The language we speak with friends and the language we use in academic/formal writing are quite different. Knowing this one of the first key steps in college success.
How do we learn how to make our writing more academic?
A few easy tips are:
1) Avoid contractions
2) Avoid the informal "YOU" pronoun (use WE or a specific noun to indicate whom you are referring to)
3) Avoid informal expressions such as "guy," "kid," and "stuff."
4) Don't start sentences with FANBOYS such as BUT, AND, SO. Instead, use clear transition words to link ideas (however, thus, therefore, in addition)
For more suggestions, visit these helpful sites:
The DC IELTS page
English Grammar page
University of Surrey (a helpful printable reference page!)
CPALMS Writing Tips
UMC Writing Center (information on word choices)
Purdue Owl Word Choice Tips
For practice with this skills, try these:
Practice 2 (word choice)
Practice 3 (word choice)
Practice 4 (word choice)
Looking for more? Check out these more advanced articles on how to become a better writer!
Article 3 (very advanced- more tips from the Purdue Owl)
Article 4 (Tips for ESL writers- advanced article)