Writing in an Academic / Professional Style

Abstract vs Introduction

An abstract contains a brief summary of the text, including the conclusion.  With it, the reader can decide if they need to read the paper for more details.

Suggested contents: Background, objectives, methods, results and conclusion

An introduction starts a text by explaining the background in detail to get the reader interested in continuing, much like with stories.  An abstract is an introduction while an introduction is not an abstract.

In professional and academic work, abstracts are more usual.

Formulating the objective

Which is best?

  1. I will explain why X is better than Y
  2. This essay will examine why X is better than Y
  3. This essay will prove that X is better than Y
  4. X is better than Y because of a, b, c.

Expressions to use


This is better.
This is better than

This is the result
This has an impact on
This shows/demonstrates

Less sure statements

Data tends to show something
Data shows that more often than not, x is bigger than y
Users tend to do something
Users are likely to do something

Using evidence

It should be considered that
Consider the evidence that shows
Considering points a+B,
Data shows that
Data reveals that
Data found reveals that
This concept/idea/fact is supported by/backed up by
This is backed up by the fact that

BALANCING arguments

(biased work is not acceptable) !

Refuting this idea,
In opposition,
On the other hand,


John McDog said “X-Y=Z”

This is a basic expression.  For students worried about word counts, quotes usually cannot be counted as they are not your own words, therefore it’s always better to paraphrase:

According to McDog (2017), X – Y = Z


X – Y = Z (McDog 2017).

Use footnotes for more details, bibliography for information to find the source




Do NOT add:

  • New information
  • Quotes
  • Questions
  • Whimsical talk about the future


  • Summarise
  • Conclude

It is clear that
It can be seen
It can be concluded
The inverse can be seen
The impact is clear
X is better than Y because of a,b,c.
While X is an important point, it should be considered that ….
Comparing X and Y, it can be perceived that ….

Higher level writing will conclude without using the words “conclude/conclusion/summary” because it is made clear by summarising the argument.

Poor examples of writing

Synonyms Exercise

Find the pairs

Demonstrate append
Think up show
Convene contradict
Be a sign for Negate
By which denote
Add thereby
To live / lie rather
In this way conceive
Make useless the converse
Cause Crucial
Go against whereby
The opposite meet
very important Trigger
despite this perceive
Somewhat To reside
Use notwithstanding
likewise utilise
See Similarly


Academic Writing Test

1.Improve this title: X is the best tool

2. Write out the essay plan for this essay, using bullet points

Copy into your document and then complete the following sentences :

3. This has an _____ on the efficiency.

4. This ____ a high rate of success

5. _______ points A+B, it is clear that X is the best solution.

6. This argument is ______ by clear evidence.

7. This is the best solution, there is no _______ (other) that comes close.

8. This is a _______ (important) point.

9. X sold more than Y which proved it was more successful, ________ 70% of those customers wanted a refund. (however / but)

10. This data shows a _______ increase in sales (very big)



11. Rewrite using the passive: I collected the data in 2017.


12. Rewrite in an academic way : John Smith proved in 2016 that the most efficient process was to recycle