1. Higher Education
  2. /
  3. Ten useful words for...

Ten useful words for academic writing

by | Oct 23, 2015 | Higher Education

Ten useful words for academic writing

Academic writing can get very cerebral very quickly. It’s always important to be eloquent in writing – to say the most with the least. Lecturers don’t want literary firework displays just plain simple truth that sparkles. Here are some useful words that may help you say what you need to say clearly and simply:

  • Presently

At the present time; now: there are presently 1,128 people on the waiting list.

Presently is a great way to shift gears in an essay or reconnect with a main thread after elaborating a point.

  • Bolster

Support or strengthen: the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence.

A good way to indicate when a point or evidence adds value to an argument.

  • Imply

Indicate the truth or existence of (something) by suggestion rather than explicit reference: salesmen who use jargon to imply superior knowledge.

Establishing the implications of a statement or stance can help develop an essay significantly.

  • Infer

Deduce or conclude (something) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements:[WITH CLAUSE]: from these facts we can infer that crime has been increasing.

Knowing the difference between imply and infer is very useful. You can argue that the evidence does not imply what person X is inferring from it.

  • Subvert

Undermine the power and authority of an established system or institution: an attempt to subvert democratic government.

Subvert can mean a lot more than ‘challenge’. It’s a challenge on a greater more fundamental level.

  • Advocate

Publicly recommend or support: voters supported candidates who advocated an Assembly.

Expressing what statements or writers advocate is a quick way to express what their suggestions amount to in terms of practice.

  • Juxtaposes / juxtaposition

Place or deal with close together for contrasting effect: black-and-white photos of slums were starkly juxtaposed with colour images.

Useful when drawing binaries in an argument.

  • Paradigm

A typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model: society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’.

Paradigm is an excellent word to express the entire worldview of a person or group.

  • Aesthetic

Giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty: the law applies to both functional and aesthetic objects.

Aesthetic can be a useful word to capture the intended quality a certain subject intends to give off. The company’s aesthetic is minimalist and sophisticated.

  • Problematic

Constituting or presenting a problem: the situation was problematic for teachers.

A great way to label an argument you find to be lacking or flawed.




Latest Articles

Oxford CAPS approved

View online samples of our trusted classroom solutions and support material across all phases and subjects.

Bigger, better, brighter

and more beautiful than ever before!

Brand new editions of our popular CAPS-linked bilingual dictionaries for South African learners in Grade R to 4

360° teaching at your fingertips

The all-in-one teacher’s toolbox