Proper vocabulary for academic reports


When it comes to academic reports, the choice of words is of essence. One must refrain from using contractions such as can’t, isn’t or short forms of words because they appear informal and academic reports should reflect a more professional and formal approach. Furthermore, the reports must be comprehensible, which means, the words should be precise.

The suggestions on how to prepare academic reports are as follows:

  1. Use professional language
  2. Use proper transitions.
  3. Avoid repetition or unnecessary words.
  4. Be cautious about not misusing words.

A careful selection of words can interest the readers and convey the message, that one’s work is worthwhile. However, if your words turn out to be ambiguous, the reader would soon lose interest, and, may not comprehend the content, after all.

1. Use proper language: Words we use every day may be unsuitable for academic reports. One should refrain from using words that are casual or sound unprofessional.

For example, while reporting work done by others instead of ‘A couple of researchers have found out’, it is better, if we use a statement like ‘several researchers have discovered that’.
The use of slang words or abbreviations also gives a wrong impression.

2. Use proper transitions: Transitions are imperative for a report. They are conducive to a reader’s understanding of the content .The suitable transition ensures that the report is comprehensible.
The following statements will help in understanding the right use of transitions:

  • People have strong view points on the concept of euthanasia .ON THE OTHER HAND they consider euthanasia a morally correct step.
  • People have strong view points on the concept of euthanasia .They ALSO consider euthanasia a morally correct step.

In the above mentioned statements the use of ON THE OTHER HAND, is wrong because what follows it is not different from the earlier statements. However, using ALSO is an appropriate transition. It takes the story forward, so to speak.

3. Avoid repetition or unnecessary words: Being concise, is the essence of academic reports. Redundancy only makes it harder to put one’s point across. The emphasis should be on clarity of the content.

The following statement is an example of redundancy:
‘There is a more preferable way to do the work’

If you prefer one thing, it automatically means that you like it more than the other. Hence, the use of MORE is unnecessary.

4. Be cautious about not misusing words: We unknowingly misuse certain words such as LESSER instead of LESS. For example, ‘the movie finished in LESSER time than expected.’

Be sure to prepare a report with a formal vocabulary and to write precisely. Safe to say, it is better to use simple words than to confuse the reader.

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