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
Precise Language
Rewriting for Concision Exercise
How to Write Clear, Concise, and Direct Sentences
Concise is Nice! An Aid for Writing Concisely
Strunk & White: The Elements of Style

Varying Sentence Structure Building Sentences
Varying Sentence Structure
Sentence Combining Strategies and Exercises
Structure Exercise
Combining and Linking Sentences
Avoiding Repetition
Relative Pronouns Exercise

Style Common Style Concerns
Choosing Active or Passive Voice
Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice
Avoiding Deceitful Language
Avoiding Jargon

Vocabulary A Short Guide to Practicing English
Building Vocabulary
Vocabulary for Thesis Statements
Vocabulary for Introducing Citations
Vocabulary for Case Analyses 
Vocabulary for Cover Letters
Commonly Misused Words (Boise State)
Common Word Usage Errors

Inclusive Writing Inclusive Language
Avoiding Biased Language
Writing About Race, Gender, Class, and Disability
Using Gender Neutral Pronouns
Nonbinary Gender Pronouns