Using the Right Tone and Language in Essay WritingTweet
Essay writing is a tricky task, and students struggle with different aspects of it. Even those who can come up with good arguments may still get low marks because they don’t know how to put forward their arguments in a convincing and effective manner. When writing essays, the tone and language can be just as important as the content. Whether you’re writing to communicate an idea, argue a position or present a report, it’s important to use the right tone and language. Here are three things you should avoid in an essay to keep the tone and language appropriate:
Avoid ‘I’ statements
While you need to present your own ideas in your essay, you should avoid first person statements such as ‘I think…’ and ‘I believe…’. Take this example: ‘I think the government is not investing enough in education as many schools do not have sufficient resources to fully support students’ needs.’ This statement sounds too subjective and lacks authority. It can be reworded to: ‘The government is not investing enough in education as many schools do not have sufficient resources to fully support students’ needs.’
Avoid colloquial language
When writing essays, you’re addressing a broad audience, such as the academic community or the general public. Therefore, it would be inappropriate to use the same type of language you use with friends. To make your writing sound more formal and appropriate, you should avoid using slang and contractions like ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’. However, this doesn’t mean you have to pack your essay with jargon and complex sentence structures. You should still use proper terminology and clear, straightforward sentences to convey your ideas.
Avoid absolute claims
You shouldn’t sound hesitant or uncertain in your essay, but at the same time, you should not force your opinion upon the reader in an intimidating manner. Absolute statements starting with ‘There can be no doubt that…’ or ‘Everyone knows that…’ can be easily refuted and may not seem well supported by research and evidence. To show that you’re aware of the limits of your claims, you can use qualifiers such as ‘most’, ‘often’, ‘more / less likely to’ and ‘may / may not be’.
If you know how to use appropriate tone and language in your essay, your arguments will sound stronger and more persuasive.
There are many other skills in writing that are just as important as this one. At i-Learner, we provide writing courses at all levels to help students become great writers. Students wishing to focus on their academic writing skills can take an essay-focused version of our Love to Write course. Book and assessment or contact our admin team on 3113 8815 to learn more.