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Some writers think that academic audiences expect them to “sound smart” by using big or technical words.But the most important goal of academic writing is not to sound smart—it is to communicate an argument or information clearly and convincingly.When you choose words to express your ideas, you have to think not only about what makes sense and sounds best to you, but what will make sense and sound best to your readers.
You may find yourself using words and grammatical constructions that you didn’t use in your high school writing.
Ask yourself if there is one word that means the same thing as the cliché.
If there isn’t, can you use two or three words to state the idea your own way?
Why, you wonder, are instructors so fond of terms like “awkward”?
Most instructors use terms like this to draw your attention to sentences they had trouble understanding and to encourage you to rewrite those sentences more clearly.