Some Grammar Rules That Are Mandatory for Academic Writing

Most of us who are fluent in the English Language, take pride in our expertise in flawless grammar. However, grammar is such that the more you know, more there is to learn. There are definite guidelines of English Grammar that are distinctive to Academic Writing and as PhD scholars, you must know about them.

  1.  The difference between the use of “Which” and “That”:  This is one common mistake that is frequently made by academic writers. They often think that “which” and “that” can be used interchangeably. But this isn’t true. “That “is a restrictive pronoun and can easily be removed from a sentence having an attribution verb such as, said, stated, announced, and contributed. “Which” on the other hand introduces the relative clause that permits non-essential qualifiers.
  2. The difference between the use of “May” and “Might”: Between these two auxiliary verbs also, there is a subtle difference in their use.  While the use of “May” implies a scope of possibility and a decent chance of the event happening, “Might” implies more uncertainty, which means there are far less chances of the event to occur.
  3. The difference between the use of “Less” and “Few”: Academic writers quite often confuse themselves with the use of “Less” and “Fewer”. The difference between both of them is quite simple and straightforward. When the reference is of people of things in a plural context, one must use “Fewer”. However when referring things that belong to the uncountable category or which don’t have a plural, in that case, “Less” is a more appropriate word.
  4. The difference between the use of “Affect” and “Effect”: There is a very clear distinction in the usage of “Affect” and “Effect” in both general as well as Academic English. “Affect” is a verb and has the meaning related to something that has an influence or a difference. “Effect” is used both as a verb or a noun but talks about the out outcome of something.
  5. Usage of Comma with adjectives: The use of comma also has some rules of usage and here are some main rules that you must not forget as an academic writer:
  • Commas should be used to separate coordinate adjectives
  • The cumulative adjectives should not be separated by a comma
  • Commas should be applied  for separation of descriptive adjectives
  • There isn’t a reason to use a comma when the adjective is a modifier for the noun and the remaining adjectives in the sentence.

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