context. The using contractions in academic writing itself, of course, will always pretend that the rule really matters.

They tend to talk about "maintaining standards" as if that mattered in abstract. As Lauren's examples illustrate, these shibboleths don't affect comprehension, so they are not really rules of grammar or language.

Grammar: Contractions

They are additional rules used to signal membership in a class or club. When we learn the craft of writing, it is helpful to take us out of our natural conversational style. A conversational style can be appropriate for many kinds of writing, but developing the skills to write in other styles is at least helpful, and in some cases it's critical.

I can think of three types of writing off the top of my head where attention to seemingly minor details, like contractions, is very important: I'm sure there are others.

Potentially all writing can be improved by attention to word choice, but details of word choice can be especially critical in these three categories. In all three of the above cases, mostly because they are spoken aloud and heard, as opposed to read, tone and meter are highly important.

By tone, I'm referring to the phonological content of each word.

Common Questions and Answers about Contractions in academic writing

By meter, I mean the pattern of strong and weak syllables. Contractions share a few tonal qualities that can be problematic. Contractions are formed by eliminating vowel sounds and compressing two or more consonant morae into one syllable. In some cases, two or more unvoiced consonants are put together e.

Consonant clusters can slow down singing and speaking and also create phonological noise and ambiguity. Consider both the auditory and lingual physical experiences of the following ways that say approximately the same thing: Never is included as a contrast because it is completely voiced and includes no stops.

Next, consider the meter of the following four phrases that again, all have similar meanings meter for each phrase is indicated in parenthesis: Don't think strong strong Do not think weak strong strong Do not ponder weak strong strong weak Never ponder strong weak strong weak From a metrical standpoint, don't think is bordering on a disaster.

A third strong syllable would make the phrase sound like a fall down some stairs, and don't think alone is a bit of stumble. Never ponder has a much more musical trochaic flow. Tack on another two to seven metrically related syllables and repeat at least part of the line, and you've got the beginning of a song or persuasive speech.

Finally, even though we got here by discussing sound, note the stronger and more nuanced meaning of never ponder versus don't think.If you are engaged in formal writing, I would suggest that you avoid using all contractions.

This includes cover letters, résumés, theses, essays, etc. Because the use of contractions seems more informal, you should avoid them in any instance in which you want to portray a professional, respected image.

using contractions in academic writing, such as a research paper, is usually not encouraged because it can make your writing sound informal. In writing situations that are informal, such as blog posts or personal narratives, using contractions is acceptable, unless your professor states otherwise.

Informal. Jun 10,  · I was taught the no contractions rule applies more to academic writing than formal.

Too informal

However, in high school I was never allowed to use them. I am not saying you should use them in your personal statement but to say you should never use them in a . Ending academic writing tips with useful phrases A final paragraph can be a summary of the information given in the body of the writing (“To summarise the information given above, ”, etc) and/ or a conclusion leading on from the.

using contractions in academic writing

English Composition 1 Formal Writing Voice. Most academic writing uses a formal tone. Making your writing more formal by avoiding contractions is easy: just find the contractions and replace them with the non-contracted versions of the words. 4.

Avoid colloquialism and slang expressions. Academic writing need not be complicated, but it does need to have an element of formality. Your choice of words for an academic assignment should be more considered and careful.

Avoid contractions.

Tips on writing academic English | Wordy