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Thesis Statement – The Dos and Don’ts to Academic Writing

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Mendeley Public Research Group: Applied Linguistics
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Show Notes
Avoid
Passive voice with non-referential “it”: it has been found, etc.
Overuse of the passive voice – active voice is preferred.
Overuse of pronouns
Overuse of capitalization (e.g., to emphasize or when abbreviations are used, etc.)
Overuse of There is/are – In most cases, avoiding it will produce a better sentence – subject first, then a verb.
There is/are in a topic sentence.
Verb to be in a topic sentence.
Overusing the same verbs: to be and to have are oftentimes overused.
Overusing the semicolon
Comma splice
Sentence fragment
Runon sentence
A transition (see below) that begins a topic sentence (body paragraph)
Bold text except for headings
Bold, italics, and capitalization to emphasize words
Obviously…, Clearly…,
Absolutes: Always, never, everyone, etc.
It is important, it is necessary, etc.
Rhetorical questions
Include
Serial comma
Dynamic (action) verbs
Be consistent with key words or specific words that have certain meanings in education: activity, materials, techniques, methods, approaches, strategies, etc.
A combination of sentence types: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences
A cohesive text includes a transition, using any combination of the following:
Rheme and theme to connect (bridge) ideas from one sentence to the next.
Sentence connectors
Introductory phrases
Subordinating conjunction that begins a sentence (followed by a comma)

MEAL plan for developing each body paragraph
Citations serve as evidence
Evidence precedes analysis sentence(s)
Main idea (topic sentence) begins each body paragraph
Final sentence serves as either a linking sentence or a summarizing sentence.
Linking sentence links current main idea of the paragraph to the next main idea (topic sentence) of the following paragraph.

Italicize foreign (non-English) words and when naming a term (e.g., “The word foreign is hard to spell.).
Approximately five to eight sentences per paragraph

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