Writing web content and copy is not the same as writing an academic essay.
Academic writing is all about the evidence, whereas commercial work needs to be written in a persuasive tone. You are trying to sell your audience on an idea or product. For this reason, it is important to check the tone and voice that you are using.
Your web content writing style cannot be the same as writing academic papers.
One of the most common mistakes that I see students make is to use a lot of academic words and phrases in their content writing. The problem with this approach, however, is that it can come across as being too formal or stuffy for a commercial audience to read through easily.
The main reason why you want your blog post to be accessible is that you want your readers to feel like they can relate with you. If your content sounds too technical, formal or academic then it may not connect well with the reader base which will impact on their willingness to engage further with what you are writing about and ultimately this could affect how successful your blog post becomes.
When it comes to the writing process for content for your blog post, you need to think of it as if you are writing an article or story. The key is to get into the mind of a reader and write in such a way that they can relate with what you are saying.
In this blog post, I have outlined a few ways in which you can avoid the academia voice in your writing and create commercial web content.
What are the 10 rules of academic writing?
Academic writing has its own writing rules. Since it calls for formal writing, these rules are what differentiates it vastly from commercial writing. Here are the most fundamental rules of academic writing:
Academic writing is formal
This is the most basic requirement of academic writing. It has to be formal and that means it cannot have any slang or abbreviations in it. This makes your content sound very stiff, especially if you are dealing with topics like physics which are already complex enough for audiences to understand at first go.
Avoid using words such as “suddenly” when describing an event because they make up informal expressions and do not fit into this type of writing unless you are specifically trying to make a point by using them. Also avoid making sentences longer than necessary just so that you can insert some complicated sounding vocabulary in them- nobody likes reading excessively long sentences either!
Academic writing is structured around key concepts
One of the easiest ways to keep your writing organized, make you sound smart and help the audience understand what you are saying is to structure it around key concepts. Meaning dividing all of your content into distinct parts with a specific focus on each part in order to make sure that nobody gets confused when reading them back-to-back.
You can use numbers or bullets to indicate which concept belongs where, but always ensure that the numbering system follows an obvious theme throughout; if not, readers might get overwhelmed by too much information at once!
Academic writing uses long sentences and paragraphs
Your sentence structure revolves around long sentences and paragraphs may seem like great ways of making your word count go up, especially if you tend to write quickly without thinking about how complex it would be for someone else to actually read over your content, but the truth is they make up a big no-no in academic writing.
Academic writing requires specific examples from existing literature
In order to help readers understand what you are saying better rather than just reading about ideas which have been discussed multiple times before, always include concrete examples of how these concepts might translate into practice. If you didn’t take time out to actually search for real life examples, then you risk looking as though your writing lacks authenticity.
Academic writing requires citing sources whenever necessary
In order to avoid plagiarism and show that you have not just copied ideas from other published work without understanding where they come from or why people might use them in their own content (unless it is a commonly known fact), always ensure the text includes citations whenever there are examples of research which back up what you say. This will make sure nobody accuses you of taking shortcuts because if your audience finds out about this later on, even after reading through all those studies for themselves, trust me- it won’t be pretty!
Academic writing emphasizes logical structure rather than creativity
The beauty of academic writing is the way it makes sure that every point is backed up with a reason and evidence. So, if you are writing for academics (for example as part of your dissertation), then be prepared to see sentences which give reasons rather than just stating facts because this is how they will expect things to happen!
Academic writing requires avoiding specialized words whenever possible
Specialized words might sound like good ways of making content more impressive but in reality, academic audiences know them all too well and probably have no interest in reading about these terms unless there’s something new or unique about what you say using those complicated expressions. If not, they might look at your essay with an eye-roll worthy expression so try and avoid even mentioning such phrases when writing for academics.
Academic writing uses a third-person point of view
The truth is academic writing requires a lot of objectivity and this means that you cannot use first person pronouns such as “I” or second person words like “we.” Instead, everything should be addressed in the third-person point of view so remember to avoid using expressions which will make it seem as though you are talking directly to your audience!
Academic writing avoids using contractions with the exception of “I” and “we”
Academic writings only use certain words that are considered appropriate for scientific publications, such as hyphenation or italicization. In addition to this rule, there is also an extensive list of abbreviations which should be used in order to pass through peer review successfully.
They include many different types from biochemical processes (e.g., ATP) to ethical issues involved with human subjects research studies (iCHASR).
Academic writing requires avoiding the use of personal pronouns
One of the biggest rules when it comes to academic writing is that you should not refer to yourself or even mention your name at all unless necessary because this will make an essay seem more like a personal blog post rather than something professional.
