Clarity & Style

It’s often not enough for your writing to contain strong ideas—you also need it to sound good: clear, concise, convincing. You might be tempted to pepper your sentences with big words or elaborate metaphors, but less is almost always more in academic writing. Read below for more on developing a style that lets your ideas shine. (Excuse the metaphor.)

For further support, check out our workshop series on Revising and Process, or schedule an appointment with one of our writing consultants.


Sentence Level Clarity Word Choice
Avoiding Wordiness
Phrases and Words to Omit
Avoiding Clichés
Example of Revising for Precision
Rewriting for Concision Exercise

Varying Sentence Structure Common Sentence Structures
Choosing the Position of Emphasis
Varying Sentence Structure
Combining and Linking Sentences
Avoiding Repetition
Structure Exercise

Style Overview of Style Concerns
Common Style Concerns
Tone: Levels of Formality
Using Jargon
Choosing Active or Passive Voice
Avoiding Deceitful Language
Avoiding Biased Language

Vocabulary Building Vocabulary
Quizzes on Word Parts, Vocabulary, and Reading in Context
Commonly Misused Words (Amherst College)
Commonly Misused Words (Hunter College)
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