Grammar Tips & Articles »

3 Basic Grammar Rules for Academic Writing

Academic writing is considerably different than other types of writing. When you read acollege-grade paper, you notice that the style and words used are different incomparison to articles you read on websites or in newspapers. Academic assignmentsrequire flawless spelling and grammar, or you risk not getting a good grade. Let’s take alook at the basic grammar rules for academic writing you should follow while writing aresearch paper or other type of essays.

3:38 min read
  Yigal Ben Efraim  —  Grammar Tips
Font size:

Rule #1. Use Proper Punctuation

We assume that you already know the basic rule that you should write complete sentences that have subjects and verbs, and ensure that you start each new sentence with a capital letter. Apart from that, using appropriate punctuation is one of the vital rules you should follow when writing academic papers. The most frequently used options are commas, full stops, dashes, and colons. The crucial point to keep in mind is that you should always strive to write concise and clear sentences. The general rule is that you should tend to keep sentences as short as possible. With that in mind, you should use appropriate punctuation.

Here are some tips that can help in the process of using punctuation marks:

● When using commas, pay attention whether you could split the sentence into two shorter ones instead of dividing it with a comma.

● Aim to avoid question and exclamation marks in an academic assignment. Although you may find room for one or two question marks, exclamations have acounter-effect as they make you over-excited, and you should keep a serious tone.

Minimize the use of dashes – that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize them at all, but try to limit their use.

Colons can be useful to optimize the structure of your assignment. You can place them before lists or long quotations.

Rule #2. Use Passive Voice

Whenever you have the opportunity, you should stick to using active voice. That is the rule for all types of writing, including academic assignments. The reason is that it is difficult for the reader to read a lot of passive sentences, which is why experts suggest avoiding them. Additionally, it may affect the power that your sentences have. Keep in mind that it may be necessary to use passive voice here and there, especially in academic assignments. However, you should aim to keep them under 10% of the total number of sentences included. You can find online counters that will help you to know how many times you used passive voice in an assignment.

Rule #3. Use the Right Words

While your priority should be to keep sentences clear and concise, you are writing anacademic-level assignment. That means there should be room for professional terms and a serious tone. Using the right words will show the reader that you have a good understanding of the topic and know how to use advanced terms. Please note that you shouldn’t use any slang words because they sound unprofessional and diminish the overall quality of your task. For the same reason, you should try to avoid shortening the negations and pronouns. That means you should use “it is” instead of “it’s” and “should not” instead of “shouldn’t.” While we are on the topic, let’s mention the importance of proper spelling.

A single letter may completely change the word meaning. Here are some common examples to avoid making the same mistakes:

Effect and affect – you affect a certain action for it to produce the desired effect.

Fewer and less – you use the former for numbers and the latter for quantity.There are fewer students than the last year and less work than before.

Their and theretheir marks possession while there is an indication of place.

Why Should You Consider Hiring a Writing Service?

Writing might not be your strong point, and you may have some problems with writing clear and concise sentences. It is not easy to ensure that your grammar is flawless, and your content flow is optimal. That is why you may consider asking a professional writing service for help. Professional writers are capable of completing an academic task in a short timeframe, which is why you can consider hiring them if you have limited time to submit your work. It takes a lot of efforts to write a good academic assignment. Apart from ensuring thatyou stay relevant and on topic, you also need to confirm that spelling and grammar are flawless. We mentioned some basic grammar rules in this article with the purpose of helping you to optimize your work properly. We hope that you will consider them useful.

In case you still need writing help, you can always hire a professional writer to do the job for you while you take care of other tasks.

Rate this article:

Have a discussion about this article with the community:

1 Comment
  • LeshBenny
    This is a great article. This is a great resource for Research Paper Examples to help you out in future projects.
    LikeReply1 year ago


Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:


"3 Basic Grammar Rules for Academic Writing." STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <>.

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!


Free Writing Tool:

Grammar Checker

Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


Are you a grammar master?

Identify the sentence with correct use of the preposition 'among':
A He traveled among the countries in Europe.
B They found treasure hidden among the rocks.
C The cat is hiding among the bushes.
D She walked among the crowded streets.

Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.