For example, instead of saying “I’m going to tell my readers about…” try and rephrase such sentences as “in order for our audience members (AM) (i.e., potential consumers-PCs)….” This way, they won’t know whether those words were written by someone who has experience in science or somebody with no previous knowledge whatsoever!
What are the 10 rules of writing commercial content:
To write perfect commercial content, you must:
- Be aware of who your target audience is and what they would like to read.
- Define the purpose of your commercial content.
- Know what you want to say.
- Use visuals and multimedia elements, such as images or videos.
- Make sure that your online content is SEO-friendly before publishing it on any blog or website platform.
- Borrow words from other sources but make sure you do not plagiarize them
- Avoid using unnecessary jargon or acronyms the reader might not know.
- Keep the sentences Short and Sweet.
- To avoid writing academic tones, keep your sentences short and sweet. Write in an active voice rather than passive voice; this will make the content more dynamic and engaging to read (and thus avoiding sounding like an essay).
- Use short paragraphs of text as well – try not to exceed one paragraph per screen on a computer monitor or smartphone
- Check for spelling and grammar mistakes before publishing. Perfect language is a clear indication of good writing skills.
- Avoid passive voice: “We will announce a winner.” vs The winner will be announced by us. Use active language and present tense verbs: “The results show that…” vs Results showed that….
- Use contractions when appropriate: “We need to do this.” vs We must do this.
- Be careful with your word choice Do not overuse other words such as “that” in your writing content
- Avoid using too many adjectives and adverbs as they can weaken sentences and reduce impact: The dog ran quickly towards us. vs The quick-running
Make sure your writing is as clear as possible for your audience: Avoid jargon or technical terms unless you are certain they would be understood by those reading the content.
Use simple words. If unsure about their understanding level, such as using “patients” instead of “participants”. Write short sentences and avoid unnecessary phrases.
What Tone Is Used In Writing?
What is Tone?
Tone is the attitude, mood or feeling that a writer uses to convey his point and keep readers interested.
Here are some examples:
I’m happy you’re here! We’ve been waiting for you all day. – excited and cheerful
You can’t sit with us. – dismissive and unkind
Oh hi! What brings you here? – happy and welcoming
Tone in Writing: Conversational vs. Academic
What is the difference between conversational tone and academic voice?
While both strive to keep readers engaged, they do it in different ways. Conversational tone makes use of contractions (e.g., I’m, we’ve), colloquialisms (e.g., sit with), and slang (e.g., you guys) to create a sense of intimacy between writer and reader, while academic voice is more formal language.
It employs sophisticated vocabulary words, complex sentence structures and passive verbs that distance the writer from readers by trying not to draw too much attention to itself:
I am pleased to be here today. – dry and unemotional
You will not be allowed into these sessions without an appropriate pass. – distancing perspective through the use of contractions
and formal language.
Rules to Observe in Conversational Tone
- Conversational tone is meant to create an inviting and friendly atmosphere, so use it sparingly. Don’t overdo contractions or slang language because you want your readers to feel like they’re talking directly with the writer.
We’ve got a lot of work to do, so let’s get started.
- Leave out the ‘s’ at the end of a verb if it doesn’t make sense:
He likes going on campouts with his friends whenever he has time off from college. Going is not something that you can have or give away, so leave it out.
- Avoid using a word when you can replace it with something simpler:
She is an excellent writer, who has written many articles for local newspapers in the past three years. – Who is not needed here because ‘who’ does not refer to anything else in the sentence; it’s just extra words that do not add clarity.
Once you have mastered conversational tone, It will be very easy for you to write commercial content.
The outstanding difference between Business Writing and Scientific writing
Scientific writing has to do with the level of formality. Business writing has a strong voice, but it is not scholarly or academic in tone.
Business writing should be conversational and informal yet still maintain professionalism.
Commercial content needs to sound like you are having an easy conversation about your topic – just as if you were just talking out loud to yourself.
It should sound like you just had a conversation with your best friend – but be sure that the topic is interesting to whoever might read it!
When writing commercial content, avoid using difficult words. Write in such a way that someone who just took an undergrad science class could understand what you are talking about without having to look up every other word on their dictionary app.
While in business writing just a few sentences make a paragraph. They could be just one sentence or two. Scientific writing is more complex than business content, it should still be easy to read and understand by just about anyone capable of reading English sentences.
While scientific writing uses formal language that might sound very stiff, business writing sounds friendly and conversational – just like the people you would expect to meet in a typical day at work or school.
Avoid using too many numbers because they can make your article feel cold and overly factual! Try not to use words like “significantly” when there are other ways around them (like changing some wording altogether). Also avoid phrases like “the results show” as much as possible; instead, write things like “we found out” which gives readers another
Which strategy can you use to bring out your voice in your writing?
