Everything English

Writing and Grammar Tips (beta)

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The Ambiguous “This”

One very useful feature of the English language is that you can refer to extremely complex ideas with a simple four-letter word: “this.” In academic writing especially, “this” is a handy word because it allows you to create a shorthand version of what might otherwise take you five, ten, or twenty (or, heaven forbid, even […]

Active versus Passive Voice

Your English instructor has just assigned a writing project to the class and admonishes everyone to “use active voice in your writing.” You go to your next class, i.e., your microbiology class, and your instructor emphatically states that “you must use passive voice when writing laboratory reports.” So, what is active voice and passive voice? […]

College Essays – The Importance of Concision

When writing academic or technical text, strive to present your research and/or ideas in a concise manner. Some inexperienced writers try to add text to make their point sound more scholarly. In truth, wordiness can cloud your ideas and muddle your point. Most academic and technical authors should be very frugal in their use of […]