There are a few things that you can do to bring out your voice in writing.
First, write from an active point of view instead of passive. Second, use contractions when appropriate and third, choose words carefully so they don’t sound too formal or academic. These three strategies will help to give your commercial content a conversational tone without having the Academia Voice we all know far too well!
The Active and Passive Voice in Commercial Writing
The Active Voice is more direct, where the subject of a sentence performs an action. It’s good for bragging about your work or yourself because it places you in control of what happens with your writing.
The Passive Voice is indirect and distancing because the performer of the action isn’t specified. Use this voice when you’d rather not take responsibility for consequences that may arise from using “you” statements, such as legal issues.
Let’s look at some examples:
Active Voice: You will fall in love with the new product pages.
Passive Voice: The new product pages will be loved by you.
The first sentence is active, and it’s clear that the product pages are doing something to cause this reaction. It’s an assertive statement of fact because “you” statements indicate certainty about what happens next or who was responsible for it happening.
This sentence also uses “I” statements instead of putting blame on other people, so there won’t be any legal issues if they use it as a claim in their ad campaigns or marketing materials.
In comparison, the second sentence is passive—the subject isn’t specified (it could even be implied). That makes the sentence less direct and assertive, which is why “you” statements are often used to avoid legal issues.
However, it’s also not as certain about what will happen next because there isn’t a clear “cause-and-effect” relationship between the new product pages and you falling in love with them. Think of how much more confident someone would be if they said something like this instead:
Active Voice: You’re going to fall in love with our new product page designs.
Passive Voice: Our new product page design will be loved by you.”
Now that second example is active—the subject performs an action on itself (falling in love). This time, we have certainty again because “you” statements indicate that the performer of the action is you, which means it’s a direct statement about what will happen.
This sentence also uses “I” statements instead of putting blame on other people, so there won’t be any legal issues if they use it as a claim in their ad campaigns or marketing materials.
This kind of language often comes across as more confident and assertive than using passive voice. To avoid those problems because “you” statements are always positive—they don’t leave room for possible complications later down the line from negative consequences.”
Why Should You Avoid The Academic Voice/Tone in Commercial Writing
Here are some reasons why you should avoid the academic voice/tone in your commercial writing:
– It can make your content seem less accessible to a wider audience.
– Sometimes it’s better to use more common words and phrases instead of uncommon or formal ones. For example, “utilize” is an appropriate word for professional writing, but the phrase “use” would be better if you are trying to reach a wide range of readers with your commercial content.
– Academic language often makes sentences lengthy and complicated so they may read as too formal or impersonal in commercial contexts where you need direct communication that is easy to understand from one person to another. In this case, simple sentence structure works best as long as its precise enough for clear understanding by those who will read the academic paper/commercial content.
– If you use academic language, the reader may think that your information is not credible because it’s too complicated or difficult to understand. If you are communicating with an audience of professionals, then direct communication should be used in commercial writing for best results.
– The more specialized the topic (i.e., specific application software), the less likely academic style will work well in commercial contexts (because its purpose is directed toward a very narrow group). This also applies when dealing with audiences who already have experience knowing what they want and how to find/purchase what they need without having to read detailed explanations about various types of products on offer.
– Academic language can make some business writing seem impersonal even when the communication is intended as friendly and helpful. That’s because academic language can be hard to read, understand or follow –especially if you are not an expert in that area of study.
– Academic writing often uses passive voice instead of active voice which makes it more difficult for commercial content readers (who want information presented simply and clearly) to easily comprehend what they need from your business writing: “The article was edited by me” vs. “I edited the article”; also see Tone of Voice above regarding formalization/informalization issues with tone of voice when communicating with a wider audience than just academics!
– It may seem like overkill for commercial contexts where direct communication is preferred such as in a blog post, or in social media content where brevity is best.
– Academic writing uses many long sentences and complex sentence structure which can be difficult to follow for readers with less formal education backgrounds who are reading business/commercial texts on purchasing choices etc.; simplicity of language will attract more people to read the written text(s) being communicated from an academic source that might have been published online via a commercial website or another type of web platform e.g., Moodle course site page so it’s important not to complicate things too much when communicating with a wider audience through your business writing!
– The purpose for using academic style varies depending upon the genre (e.g., scientific journal article vs. magazine article). In
The aim of your commercial writing should be to create a personal style that leaves all readers with an impression. If you can do that, your content will be memorable.
In order to achieve exactly what you want, avoid the academic voice/tone as much as possible when creating commercial writing. Not only does it make for a boring read, but it also puts people off from reading further because they don’t trust or connect with what you have written.
This is not something that should happen in a blog post – especially one where you want the reader to continue onto another page and become a subscriber!
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